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.