I.B.M. plans to build a sizable business by bringing Google-style computing to mainstream corporate customers. The I.B.M. strategy, to be announced today, seeks to exploit the technical work and commercial interest in large data centers that can be run more efficiently, searched for information and programmed from remote locations over the Internet. This model of Internet-based supercomputing is known as cloud computing because vast stores of information and processing resources can be tapped from afar — by a laptop personal computer, cellphone or other device.
I.B.M. is calling its initiative Blue Cloud. Most of the basic software needed for cloud computing is open source, meaning that the code is freely available and can be modified by users. The hardware used in the data centers is typically many thousands of industry-standard server computers, powered by processors made by Intel or Advanced Micro Devices, and produced by many hardware makers. But I.B.M., analysts say, is trying to position itself as a leader in the corporate market for cloud computing, which many specialists regard as the next evolutionary step in information technology. The business strategy, they say, is to sell more I.B.M. hardware, software and services tailored for cloud computing. Starting in spring 2008, I.B.M. will offer versions of its server computers, including mainframes, that are adapted for cloud computing.
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