IBM have announced their first computer that relies on a private cloud for both storage and processing power. The WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance creates virtualized snapshots of applications, stored on a central server; these virtualizations can be loaded on-demand by users, with as many instances as required all replicated from the same, frozen snapshot.
That snapshot, according to Tom Rosamilia, general manager of the applications and integration middleware division at IBM, is taken when an app is running perfectly with OS, hardware and any middleware it is dependent upon. In that way, future recalls of the virtualization have no danger of configuration error; any usage or changes are logged.
IBM say that enterprises with existing apps already running as services will find migration to the cloud straightforward. It's not quite ready for home use, however, unless you have particularly deep pockets. The WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance, plus an application server, will be priced at around $45,000 when it goes on sale at the end of Q2 2009.