Thursday, June 06, 2013

IBM buys SoftLayer

My first comment is bold move. When it was raised that IBM might buy $RAX, I was very unsure as to whether IBM had this fight within them.  Looks like Rometty is having some effect.  

My second comment is ... CloudStack.

I certainly don't hold with the increasingly common view that OpenStack has won and is the way forward.  In the very early days I was extremely positive but that quickly degenerated.  I hold a different view, in my world without signifiant levels of investment and overcoming the collective prisoner dilemma then the market around OpenStack will not form and this is a wasted opportunity.  That is why I called OpenStack a dead duck and I haven't changed my position.  I'd like them to succeed and in my honest opinion the problem is not with the community and engineers but how this project has been led and especially the nonsense on differentiation with Amazon.

Still, I regularly get people telling me I'm wrong and that OpenStack will rule or is ruling depending upon how fervent the believer is. Bah humbug. 

BUT did IBM just skip buying into one of the founders of the OpenStack world and instead plummet for a major CloudStack shop?  Did IBM really chuck $2Bn in investment into a rip and replace rather than $5Bn into Rackspace? Yes, the team at SoftLayer is focused heavily on commodity provision, they have that automation background, they have solid revenues but this doesn't sound quite right. 

Now, the IBM press release says "IBM intends to expand SoftLayer cloud offerings to include OpenStack capabilities" which means ... nothing at all.  If you've made a big commitment to OpenStack  then you're going to say that you "intend" no matter what.

I know what the press release says but this feels like a hedge. It'll be interesting to see what IBM does next.  Anyway, congratulations to SoftLayer and IBM.