IBM’s new cloud-based developer sandbox Bluemix offers a fascinating insight into the future. Or, at least, the future according to IBM.
Launched last week, the emergence of this cloud development platform as a service (PaaS) may not seem immediately compelling to Power Systems users. But Power-based development options will be available in the near future, according to reports, and a close look at Bluemix opens up a world of possibilities.
The Bluemix framework lets users create cloud-based applications. It’s part of IBM’s billion dollar commitment to the cloud that led to the purchase of giant global hosting specialist SoftLayer last year. Bluemix is built on Cloud Foundry’s open source PaaS tech and runs on the SoftLayer cloud.
What do developers get? Well, quite a lot. For a corporate website, Bluemix is pretty clear and its catalogue includes developer boilerplates, runtime environments and tools for creating mobile and web apps. There are also database sandboxes for things like recent acquisition Cloudant’s NoSQL, analytics tools and even selection of methods to address the internet of things.
While I’m happy to stand corrected (I am not a developer), the prices IBM is charging for the use of all these online goodies appear to be more than reasonable. So if one imagines a similar menu of tools geared towards IBM i, AIX and PowerLinux technologies, the mind rather starts to boggle.
The implications for development and testing for the Power Systems user community could be huge. Certainly, this type of model could do away with the price-of-hardware barrier to experimenting with, say, IBM i-based apps.
Whether or not IBM will deliver a bunch of cheap, easy-to-use Power-type options for Bluemix, only time will tell. But there’s no doubt in its general commitment to the project.
For example, it says its Global Business Services division has trained more than 80,000 consultants on how to help customers use the platform.
Would you like to see Power-oriented Bluemix tools? Would you use them? Comment below.