IBM Announces WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance at Impact 09

CloudBurst Appliance

IBM announced its new WebSphere CloudBurst Cloud Computing Appliance this week at the Impact 09 conference in Las Vegas

WebSphere CloudBurst is a hardware appliance based on IBM’s DataPower SOA appliance server that allows companies to run virtual images that can be used in a private cloud environment. Shipped with the new IBM WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition, (WASVI) CloudBurst is optimized for use with virtualized hardware environments like VmWare.

Designed primarily to be used for private cloud deployments behind the firewall, IBM is also marketing the CloudBurst Appliance to SAAS and Cloud service providers who need an off the shelf cloud solution that offers easy and rapid deployment in a data center environment. CloudBurst ships with a number of preconfigured VmWare ESX virtual images with standardized configurations based on IBM WebSphere best practices. The virtual images are composed of WebSphere components, an IBM HTTP server and Linux.

The Virtual Images and Scripts (called patterns) are deployed and managed via a familiar drag and drop Web 2.0 console.

CloudBurst Console

The patterns are designed to appeal to a wide range of users and vary from a basic single server topology suitable for a SMB client to a very large cluster of servers more attuned to a SAAS service providers needs. Users can customize the seeded patterns with custom scripts or by cloning seeded patterns via the CloudBurst console.

CloudBurst Patterns

Custom patterns are stored on the CloudBurst Appliance and are also managed via the CloudBurst console.

CloudBurst Custom Patterns

The CloudBurst console also allows administrators to setup users and security and to manage and monitor the appliance and deployed cloud.

CloudBurst User Admin

CloudBurst Settings

The WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance will be available in June 2009 and will be priced starting at $45,000 USD. Initially only VMware ESX Server file formats will be supported but IBM expects to support other formats in the near future.

WebSphere CloudBurst is being touted as the first appliance based cloud solution on the market and should gain traction amongst SMB customers and service providers alike. But IBM should expect competition in this space fairly quickly from the likes of Cisco-VMware, HP, Oracle-Sun and perhaps even from the Open Source arena as the barriers to entry for such solutions are relatively low assuming a compelling combination of software and hardware in a reasonably priced appliance.


  1. Russell on May 7, 2009 at 8:58 am

    These appliances actually make a lot of sense especially if they are as plug and play like the marketing people would have all believe.

    But 45k US seems to be a bit on the high side to me for small businesses.

  2. Arthur Mueller on May 7, 2009 at 9:11 am

    I would think you could create a do it yourself appliance for a lot cheaper than 45k with a low priced Dell Blade Server and Open Source software compontents.

  3. Ameed Taylor on May 7, 2009 at 9:20 am

    To the segments that these appliances are being marketed towards, I think the price point is actually good…considering that these appliances are plug and play and come with IBM support.

    Scaling up quickly with a proven hardware and software stack is what usually gets the attention of the finance department (or approver) at most companies

Leave a Comment