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July 22, 2014

BlueMix Brings Enterprise DevOps to the MidMarket

SaaS pricing model bring PaaS to everyone

A couple of weeks ago I went up to Orlando for the IBM Innovation conference. The event was at the Swan/Dolphin resort in Disney World. IBM knows how to throw a conference and Innovate had all of the bells and whistles. But most of all it had great learning opportunities by hearing from some leading thinkers on what the future of development and software innovation looks like.

One thing on prominent display was IBM’s BlueMix PaaS. Hosted on IBM’s SoftLayer hosting platform but portable enough to play on other cloud infrastructure, BlueMix is an entire ecosystem of building blocks allowing you to build fully functional applications rapidly.

In typical IBM fashion BlueMix is a really deep, well thought out development platform. It is the kind of offering that midmarket companies typically look at yearningly, but know that price wise it may be out of their reach. For good reason, that kind of functionality typically doesn’t come cheap. But we live in amazing times.

Thanks to the SaaS model that BlueMix is based on, this great PaaS platform is priced for everyone. Speaking to IBM I was told that BlueMix pricing probably won’t be announced until the end of June. However I was assured that the pricing will very reasonable for even small organizations.

That is the promise of the SaaS model. Since it is hosted and you just “pay as you go” the best IBM has to offer is now within the grasp of smaller organizations. The cloud and DevOps are the ultimate equalizers.

So what can BlueMix do for you, now that you can afford it? Let’s start with exactly what BlueMix is:

Bluemix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture, leveraging Cloud Foundry to enable developers to rapidly build, deploy, and manage their cloud applications, while tapping a growing ecosystem of available services and runtime frameworks. 

BlueMix allows you to literally build a full featured app in minutes. The best way to show you I think is through one of the excellent videos the BlueMix team has put up. Here is a great demo of BlueMix in action:

https://youtu.be/ZR_jDitw0Sc (will be embedded in blog)

This kind of ease of use and power in building apps was only the stuff of dreams for even the biggest companies just a few years ago. Now this class of solution is within your reach.

If you haven’t already you should check out a BlueMix demo during IBM’s 200 days of BlueMix which are being held all over the world. I saw several demos during Innovate and was surprised how much was layered into BlueMix.

Of course Innovate wasn’t all BlueMix. There was lots of great stuff on DevOps.  My personal highlights were the keynote presentation by Gene Kim, author of the Phoenix Project and a friend of mine and the presentation by the CIO of GE Capital Bank, Vasanthi Sekhar.  Both were excellent!

Overall a big theme of the show was that IBM is a leader in DevOps and that DevOps was not just for the Googles and Facebooks of the world. Big banks, insurance companies and other large organizations are all benefiting from using DevOps in their IT organizations. This was in direct contrast to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal that DevOps was not ready for the enterprise yet.  Based on what I saw there is no doubt.

There was a lot of talk that next year IBM may be consolidating several of their larger shows like Innovate into one super show.  If so, it will be a do not miss event.

In the meantime BlueMix pricing will be out around the end of the month and available to everyone. It could change the way you develop applications whether you are a large enterprise or a midmarket team.


This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions


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