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IBM Pulse: 3 days of cloud, food and fun in Las Vegas

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IBM Pulse 2014

I am reporting live from the IBM Pulse Conference that started last Sunday in Las Vegas. Today is the third day of the conference, which turned out to be the biggest (11,000 attendees) to date. I guess this has something to do with the conference’s major focus on cloud computing. People are making “Bold Moves” after all!

Here is my short list of the things that I’ve seen so far at the conference:

Codename: BlueMix

At last year’s Pulse Conference, the major announcement was IBM endorsing OpenStack.  This time the star of the conference was the Codename: BlueMix announcement, which is IBM’s strategic cloud-based application development environment, based on the open source Cloud Foundry project. I am really impressed at the ease with which you can create applications on BlueMix. Bluemix can detect the programming language and launch the correct runtime (for example, IBM Java, IBM Liberty, JavaScript, Ruby) for you. During the opening keynote at Pulse, Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson did an on-stage demo, coding and deploying a mobile application using Node.js on BlueMix in just couple of minutes. I wish IBM had this technology when I was a developer 25 years ago!

IBM Power Systems and IBM PureApplication System on SoftLayer

Another important announcement was the availability of IBM Power Systems on SoftLayer. IBM announced that several IBM Watson applications running on Power Systems will be available on cloud (on SoftLayer) in Q2. I had a chance to see the beta versions of these applications at the Conference Expo Center. Apart from those Watson applications, we should expect some other Power Systems services to be available on SoftLayer in the future.

PureApplication System will be available on SoftLayer (currently in beta, GA Q2 2014), so you can now order PureApplication System on cloud. How cool is that?

Patterns availability on SoftLayer

When I saw Jason McGee’s name on the agenda, I did not think twice about attending his session. Jason is an IBM Fellow and a great speaker. He did not disappoint His session was about patterns on hybrid clouds. If you are not familiar with this concept, a pattern describes a repeatable solution that is based on specific sets of virtual images, middleware, applications and runtime configurations. The result of deploying a pattern is a configured, tuned and optimized application environment. Back in 1998 in my previous job at IBM, I put all these pieces together to deploy banking solutions, so I know from firsthand experience that these patterns save time and resources

In addition to SmartCloud Orchestrator and PureApplication System, you can now use patterns-based deployment on SoftLayer (currently in beta). What is more, with a click of a button you can transfer these patterns between public and private clouds. You have the option to transfer just the patterns (in case the products are already installed in the new environment) or patterns plus the images.

You might be wondering whether it is possible to break a pattern deployment between public and cloud environments. Jason said this is capability is coming. As of today there are more than 200 application and middleware patterns available from IBM and IBM Business Partners to simplify hybrid IT management. If you’d like to learn more about the cloud computing patterns, a great resource is the recently published IBM Redbooks title “Cloud Computing Patterns of Expertise.”

A delicious test case

Finally, at the Expo Center I saw a big food truck that uses cuisine as a test case to show how IBM cognitive systems running on the cloud can help you becoming innovative in your jobs. The system (called the Cognitive Kitchen) predicts what dishes humans would find tasty and creates a new dish each day to be served to the Pulse audience (Check out the post The IBM Food Truck: Powered by the SoftLayer cloud)

Did I like the new dishes? Yes, they are certainly innovative and surprising, but my answer would have been a wholehearted “YES,” had Cognitive Kitchen taken into account my absolute preference for dishes anything with fish! I was told that the IBM Food Truck will pop up next at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in March. Since I am from Austin, I will be there and give Cognitive Kitchen another chance!

So what do you think about these new announcements from IBM? Follow me on Twitter @VasfiGucer if you want to continue this discussion, or comment below.


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Check out more coverage from IBM Pulse 2014Frank Bauerle: Does cloud computing drive business agility?Allan Tate: Three ways IBM Pulse 2014 exemplifies our timesRob Phippen: Integration and cloud: A new chapter in a long story

Sarit Sotangkur: Five key takeaways for developers

Rakesh Ranjan: The data scientist’s guide to BlueMix

Angel Luis Diaz: IBM to sponsor Cloud Foundry Foundation

Michael J. Fork: IBM leads with Codename: BlueMix

Steve Strutt: Standing room only at Open Cloud Summit

Ron Kline: Hybrid cloud is here (and its future is dynamic)

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