February 26, 2015 | Written by: Tony Erwin
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I’m writing this edition of the blog from Las Vegas as IBM InterConnect 2015 enters its final day. It’s been a great week with lots of exciting news, and I can’t help but reflect how far we’ve come since Bluemix was first announced about a year ago at IBM Pulse. As Bluemix continues to mature and gain momentum, I’m excited to share details about the awesome Bluemix updates that went live in the UI this week:
- Integration of Container and Virtual Machines as first-class citizens in the Dashboard.
- Introduction of a Guided Experience section in the Dashboard to help you get started.
- Addition of new zone pages for Open Architecture, Hybrid Cloud, Watson, and Internet of Things.
- Updated landing/home page.
- Ability to receive billing/usage notifications.
- Capability to purchase third-party service plans.
- Improvements to SSL certificate support for custom domains.
- Miscellaneous usability improvements and squashed bugs.
Containers and Virtual Machines
As was shown on the main stage this week, the Bluemix UI has expanded beyond Cloud Foundry applications and services to include the ability to create and manage:
- Containers — run Docker containers on Bluemix using images in our public hub or your own private registry
- Virtual Machines — use virtual machines to have the most control over your apps and middleware. Bluemix uses industry leading OpenStack software to run and manage VMs.
Support for Containers and Virtual Machines is currently in beta, and the number of users is being limited. So, for the time being, if you click Create Container or Create Virtual Machine on the Dashboard, you will see a screen (much like the one below) that provides the ability to register for access. You’ll receive an email when your account is ready.
To help you get going, a new Guided Experience section has been added to the top of the Bluemix Dashboard. It’s intended to help you understand the difference between apps, containers, and virtual machines. And, once you chosen what’s right for you, it lists step-by-step getting started information.
Zone & Solution Pages
The ever-growing Bluemix Catalog now contains more than 80 services. These services can be mixed and matched in all sorts of different ways to arrive at solutions to your problems. To aid in understanding the possibilities, there are now 13 different zone and solution pages:
Of particular interest this week are the following new pages:
Because of the growth of Bluemix beyond apps and services, the landing/home page has been enhanced to reflect these new capabilities.
We heard your desire to be able to more closely monitor usage to avoid billing surprises. So, you can now set custom notifications on your Account page based on total spending, total runtime spending, total service spending, or individual service spending. When you configure notifications, you will be notified when you reach 80%, 90%, and 100% of your desired limits.
Purchase Plans for Third-Party Services
Prior to this release, when you created a third-party service you were limited to whatever the third-party provider offered in their free plan. However, you can now purchase more feature-rich plans for many third-party services. For example, the screen shot below shows that multiple plans are now available for the CloudAMQP service.
NOTE: Prices current as of Feb. 24, 2015 and are subject to change.
Last September, we introduced support for associating SSL certificates with custom domains. To provide more flexibility, you can now upload intermediate certificate chains with a single certificate bundle. In addition, subject alternative names in your certificate will now be honored.
Other InterConnect-related Posts
Be sure to check out these additional posts by my colleagues related to IBM InterConnect 2015:
Wrapping it Up
We hope you’ll try out and enjoy these new capabilities. As always, we take your feedback seriously. if you’re at InterConnect, just stop by and talk to us on the Solution Expo floor. Otherwise, if you have questions or other comments, please let us know on the Bluemix Dev-to-Dev Community or tweet us at @IBMBluemix.
And, remember, if you don’t already have an account, you can simply go to www.bluemix.net and get free instant access to a 30-day trial without a credit card!