Codename Bluemix (it's a small “m” these days, you know) was officially announced at the end of April 2014. Based on Pivotal's Cloud Foundry, Bluemix is IBM's Platform as a Service offering designed to help businesses become more agile in their development of applications to meet client demands.
There are a lot of blog posts and videos across the web that describe Bluemix in detail, but I wanted to touch on the value to the IBM partner community. Let me begin by explaining my role.
My role in IBM is within Ecosystem Development (EcoD). Renamed from “ISV and Developer Relations”, EcoD's remit is to drive IBM technologies across our partner ecosystem. The term ecosystem can mean many things, but in this context we are talking not just about Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), but also the developer community, Managed Service Providers, start-ups and academic partners such as universities.
Within Bluemix there are a set of application runtimes and services. Some of the services are hosted in Bluemix, but some are not. This is important, because it means that your application can take advantage of services regardless of where they are located. As long as that service meets your needs, you don't necessarily care where it resides... that's the beauty of Platform-as-a-Service.
When you write an application it's very unlikely that you are just going to use a runtime (e.g. Node.js or Java). In reality you will want to add other items such as databases, messaging backends and/or mobile capabilities. In fact, what IBM is trying to do here is to add a vast array of services – ready to go, that you can use to develop the next killer solution in record time. Create a System Of Engagement that meets or exceeds the demands of your clients.
What makes me smile a little is that within a short space of time ANY screenshots of Bluemix become old. This is simply because additions to the services and the User Experience are being made on almost a weekly basis.
Anyway, you can see that these services are colour-coded. Blue outlined, not surprisingly, are IBM provided and supported services. The grey services are community services some of which will be very familiar to coders : mongodb, mysql etc.
The green hexagons are third party services. These are services provided by business partners of IBM. These services can be connected to using API calls.
Looking at it from the partner perspective, there are two ways that they can tap into Bluemix and generate revenue : 1) use Bluemix to deploy their solution into the cloud then sell a subscription model to it, or 2) provide a link to their solution as a service so that others can create applications and exploit the capabilities.
There is nothing to stop you from signing up to Bluemix today. Simply head to www.bluemix.net and register. At the time of writing, we are still in beta and it's free. Pricing will be released in due course ready for General Availability later this year.
So, if you are a ISV then Bluemix offers some real opportunities to present your solutions in the cloud. You can take advantage of the rapid development and deployment capabilities to get your solution into the cloud and charge for use. DevOps capabilities will make your development lifecycle more agile and YOU will benefit from all the Bluemix value propositions.
You can also host your solution on Bluemix or Softlayer and present it as a service in Bluemix for others to consume. The added benefit is that you will also appear in the IBM Cloud Marketplace. So reach out to your country's Ecosystem Development and start the conversation.