IBM Invests $1B in PaaS in Quest for Cloud Leadership

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-02-24 Print this article Print

As part of BlueMix, IBM is building a lineup of developer services focused on mobile, Web apps, integration, DevOps and data management. In addition, IBM is continuing to make available to developers its suites of business applications as composable API-based services, such as Watson, commerce, security, marketing and others. As an example, using BlueMix, developers can leverage middleware services to build a new sales app that provides retail associates with secure access to inventory management information from systems of record at the time of customer engagement.

Meanwhile, BlueMix DevOps services provide an integrated experience for developers to accelerate time to market and improve quality. DevOps includes services to store and manage code—using the popular Git repository, a built-in Web integrated development environment (IDE), and Eclipse and Visual Studio integrations to let developers use whichever environment they prefer.

DevOps Services enable agile planning and tracking to easily share work and collaborate across team members, as well as application deployment automation to streamline the delivery of new function, mobile quality and performance monitoring to quickly learn and iterate. By integrating across the software delivery lifecycle, DevOps Services help developers move faster from an idea to an application that meets users' needs, IBM said.

In addition, the aforementioned IBM Software Patterns are portable between on-premises and off-premises environments, providing the flexibility to deploy applications and middleware to meet dynamic business requirements. Available through the PureApplication Service on SoftLayer beta, IBM Software Patterns open up new possibilities to simplify common IT processes such as DevOps. IT teams can quickly create off-premises environments in the cloud to complete tasks such as application testing and quality assurance, then transfer the applications back to an on-premises production environment. And developers can create their own patterns—writing them once and deploying them on-premises or off-premises—using IBM tools and services.

For example, Exigen, an IBM client in the insurance industry, has created a pattern for its insurance solution using the IBM Web Application middleware pattern. With the PureApplication Service on SoftLayer, Exigen will provide its clients with the option to develop and run Exigen Insurance Solutions across a hybrid cloud environment, making it easier for them to optimize total costs. Additionally, Toshiba is benefiting from PureApplication Service on SoftLayer—using it as a platform to develop and test traditional Web applications using WebSphere and DB2 software to reduce IT capital expenditures.

Taking advantage of IBM's Power Systems line of servers built for big data demands, SoftLayer will serve as an "on ramp" for clients seeking technologies and tools to help them better capture, understand and leverage increasing volumes of data. Beginning in the second quarter of 2014 and continuing over time, SoftLayer's first service built on Power Systems, as demonstrated at the IBM Pulse conference, will be Watson solutions, including Watson Discovery, Engagement and Case Advisor. Additional planned services include software-as-a-service data services and bare metal infrastructure-as-a-service for clients seeking on-demand access to Power Systems.

Finally, IBM also announced Platform LSF and Platform Symphony software delivered as a service for technical computing and analytics workloads running on SoftLayer.



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