smartcloud_0IBM has stormed into cloud computing with the recent launch of SmartCloud, an enterprise-class cloud solution aimed at major businesses that are making the migration to the cloud.

The new platform aims to give IT professionals at large companies more options for cloud-based solutions, giving them options between public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructures. The company says its platform lets customers choose the characteristics of their own cloud solution, a choice that encompasses security, availability, technology platforms, management and billing.

SmartCloud offers two levels—Enterprise, and Enterprise+. The latter, which will be available later this year, will feature multi-tenant services for virtual server, storage, networking and security. IBM also will launch later this year its SAP Managed Application Services on SmartCloud, providing automated provisioning of SAP environments.

IBM clearly is trying to flex some cloud muscle in the announcement, which was made in conjunction with major customer meetings in San Francsico. The company has said it expects cloud computing to grow into a $7 billion business by 2015. IBM appears to be signaling—with new cloud branding and a comprehensive offering—that it is an existing cloud powerhouse ready to take on all challengers, and that the cloud is a major focus for the company.