Amazon EC2 cloud to add IBM software images

IBM today announced its intention to enable customers of its Passport Advantage license program to deploy IBM and Tivoli applications using Amazon's EC2 cloud computing platform. But rather than develop those applications on its own, or create pre-packaged WebSphere applications in the cloud, it will immediately allow for developers to use Amazon Machine Images to build applications that may later be tested on a broader customer base, when Amazon releases IBM software on its cloud platform in the coming months.

The intention is to give developers access to Lotus Web Content Management, DB2, Informix Dynamic Server, and WebSphere Portal and sMash, as well as underlying SUSE Linux Enterprise software. Amazon already offers Windows Server 2003 images; this plan will make possible a competitive Linux-based offering that already has leading commercial middleware and database software ready to go.

A scale of how Amazon Machine Images (AMI) will be charged to IBM customers was published this morning, which uses IBM's existing scale of processor value units. This is a token system that assesses how much per-processor licensing applies to each piece of software based on a generalized estimate of how many IBM-branded processors would be required to run it.

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