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Today, we are thrilled to share that you can now log into IBM Bluemix with your IBM ID and use a single UI experience to order and manage app runtimes, services, and infrastructure. You’ll also have a single payment method and pay for those services from a consolidated invoice. These enhancements we are delivering today will help customers who told us:
- “I want to manage all my Bluemix and SoftLayer assets from a single console”
- “I want to use a single ID to log into that single console”
- “I want to be billed with a single invoice”
To illustrate, let’s walk through a scenario that shows how combining infrastructure, services, and application run-times can result in something truly remarkable.
Example of unified cloud platform experience
In this scenario, you work at an insurance company that wants to use drones to take photos of storm damage, uploads the photos to IBM Cloud where those photos are studied for damage, then creates a 3D model of the damaged regions. While you can fly the drones and take photos, you really need a complete solution to go from the field to a quality claim.
Single starting point: www.ibm.com/bluemix
To start, go to www.ibm.com/bluemix, where you will discover that Bluemix is more than a PaaS solution. Bluemix is a complete cloud platform that includes app runtimes, services, and infrastructure. In other words, the Bluemix moniker now encompasses Bluemix services and SoftLayer offerings like bare metal servers. Here you will find details and be able to order bare metal servers, virtual servers, object storage, and other infrastructure offerings you previously ordered from SoftLayer’s website.
Certainly changes like this may prompt many questions, so rest assured we are taking things slowly to make sure you are guided through each step and can continue build awesome solutions with Bluemix. For example, softlayer.com won’t go away yet, so you’re free to explore the changes as time allows.
To get the drone solution running, you log into bluemix.net with your IBM ID. No longer will you have to manage separate SoftLayer and Bluemix IDs. Now it’s a single IBM ID.
Note: If you are an existing SoftLayer customer, you can choose to upgrade your account to access the full experience, or stay with your SoftLayer ID for now, but without the advantage of the single ID, invoice, or updated experience you’ll learn about below.
Once logged in, instantly you’ll see some changes. The new light-colored theme, new banner, new navigation, and an updated catalog. When you select the catalog, you’ll see three global categories:
- Infrastructure: Includes all infrastructure integrated from SoftLayer: Bare Metal Servers, Virtual Servers, VMware, Storage, and Security.
- Apps: Includes the application run-times you are familiar with in Bluemix today: Boilerplates, Cloud Foundry, Containers, OpenWhisk, and Mobile
- Services: Includes all the services you know and love in Bluemix today: Watson, Data & Analytics, IoT, DevOps, etc.
Think about it. Now in Bluemix you can create a drone insurance solution by ordering everything from bare metal servers to Watson to a Node.js runtime—all from one UI—and then manage each asset:
- Watson Visual Recognition – First you wanted to try out Watson. Sure enough, even with the sample apps you learn that Watson can ‘see’ images and be trained to see very specific details like storm damage.
- Cloud Foundry runtime – Perfect for you to just add code to create an intuitive web UI for the field agent to upload photos and manage claims
- Cloudant Database – Your CF app can index and tag all the photos that are uploaded
- Object Storage – Your CF app can then call the Swift API supported by Cloud Object Storage to store thousands of photos in your region of choice to honor government regulations and privacy laws
- Bare Metal – Finally you can code an application to create a 3D rendering of damaged areas using the speed of bare metal servers where you can customize how many processors, how much memory, and even customize with high-speed GPUs for lightning fast processing.
Now that you have activated all your resources and added your apps, you can use the new navigation bar on the left to focus in on what you want to manage. In the dropdown you’ll see the same Applications, Services, and Infrastructure categories that you saw in the catalog as well as detailed navigation selections to choose from. To navigate, simply select the menu icon on the far left (three lined graphic), and you’ll see the navigation fly out.
For example, if you want to view the bare metal servers you are using, select Infrastructure, then “Devices”. If you are familiar with how SoftLayer infrastructure is organized, this will be very similar for you. Then, if you want to jump back to see your applications and services, select “Applications > Dashboard” and you’ll see all apps and services in one view.
In this case you can see your Cloud Foundry, Watson, and Cloudant resources:
During your development of your solution, you may find that the DevOps services in Bluemix can help greatly to keep your solution automatically scaled, monitored, and automated.
Eventually, there may be times you need to open a ticket to get help from IBM. New today also is an integrated support UI. Regardless of the category you are in you can open tickets and track from that category. Further, we’ve enhanced our tiered support system so if you are paying for support, it now covers all of Bluemix—from Apps, Services, and Infrastructure.
With your drone solution now running, at the end of the month you will receive a single invoice. If you are an existing SoftLayer customer, once you upgrade your account you will receive a $200 Bluemix Applications/Services credit. One important note is that if you are a current Bluemix customer and you upgrade your account to access Bluemix Infrastructure, for now you will be billed in US Dollars, not your local currency.
Let us know what you think!
All of these enhancements are now available to all new customers as well as existing Bluemix trial and Pay-go customers and all existing SoftLayer customers.
We’re really excited to share these enhancements with you and would love to know what you think so we can continue to improve Bluemix to make it the best cloud platform you’ll ever use.