IBM Targets Enterprise Hybrid Cloud with Cast Iron Buy

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

IBM's acquisition of Cast Iron Systems recognizes the key to getting more IT enterprises to move to the cloud -- the integration of cloud and SAAS with on-premise systems.

Bolstering its play in the cloud, IBM has acquired Cast Iron Systems, which enables IT organizations to create hybrid cloud environments.

Creating such hybrid environments is considered by many to be a key in enabling more movement to cloud computing and software as a service (SAAS) by enterprise customers because those large organizations are unlikely to move their entire infrastructure to the cloud. Instead, IT organizations and IT solution providers must integrate on-premise infrastructure with the cloud. IBM says Cast Iron technologies take the coding burden away from those integrations

Cast Iron’s cloud integration software, appliances and services have been used by several large customers, including such as NEC, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and Dow Jones.

IBM says it expects the global cloud computing market to grow at a compounded annual rate of 28 percent from $47 billion in 2008 to $126 billion by 2012.

IBM says with the acquisition of Cast Iron, it will be able to offer a complete platform to integrate cloud applications from providers including Salesforce.com, Amazon, NetSuite and ADP with on-premise applications, such as SAP and JD Edwards.  Cast Iron technology provides hundreds of pre-built templates that can enable cloud integrations to be completed in days instead of weeks.  These results can be achieved using a physical appliance, a virtual appliance or a cloud service, according to IBM.  

"The integration challenges Cast Iron Systems is tackling are crucial to clients who are looking to adopt alternative delivery models to manage their businesses," says Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM WebSphere, in a prepared statement.  "The combination of IBM and Cast Iron Systems will make it easy for clients to integrate business applications, no matter where those applications reside."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cast Iron's 75 employees are expected to join IBM.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com