IBM Arms Cloud Developers With New Tools

IBM delivers a set of new tools for cloud developers including a new API knowledge base and a local version of its Bluemix PaaS.

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LAS VEGAS—To address the increasingly worrisome issue of data sprawl, IBM has introduced a series of new cloud computing technologies and investments to help enterprises securely connect applications, data and services across a multitude of traditional systems and clouds.

IBM has dedicated more than half its cloud development team to this effort, including more 1,000 developers focused on delivering hybrid cloud innovations based on open technology. IBM made the announcements at its IBM InterConnect 2015 conference here.

Indeed, IBM is delivering a series of technologies and services on the IBM Cloud that will extend users' control, visibility, security and governance of their private cloud or traditional IT systems to the public cloud, also offering increased data portability across environments and making it easier for developers to work across cloud and non-cloud environments.

"Today, we are launching a new class of cloud innovations that extend open standards capabilities for the enterprise," Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud, said in a statement. "This will break down the barriers between clouds and on-premise IT systems, providing clients with control, visibility and security as they utilize the public clouds. Data location across an ever-growing number of clouds is an increasing concern for customers, and we are unveiling new application portability and developer services to make this easier to manage."

IBM is offering are new services and tools to support developers, startups and businesses that are building a new class of hybrid cloud apps via Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology. To that end, IBM introduced Bluemix Local, which extends Bluemix into an enterprise's data center with borderless visibility and management across Bluemix environments—public, dedicated and local.

"We're bringing Bluemix on-premise," said Angel Diaz, vice president of IBM Cloud Architecture & Technology. "You can have a managed, private Bluemix. Now you can build your application with a reduced set of concepts."

IBM announced other new services that enable developers to more quickly, effectively and securely connect apps, data and services across an open and flexible environment of traditional systems, cloud platforms and any device, weaving data and services with APIs to compose new apps and services, including the Secure Passport Gateway, which provides self-service to developers to securely connect data and services to Bluemix in minutes through a simple passport service that keeps IT in control. IBM also introduced API Harmony, a tool that helps developers find an API match for their application using a large knowledge base of APIs. It enables developers to easily expose and manage APIs.

In addition, IBM announced its Data Shaper, a new tool for the management, cleansing and manipulation of large data sets in the cloud. Data Shaper allows developers to subdivide and manipulate data sets from the treasure trove of proliferating public and private data.

According to IDC, 80 percent of new cloud applications are predicted to be big-data-intensive, brought on by the convergence of mobile applications, e-commerce transactions and other Web applications. Companies are struggling to gain value in the data being generated in today's digital revolution. As a result, businesses are increasingly struggling with incorporating, managing and gaining insights into processes and data with the required security, governance and performance.

IBM also announced several new services that extend the enterprise's control, visibility, security and governance of its traditional environment to the public cloud, including IBM DataWorks, which offers a new, intuitive tooling experience to find, refine, enrich and deliver trusted data. IBM also offers collaborative operations for enhanced visibility and control of a customer's hybrid environments with a single, end-to-end view. Also, new orchestration features are available as a hosted service enabling management across hybrid environments via a large federated orchestration library. And new security features help protect the most vital data and applications using analytics across the enterprise, public and private clouds, and mobile devices.

IBM is offering new portability services and open standards to easily move enterprise workloads across environments to bring the app closer to the data or the data closer to the app, including the new IBM Enterprise Containers solution, which helps developers build and deliver applications by extending native Linux containers with Docker APIs to provide enterprise-class visibility, control and security as well as an added level of automation. Solutions developed in a cloud environment could be brought to on-premises systems for execution, allowing many of the benefits of cloud computing to be realized for data that cannot be moved to the cloud for processing for reasons of data sensitivity, size or performance.

IBM said it is among the top contributors to Cloud Foundry and OpenStack and has dedicated several hundred developers to advancing standards for hybrid clouds.