IBM today released software that will enable IT managers to deploy virtual machines in seconds, allowing enterprises to respond quickly to increases in demand.
Available as an open beta program, the new software enables a single virtual machine to be deployed in a few seconds, dozens in a few minutes, and hundreds or thousands in under an hour, the company claimed.
An image management system is built into the software, which allows organisations to install, configure and automate the creation of new virtual machines.
IBM hopes that these features will enable IT managers to react quickly to dynamic environments.
"These new technologies deliver a definitive step forward in simplifying the way IT staff can manage the cloud," said Ric Telford, vice-president of cloud services, IBM.
"They come at a critical time for businesses as the demand for computing resources and new services is becoming nearly insatiable, despite generally stagnant budgets."
In 2009 about $17bn (£10.4bn) was spent on cloud-related technologies, and by 2013 this is expected to grow to $45bn (£27.6bn), according to industry analysts IDC.