IBM and SAP have demonstrated new cloud technology at this week's CeBIT show in Hannover.
They have previewed workload portability across interconnected cloud platforms, with the technology part of the European Union-funded Reservoir Project
The system has seen the live migration of SAP applications across remote IBM Power6 systems via cloud computing.
The technology is designed to provide companies with a range of cloud computing systems to meet their specific business needs.
IBM and SAP showed how users can run enterprise applications in the cloud, in particular demonstrating the migration of workloads across physical servers and across datacentres.
"The breakthrough we are showing today is that applications can flexibly move across remote physical servers, regardless of location - which makes our work a strong enabling technology for the cloud," said Joachim Schaper, vice-president of SAP Research for EMEA.
"Specifically, in cloud-scale environments, service providers will need to provide users with access to services across the cloud. Service providers will need to compete on performance and quality of service, and so the future cloud will need to support application mobility across disparate datacentres to enhance performance."
Yaron Wolfsthal, senior manager for system technologies at IBM's research lab in Haifa, Israel, said, "With Reservoir, our aim is to provide cloud technologies that will enable energy-efficient, borderless delivery of IT services that are driven by actual demands - with the goal of keeping costs competitive."
He said, "The new technology is allowing us to realise the vision of true cloud computing by moving applications across disparate interconnected networks to optimise load balancing across remote servers.
"When changes in workload occur, the new technology autonomically balances resource utilisation and power consumption across remote servers. This is done, for example, by evacuating and turning off under-utilised servers - and possibly entire datacentres - when demand drops, and powering on idle servers when load increases."
Reservoir - "Resources and Services Virtualisation without Barriers" - is an IBM-led joint research initiative of 13 European partners to develop technologies that help automate the fluctuating demand for IT resources in a cloud computing environment.
The 17m euro EU-funded initiative explores the deployment and management of IT services across different administrative domains, IT platforms and geographies.
The project aims to develop technologies to support a service-based online economy, where resources and services are transparently provisioned and managed.