IBM Announces BlueMix - The IBM PaaS

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 25, 2014

BlueMix is IBM’s foray into the increasingly powerful Platform as a Service (PaaS) industry, leveraging Cloud Foundry and IBM’s own suite of middleware applications. The entry of big blue into the arena is sending shockwaves through the PaaS economy, and for good reason. As reported by ZDNet, IBM is starting off by betting a billion dollars on their offering, and is expecting to bring in $7 billion in revenue on the project by the end of 2015.

IBM’s explanation of BlueMix is clearly targeted at marketing and executives:

BlueMix is IBM’s open platform for developing and deploying omni-channel applications, such as mobile and web applications. BlueMix delivers a set of pre-built services and hosting infrastructure to host application and business logic for mobile and web developers.

IBM provides four application runtimes for developers to build on:

  • Liberty for Java™ - A stripped down version of IBM WebSphere application server marketed as “WebSphere Liberty Profile”.
  • Node.js
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Ruby Sinatra

IBM is positioning BlueMix as a platform for rapid development of fast-changing mobile applications, what IBM, predictably, is calling “systems of engagement”. The world of enterprise IT is changing, and it is obvious that someone at IBM is paying attention. The corporation continues to reinvent itself to keep pace with the the industry. With the release of BlueMix, IBM enters into direct competition with Red Hat’s OpenShift, Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk, Heroku, and many other players in the PaaS environment.

One thing not talked about in the press release is the hardware that IBM has built BlueMix on. I would not be surprised at all to find that BlueMix runs entirely on IBM P-Series hardware and Linux. Given IBM’s billion-dollar investment in that arena already, it makes sense that they would capitalize on their own hardware and their contributions to the open source community to port applications to power. However, I would find it curious if IBM did not choose to use P-Series hardware in BlueMix, which would be close to a confession that Power is not suitable for large scale cloud deployments. And of course, if IBM doesn’t use their own hardware, why should we?