To help its business partners build big data applications as well as other types of apps, IBM announced a new application development cloud called the IBM Power Development Platform.
Announced at the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference, the IBM Power Development Platform (PDP) provides software developers with no-charge access over the cloud to IBM Power Systems servers to build, port and test applications.
IBM officials said the company expects the new resource will be of particular interest to Linux developers, many of whom are seeking and using more powerful, modern servers built to handle the new wave of open, collaborative applications for big data, mobile and social business computing.
Accessible through IBM's PartnerWorld program, the PDP provides developers with worldwide remote access to the latest IBM POWER7 and POWER7+ processor-based servers running Linux, AIX and IBM i operating systems. Once up and running on the PDP, users have access to the same Power Systems hardware platform that, together with Linux, powers IBM Watson's cognitive computing solutions.
Additionally, the PDP includes a new Linux porting image with IBM DB2 10.x, IBM WebSphere 8.5.5 and the latest Linux development tools for Power. The PDP also serves as an entry point to the full IBM Software Group Software Access Catalog, which contains current versions of hundreds of downloadable IBM software applications.
"The new era of computing upon us requires more from technology infrastructure—faster insights, greater efficiency, tighter collaboration," said Doug Balog, general manager of IBM Power Systems, in a statement. "Now more than ever we're seeing a lot of new, exciting things being done on the Power platform. Our new development cloud will serve as a springboard for innovation from a talented development community. Providing cloud access to Power accelerates the development of applications that deliver even greater business value to our clients."
The PDP complements a growing network of physical Power Systems Linux Centers launched last year around the world, with the first centers located in Beijing; New York; Austin, Texas; Montpellier, France; and Tokyo. Together, the centers have provided hundreds of business partners, ISVs and developers with hands-on help porting, testing, certifying and demonstrating thousands of applications successfully on the Power platform. The Beijing center alone helped more than 300 visitors port 562 new applications to the Power platform in 2013.
Prior to the launch of the PDP, IBM offered virtual access to Power servers through an online resource called the Virtual Loaner Program. Given growing interest, particularly by Linux developers, IBM performed an overhaul of the program over the past few months. Major enhancements included in the new PDP are increased capacity, additional Linux development tools, improved reservation navigation and deeper social media integration to provide users with more news and information.