IBM DevOps Efforts Strengthened at IBM Innovate 2013

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-06-03

IBM DevOps Efforts Strengthened at IBM Innovate 2013

ORLANDO, Fla.—IBM has announced new software, training and resources to help organizations create, test and deliver mobile and cloud applications.

Announced June 3 at the company's IBM Innovate 2013 conference, also known as The IBM Technical Summit, here, these initiatives expand the development capabilities of IBM's SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst offerings and shore up IBM's foray into the world of DevOps.

In an opening keynote for the event, Kristof Kloeckner, general manager of IBM Rational Software, said mobile and cloud computing are powerful technology trends that have the potential to help businesses drive new revenue and transform the enterprise. Typical software development approaches can take weeks of turnaround time for code changes.

Yet user choice and ease of movement mean that speed and quality are of the essence for businesses. To succeed in this fast-moving market, organizations need to deliver mobile and cloud software faster and more frequently than ever, IBM said.

Key to this transition is DevOps, Kloeckner said. DevOps is an integrated approach to software delivery that integrates an organization's culture, processes and tools. It spans the entire lifecycle, from business planning and creation to delivery and feedback. The goal of DevOps is to enable continuous software delivery allowing businesses to quickly seize market opportunities and better meet client demands.

Given the close connection between mobile and cloud applications, the need for a single, automated DevOps strategy for both technologies is essential. IBM's DevOps portfolio helps businesses address the full lifecycle of software delivery with a common approach regardless of the type of application being developed.

At its TechEd 2013 conference in New Orleans, which runs concurrently with IBM Innovate (June 3 to 6), Microsoft announced the acquisition of the InRelease release management technology as part of an effort to beef up its DevOps story. IBM recently acquired UrbanCode to bolster its DevOps portfolio. Indeed, Kloeckner said several IBM acquisitions—including Worklight, Green Hat, Coremetrics and Tealeaf, as well as UrbanCode—form the basis of IBM's DevOps solution.

IBM also announced enhanced support for continuous integration.

"Continuous integration has become a critical part of the modern application lifecycle, yet most companies are nowhere near the nirvana of continuous delivery," said Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop and creator of Eclipse Mylyn. "Most approaches to date have failed to incorporate the lifecycle as a whole, limiting enterprise adoption. 

"It's very promising to see Rational combine their strengths in ALM [application lifecycle management] with the acquisition of UrbanCode, one of the key innovators of DevOps," Kersten said. "This combination could help shape the future of the enterprise DevOps landscape, and further push the need for connecting ALM tools into a lean build-measure-learn loop that spans from idea to deployment."

Meanwhile, earlier this year, IBM launched IBM MobileFirst, a mobile strategy that will enable clients to radically streamline and accelerate their adoption of mobile—giving them a way to monetize this opportunity, transform their business and expand their market in ways never before possible, the company said.

With today's news, IBM is expanding the development capabilities of that strategy with new tools to help a business deliver better applications faster and at a lower cost. User choice and ease of movement mean that speed and quality are of the essence for businesses when developing mobile applications, IBM said.

New offerings to help businesses save time and money during the development and testing phases of the DevOps lifecycle include the IBM Rational Test Workbench, which gives developers and testers the ability to record, modify, play back and evaluate testing scenarios to automate the hundreds, even thousands, of tests that each model of a mobile device must go through.

They can also virtualize parts of the application that are not completed yet in order to test earlier in the process. The ability to automate this testing will reduce the length of the testing phase of the development process. In addition to saving time, businesses can also save costs with deeper integration to back-end services for testing without requiring those systems to be in place.


IBM DevOps Efforts Strengthened at Innovate 2013

IBM also announced new IBM Worklight and IBM SmartCloud Application Services. Delivered as a new, no cost trial, this technology enables developers to build applications and deploy into IBM SmartCloud using IBM Worklight technology. Businesses will be able to build mobile applications quickly while avoiding capital purchases and management costs at the outset of the project. Once the application has been developed, delivery through the IBM SmartCloud has also been simplified, giving businesses the opportunity to get their application in the hands of clients quickly

Moreover, improving the development process for cloud applications is critical as organizations seek to transform their business through higher-value opportunities such as big data, analytics and social business, IBM said.

IBM is delivering a group of new offerings designed to help companies improve the development and testing phases of the lifecycle, including IBM SmartCloud Analytics–Log Analysis. IBM continues to add analytics capabilities to its cloud portfolio. Newest of these, Log Analysis, gives developers the ability to gain insights from the terabytes of unstructured data that is produced by infrastructure and applications. By bringing the power of automated analysis to IT asset logs, organizations can now gain the actionable insights a human expert might deliver given unlimited time—faster and more consistently.

The new IBM SmartCloud Monitoring Application Insight solution helps businesses monitor the real-time performance and availability of applications hosted on a cloud. The ability to embed monitoring capabilities during the development process, makes it easier for companies to understand how an application is being used once it has been deployed.

And with the newly expanded IBM SmartCloud Application Services, developers can use SmartCloud Application services to deploy and manage applications written in the PHP language using Zend Server 6. PHP is a popular general-scripting language that is designed for Web development. Support for PHP provides organizations with greater choice and flexibility in development options and makes it easier for developers to create cloud-native applications, IBM said.

"Software is the invisible thread driving transformations in businesses of all industries and sizes," Kloeckner said in a statement. "As organizations and the dynamic markets in which they conduct business become more complex, it is critical that they adopt a DevOps approach to continuously deliver software-driven innovations to their clients."

In addition, as part of ongoing efforts to support the global development community, IBM today also unveiled an expansion of developerWorks. New sites within the developerWorks network include mobile, cloud, big data, WebSphere application development and the new developerWorks Labs. DeveloperWorks Labs provides developers early access to the latest emerging technologies, products and open standards for mobile and cloud development.

In addition, Kloeckner said that recently, OASIS announced that the IBM-led Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) community would become part of the standards organization. OSLC is an open technology that simplifies and integrates the creation and management of software such as cloud, mobile or big data applications. The process of creating any software—whether it is an online banking application or the software running the engine of an airplane—requires a set of software development tools. Traditionally, these tools have been based on proprietary technology and are difficult to integrate or mix and match. Because OSLC is an open standard process of communicating across disparate tools, it solves a decades-old problem enabling businesses to mix and match their tools with confidence.


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