Meanwhile, IBM also released a new set of integration services for IBM Cloud that will help with digital transformation efforts by enabling organizations to expand existing legacy solutions to the cloud, including those built around IBM's WebSphere middleware.
IBM said it expects this will make it easier for the estimated 13 million Java developers in the world to connect their apps to the cloud. The company also will continue to extend WebSphere to Node.js and Swift developers via Bluemix.
“Bluemix is the cloud platform for both development and runtime,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of Cloud Integration at IBM, in an interview. “So we’ve taken all of our core middleware, take WebSphere for example, we’ve decomposed it to the Liberty service that we offer on Bluemix. We’re putting all of our new services on Bluemix, including those from new acquisitions. So our place to start with any new service is on Bluemix.”
In addition, IBM and GitHub said they plan to deliver GitHub Enterprise source code management platform as a dedicated service on Bluemix. And these are just a sampling of all the new capabilities IBM announced at InterConnect.
Bluemix originated from IBM's thinking about the best way to support developers in the cloud, said Damion Heredia, vice president of Cloud Platform Services for Bluemix. The question, Heredia said, was "how do we help our mass developers in enterprises and SMBs build applications in the cloud faster?”
IBM found that when it came to building cloud applications, development teams were spending a majority of their time setting up infrastructure, he said. A good portion of that time was spent on maintaining the infrastructure. So provisioning virtual machines, the cache, storage, locking down security, assembling the network, and setting up the tests to make sure it all works, were delaying the actual programming effort, according to Heredia.
"Developers were spending too much time on the plumbing and not enough time on the business of writing code. Bluemix lets them focus on the code,” he said.
IBM began working on what became Bluemix around 2010, Angel Diaz, vice president of cloud technology and architecture, told eWEEK. IBM continued on its own but then selected Cloud Foundry as the foundation for Bluemix and teamed with Pivotal to harden the technology and launch the Cloud Foundry Foundation.
Heredia contends that Bluemix has helped change developers' image of IBM.
“When people see it their view is this is really modern technology with capabilities they expect from startups, but it’s available for the enterprise and they can use it,” he said.
“For example, when IBM designed it, they released a public cloud version, but they designed Bluemix Dedicated and Bluemix Local so that it would be a true hybrid solution," Heredia said. So users could run Bluemix in a dedicated or isolated environment just for their own environment, such as behind the firewall at a bank. And it would look like a node in their data center.
“That really broke the seal for some of these enterprises to start adopting cloud at scale," Heredia said.
For example, a large enterprise such as a bank might want to start developing cloud apps, but is unsure about building important apps on the public cloud.
Bluemix allows enterprises to run some apps in the public cloud, but retain some more sensitive business apps to run on a private cloud in a hybrid configuration, he explained.
Now Bluemix supports all three options. There is a "local instance, a dedicated instance and then the public set of services that they’re using and they run them as one catalog. So as the developer logs in, there’s just one list of options and they’re badged as to which ones are local, which ones are dedicated and the rest are public," He said.