If you logged into Bluemix late last week you might have noticed some changes. Probably the biggest change you might have noticed is that the IBM Containers service has moved out of beta and is now generally available. I have put together a video demonstrating the basic functionality of the IBM Containers service in Bluemix. This should be enough to get you familiar with the service and get you on your way to deploying your own Docker containers to Bluemix.
Recently Trent Gray-Donald, Distinguished Engineer for our analytics services and I hosted a webinar with Database Trends and Applications, a leading community of technically-minded people interested in data and information management, big data, and data science. The topic was Insights on using Spark by IBM and covered what capabilities Spark brought to the table, what types of business and technical challenges it could solve, the firsthand challenges we’ve encountered in using Spark and integrating it into our portfolio, and our recommendations for others embarking on a similar path. We had a great time hosting the webinar and enjoyed the very engaged audience, especially as they had great questions. This blog post includes answers to the ones we did not have time to answer during the call.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since we announced the general availability of Bluemix. But, in honor of our first anniversary, we’ve got some big news to share. The exciting updates that went live late last week include the official release of IBM Containers, service keys to facilitate connecting to services from outside of Bluemix, usability improvements, and enhancements to documentation.
Application monitoring and logging is akin to our need for electricity in everyday life. Without it, an application is running in the dark. Finding and fixing issues is near impossible. Operating in a dynamically scaling cloud environment amplifies the consequences. Thanks to integrated monitoring and logging available in IBM Containers, developers have access to key monitoring and logging data from within the cloud platform. No agents required.
Instead of hard-coding or manually passing in environment variable parameters from the command-line, developers can dynamically and programmatically bind service instances to container instances on Bluemix using IBM Containers. This how-to shows you one way to access the bound service information when you need it prior to the main Docker executable starting.
As part of the Watson development platform’s continued expansion, IBM is today introducing the latest set of cognitive services to move into General Availability (GA) that will drive new Watson powered applications. They include the GA release of IBM Watson Language Translation (a merger of Language Identification and Machine Translation), IBM Speech to Text, and IBM Text to Speech.
The App Management feature in IBM SDK for Node.js and Liberty for Java makes it possible to enable development capabilities such as remote debugging and incremental update, along with more general application management features. App Management now also supports analyzing the performance of your Liberty and Node.js applications when in development mode with Health Center.
Is your Docker container secure? While Docker brings about great benefits in sharing and reuse of software components packaged as images, these benefits are greatly diminished if the images cannot be trusted. The best opportunities in security remediation are to identify and correct, in real time, any misconfiguration or known vulnerable systems. To address this concern, the Bluemix Vulnerability Advisors service gives container developers a view into their image security properties and gives guidance on how images should be improved to meet common sense best practices and upgrade to known industry fixes.
API Harmony is now available in the Bluemix Labs, ready for you. API Harmony allows you to search Public APIs and find interesting relationships amongst them. Until today, finding the most suitable APIs to use in an application was burdensome, requiring manual and time-consuming searches across a diverse set of web sites. Most commonly cited API directories often included stale information, making them unreliable and hard to utilize. Furthermore, the information was primarily limited to a single API, with no indication available about how multiple APIs could work together – any notion of compatibility between APIs was non-existent. This is about to change.