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BMW on journey to the cloud with private deployment

19 Sep 2013

Car giant BMW is on the verge of launching a private cloud environment in a move to overhaul its IT estate, having worked with the Open Data Centre Alliance (ODCA) to help it on this journey.

Currently, BMW has around 1,000 web applications in use across its organisations, running from 4,700 application server instances and 8,400 web server instances. It also supports 90,000 desktop and laptop computers, 9,300 smartphones, and 48,000 mobile phones.

The firm is now on the verge of a cloud deployment for a number of services including web applications and some SAP software services, which will be accessible to staff in locations around the world. The services will be live for internal staff from November.

The firm’s vice president for IT infrastructure Mario Müller told V3 that there are several reasons BMW has decided that embracing cloud computing is right for its needs.

“The traditional forms of IT won’t be alive for many more years as they do not fulfill our requirements. They do not have the necessary flexibility, agility and resilience, and these are the main reasons for our implementation,” he said.

“We also struggle with maintenance as it means systems have to be down, but with a cloud implementation we can remove this so there will be no visible downtime for the users.”

BMW is using a private cloud infrastructure for this offering and Müller said the firm has no intention of using a public cloud setup as it is “not right” for its requirements. This comes despite claims from Amazon Web Services earlier this week that private cloud vendors are stuck in the past.

Müller also explained how the ODCA had been a big help to the firm, as it was able to use lessons learned by other members who have already moved to the cloud to avoid any similar mistakes.

The ODCA is a cross-industry body made up of around 300 organisations, ranging from firms such as BMW and banks such as UBS, to consultancy giants such as Capgemini.

Müller said this setup makes it far easier for firms to consider and evaluate cloud options as there are already case studies and lessons that others have learned that can be used.

“We are able to share proof of concepts and the results and experience we learned in an open relationship that is a real benefit to the companies in the group,” he said.

Müller is such a fan of the ODCA that he is now the global chairman, having first started working with the cross-industry group in 2011.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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