Bluemix: The killer Blue!

Monday, February 8, 2016

IBM is bit new into the Cloud Based PaaS market, but came loaded with arsenals to make the competition blue! No wonder that market statistics is showing people moving from AWS and Azure to BlueMix.

The base reason could be the simplicity and presentation. Let us look at few features I found to be so interesting to be put here:

1. Boiler Plates: Boiler plates are the basic application framework ready for extending to bring out a working app in little time. This is a great feature. Today when all startups are trying to grab the market with the leanest team and investment, something that allows them to start off is always of high value. IBM Blulemix provides number of boilerplates including Java, IoT, Node.js.... This brings in an interesting capability to the users. The best of all, the users need not think of general cloud terms like VM etc. This is further enhanced by the support to so many different runtimes. It brings in an openness, which a lot of PaaS is yet to provide.

2. Web IDE: IBM Bluemix provides a Web IDE. So, what does it mean? You need a browser to connect to the internet, and with the Blumix account, you can create or enhance application. And bigger than that, you can test, deploy to the production. Almost zero inventory for you. Would you really get things like that everywhere? 

3. DevOps as service: This is the next best thing that I see. IBM Bluemix provides DevOps as a service, and most of them are free. It is well integrated with Git repositories (GitHub or Jazz) and the beautifully designed Delivery pipeline service. Based on the configuration, the Delivery pipeline gets activated on the push of a change of code to the version Control (Git repository). It has some cool features that can instantiate a build server automatically, create the build from the code, run unit tests, deploy the build as a container. It is a multi stage orchestrated pipeline - this means, one can add different jobs in different stages, like unit test, functional test, security tests, performance tests, acceptance tests at different or in a single stage one after another. I shall cover more of DevOps capabilities as a separate post later.

4. Containers: The beauty of containers is that it allows to run your application anywhere without taking pain about the underlying layer. IBM containers can run Docker images. BlueMix allows users to deply a solution as a container or a container group with a load balancer all built in minus the pain of setting them up. Of course advanced user can do lot of tuning below the hood.

5. Monitoring: As part of the DevOps services, application monitoring is another nice feature that I won't like to omit. With application monitoring and diagnosis services built in, application monitoring is one nice feature for delivering a reliable application. It allows to monitor the application and log possible issues that may impact the application on the run. With associated diagnostics, one can identify and nail down the root causes quite effectively.


So far so good. Only one risk I keep seeing is how IBM take up the support and upgrade on these. IBM is known for running a lot of programs making changes to trivial things take too long due to program focus. This is my personal opinion though.

So, enjoy the Cloud in Blue!

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