IBMs BlueMix Targets the Internet of Things

Remember IBM’s open cloud development platform BlueMix? Well, IBM has just announced it is now on general release, and there’s all kinds of cloud-centric goodness now available for it.

Accessible in open beta since February, the Cloud Foundry based suite now has more than 50 services and is being adopted at a rate that places it among the largest Cloud Foundry deployments in the world, IBM claims. It has also been released with an eye on the emerging Internet of Things (IoT).

Shifting Focus

In essence, BlueMix is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables the rapid development of apps running on the SoftLayer infrastructure, providing developers with the ability do work between platforms and tools from multiple providers.

Available on the IBM Cloud Marketplace, it offers services for building secure, cloud based business applications, with its catalog containing tools for big data, social, mobile and security across industries ranging from mobile commerce, academia, and advertising.

Michael Curry, vice president, WebSphere Product Management at the IBM Software Group also pointed out to CMSWire that it is in a prime position to start shifting IBM’s strategy to build around the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things integrates machines, people, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems — and other information sources, like social media -- but also analyzes and makes use of all that information to enable people to interact with data. BlueMix is in a prime position to work with such a service: 

We have created Internet of Things specific services in BlueMix that are designed to allow organizations to build Internet of Things applications faster and more easily than they can anywhere else. The services include the ability to easily register and connect 'things' and to begin collecting, visualizing and analyzing data from them."

He also points to a specific IoT boilerplate available in BlueMix to speed these efforts, combining connectivity with time series data management and Node-RED, IBM’s open source tool for designing logic and events around connected devices.

This, he said, can be extended with any of the services in BlueMix, from Big Data analytics and cognitive computing to mobile services and cloud integration.

New BlueMix Services

But there’s more than the IoT at play here. IBM boasts that BlueMix represents the next step in the transformation of IBM's cloud offering.

Curry explained this by pointing out that the transformation seeks to create an app development platform designed for the entire DevOps experience, with preconfigured services, testing and a partner network supporting open technologies.

While BlueMix offers developers potential opportunities to work with a range of IBM partners and partner technology, it nonetheless has focused on putting its own technologies first. It has 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. 

Other partnerships include services from Sonian, which allows users to organize and mine big data, including Sonian Email Archive to access the huge amount of data available in emails, while ClearChat enables users to develop and test for multiple mobile platforms such as iOS and Android.

In fact, according to IBM, 60 percent of developers are building for the cloud and with BlueMix they are developing applications that will connect with the enterprise IT structures. IBM’s aim is to feed into that.

The development of BlueMix is part of a $1 billion investment in PaaS, which includes IBM’s continued global expansion, new services, and expansions with partners, Curry said.

It is also running parallel to IBMs $1.2 billion commitment to develop its cloud computing business with SoftLayer at its core, which will boast a total of 40 data centers around the world by the end of the year.