IBM's Bluemix PaaS Now Generally Available

IBM announced that Bluemix, its open cloud development platform that runs on SoftLayer, is now generally available.

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IBM announced that its Bluemix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology is now generally available, with new services, clients and systems integrators using it to rapidly develop applications in the cloud.

Bluemix, available on the IBM Cloud Marketplace, now includes more than 50 services for building secure, cloud-based business applications. Its rapid adoption during its open beta period, which began in February when IBM delivered Bluemix as a preview at its Pulse 2014 conference, makes Bluemix one of the largest Cloud Foundry deployments in the world in just a few months.

"Organizations are rapidly moving new, innovative apps to Cloud Foundry's scalable, user-friendly model," James Watters, vice president of Cloud Foundry Product and Ecosystem at Pivotal, said in a statement. "IBM Bluemix furthers the Cloud Foundry vision for rapid app development, as well as the ability for developers to work easily between platforms and tools from multiple providers."

Bluemix runs on IBM's SoftLayer infrastructure and combines the strength of IBM's middleware software with other open services and tools from IBM partners and its developer ecosystem to offer DevOps in the cloud—an open, agile development model scalable from one-person startups to large enterprises. The growing catalog includes tools in categories such as big data, social, mobile, security and the Internet of things, and for industries ranging from mobile commerce, academia, advertising, and emerging spaces such as wearables.

New Bluemix services are being made available as IBM continues to deploy more of its own technology onto Bluemix. For example, IBM's MQ Light messaging service is now available on Bluemix and IBM's Cloud Marketplace to help developers quickly and easily connect different components of an application together in the cloud, regardless of programming language. IBM also deployed gamification services to Bluemix to help create new systems of engagement for cloud applications across a range of industries, which offer game-like incentives.

New business partner services being added to Bluemix and the IBM Cloud Marketplace include Redis Cloud to help developers use the cloud to rapidly access huge volumes of data and run their Redis data sets. Bluemix users will now be able to connect to Redis using IBM SoftLayer cloud.

Redis is an in-memory open-source NoSQL database that is popular in the developer community. It is used wherever high performance is required, such as in social, gaming, advertising and real-time analytics applications. Redis Cloud by Redis Labs enhances these use cases.

"Redis Cloud offers a great Redis choice for developers on Cloud Foundry," said Ofer Bengal, CEO and co-founder of Redis Labs. "Developers can immediately benefit from the high performance use cases that only Redis provides, without having to manage scalability, availability and performance issues. This allows them to stay focused on building great apps on the Cloud Foundry platform while we do the Redis heavy lifting."

Other new business partner services include those from Sonian, adding to an array of solutions to help developers organize and mine big data. Sonian's flagship service, Email Archive, helps users better capitalize on the vast amounts of data generated from email, attachments and other intellectual property. Another new Bluemix service from ClearChat enables users to develop and test for multiple mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. ClearChat's mobile services provide common channels for users of an application to communicate, regardless of platform or device.

Market researcher Evans Data estimates that nearly 60 percent of developers are building for the cloud. Using Bluemix, developers are creating new mobile applications that integrate and extend into companies' existing IT infrastructure. This includes GameStop, which plans to use Bluemix to develop a new mobile app to combine its in-store and online shopping experience for customers.

"Working with the Bluemix platform, we are prototyping new ways to engage with our players, from the online to the in-store experience," Jeff Donaldson, senior vice president of GameStop's Technology Institute, said in a statement. "Being able to add loyalty functionality as well as rapidly test, retool and deploy our mobile apps on Bluemix is giving us a competitive advantage in a market where speed means everything."

IBM also announced that in addition to its Global Business Services organization, which has trained more than 80,000 consultants on Bluemix, other leading systems integrators, including Computer Sciences Corp., are also using Bluemix to help their clients design and deploy cloud strategies.

"Bluemix represents the next step in the transformation of IBM's cloud offering," said Gary Barrett, principal software analyst at Ovum Research. "One of the most important factors is the breadth of technology IBM can offer when it comes to cloud, coupled with clear intention to ensure its different product groups work together more closely than ever before. If IBM continues to enhance the platform and can bring on enough partners, Bluemix could transform the platform-as-a-service market."