IBM Cloud Innovation Aims To Boost Business Continuity

What if cloud computing could help enterprises avoid costly business disruptions? IBM and Marist College may soon make the "what if" a reality with a new cloud computing innovation that could keep voice and data communications services up and running in the wake of natural disasters.

When a major weather event occurs, such as last year's deadly and destructive Super Storm Sandy, data network operators may have a few hours or less to protect critical communications systems before disaster strikes. According to IBM, moving voice and data application and services to a safe location -- a process called re-provisioning -- typically takes days.

And therein lies the challenge for organizations in the path of a fast-moving storm. But this cloud computing disaster-prevention invention that IBM and Marist are testing could slash re-provisioning time from days to minutes to help enterprises and other organizations avoid costly network disruptions and outages. It is being demonstrated to clients and is expected to be commercially available in 2014.

Tapping into SDN

"A year ago, Sandy left millions of individuals and businesses in the Northeast without electronic communications for days, weeks and even months -- in some cases, data centers were literally under water," said IBM Distinguished Engineer Casimer DeCusatis. "With our invention, a data center operator could quickly and simply move data and applications to another data center outside the danger zone in minutes -- from a remote location using a tablet or smartphone."

IBM's cloud networking innovation leverages software-defined networking (SDN) technology. It's currently in testing at Marist's SDN Innovation Lab In New York. SDN enables data center operators to more efficiently control data flows within physical and virtual networks. The SDN advancement IBM and Marist are testing will enable an IT professional to remotely access and make changes to network resources via a wireless device and...

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