September 24, 2014 | Written by: Vasfi Gucer
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Imagine the ability to explore hundreds of IBM and Business Partner services in one place. Sounds intriguing, right? This is the promise of IBM Cloud marketplace. In this post, I will talk about the top five things you should know when heading off to the market.
- You can find the right solutions without being overwhelmed
Cloud computing is here to stay; there is no denying it. But when you are moving to a new platform with a whole set of new capabilities, there is always a challenge in where to start. Just remember the day you bought your first smartphone. If you were confused about which app to use, you are not alone!
One of the key questions enterprise IT managers and business leaders ask is “How do I find the cloud services I need to create an enterprise grade cloud application?” I believe this a great feature of IBM Cloud marketplace. It can help you find the right cloud solutions from IBM and Business Partners by providing a wide selection to choose from.
(Related: Your new favorite local market: IBM as a service)
- IBM Cloud marketplace is like a technology farmers’ market
I love farmers’ markets. I truly enjoy browsing and tasting all kinds of fruits, vegetables and meats sold by different farmers and vendors. I can buy the ones that I like most. I like the fact that I can experience the product before buying it. IBM Cloud marketplace has a similar concept. There over 200 cloud services in the IBM Cloud marketplace both from IBM and Business Partners. You can discover, learn about and try all these services before making a decision. IBM Cloud marketplace offers multiple opportunities for this. For example, you can get the product details, read articles that explain how the service can be used in a real life scenario, ask an expert questions, watch an interactive how-to demo or even start using the service with a no-charge trial.
- IBM Cloud marketplace has something for everyone
IBM Cloud marketplace provides a catalog of enterprise services under a single URL. These services span three categories: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
SaaS, or business apps, is for line-of-business unit users that are looking to tap into business applications in the cloud. There are multiple roles in this category as shown in the following figure. By clicking on a role, you can see which applications are available for it.
PaaS, or dev platform, is for developers. Here you can peruse two types of services that cater to developers:
– First you can see traditional application topologies, provided as patterns. For example, if you go to the IBM Cloud marketplace dev platform site and click on IBM WebSphere MQ Hypervisor Edition for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you can see the “WebSphere MQ messaging in virtualized environments“ pattern. You can deploy this pattern using either IBM Workload Deployer or IBM PureApplication System.
– The second type of PaaS services in this area are related to new applications on cloud that typically talk to the traditional systems. Most of these services are available through IBM Bluemix and will take you to the Bluemix site (for example, MongoDB). Others are not yet available through Bluemix (such as Load Impact, which takes you to the product overview page).
IaaS, or infrastructure, is targeted primarily for the support of IT operations. Here you can find IBM SoftLayer self-service and IBM fully managed virtual infrastructure and environments.
- IBM Cloud marketplace is your key for smarter shopping
How many times have you visited a shopping website and gotten lost browsing hundreds of products in the catalog? If I go to a farmers’ market to buy meat, I just want to go to the meat section. Similarly, when I visit a shopping website, I want the website to give me some kind of guidance on where I should look. In a sense, I want the website to speak my language. For example if I am DevOps developer, I am only interested to see the solutions in this area instead of browsing the whole catalog of services or products.
One of the powerful elements of IBM Cloud marketplace is featured solutions. Featured solutions are a set of services brought together to help customers solve a business problem. You can call them repeatable use cases. You will see seven different types of featured solutions.
When you click on these links, you see the descriptions of different types of solutions in each area. In the near future I expect more categorization here; for example, industries or geography-focused solutions.
- IBM Business Partner services are a key part of the IBM Cloud marketplace
Today you can find a lot of services from IBM Business Partners on the IBM Cloud marketplace, and this number is growing. IBM has an intensive program for Business Partners to become a part of the program. A key selection criterion for these partner services is appropriateness for enterprise buyers, which is the target market for IBM Cloud marketplace. Most of these services run on SoftLayer, and are integrated with Bluemix or deployed through pattern technology. Although the services are provided by Business Partners, billing is done by IBM, so it is a one stop shopping experience.
You can also harness the power of IBM Cloud marketplace alongside the expertise of IBM Redbooks publications.
Give the IBM Cloud marketplace a try. I need to drive 18 miles to go to the nearest farmers’ market. For this market, you don’t need a car!