Today, IBM unveiled a new platform for building and operating Cloud-native and dynamic hybrid cloud applications. I’m very excited about this announcement, not only because much of my portfolio has been mixed into it, but also because it is the vehicle by which I believe IBM will transform its business.
At its core, BlueMix is a platform as a service offering based on Cloud Foundry. But it is much more than that. We’ve invested a huge amount of code back into the core of Cloud Foundry, but we’re also extending what is possible in CF with our breadth of middleware capabilities. For example, we’ve extended the CF gateway natively with some of our DataPower gateway capabilities, to improve security control and traffic optimization. We’ve also extended CF’s management layer with operational intelligence and advanced performance management and analytics. And these are just a couple of examples.
But the most exciting part of BlueMix for me is the new development paradigm. We’ve built a new UI for easily deploying your choice of runtime and binding any of a catalog of services to it in seconds. Scale and size of deployment is handled by the infrastructure, and easily configured throughout the UI. A cloud-based IDE is built-in, allowing live Code editing and immediate response with instant DevOps cycles.
The services catalog is already very rich, with a variety of services that assist in building mobile applications (e.g. mobile push notifications), building service resiliency (e.g. caching based on Extreme Scale, elastic MQ based on WebSphere MQ), or extending application capabilities (e.g. Watson Discovery Advisor). There are also a variety of third party services in the catalog, including open source services and several from third-parties like Twilio and Pitney Bowes. I expect the catalog to keep expanding on a weekly basis.
What all this adds up to is the most productive development experience I have ever seen from IBM. As organizations shift to cloud-first and hybrid cloud systems development, I believe BlueMix will be a significant differentiator for them. With BlueMix, IBM is demonstrating a true understanding of the change that Cloud represents for middleware, not just porting traditional products to the Cloud or redirecting attention to SaaS properties. Now that it is in open beta, we’ll see how customers respond.