IBM Pours $1 Billion into Enterprise 'Capabilities-as-a-Service' Offerings

To help clients and developers speed the adoption of hybrid clouds, IBM announced a new development environment and capabilities-as-a-service. As part of its initiative, IBM said it has invested more than $1 billion for software cloud development and is launching new capabilities running on SoftLayer, the cloud computing infrastructure company that it acquired in June 2013.

IBM Opens Software Portfolio to the Cloud 

IBM said it is opening its extensive enterprise software portfolio to the cloud and launching an open beta codenamed BlueMix, a new platform-as-service (PaaS) that combines IBM software, third-party and open technologies. BlueMix provides DevOps in the cloud.

IBM Agrees to Acquire Cloudant

IBM also announced a definitive agreement to acquire Boston, MA-based Cloudant, Inc., a privately held database-as-a-service (DBaaS) provider that enables developers to create mobile and web apps. Cloudant will extend IBM's big data and analytics, cloud computing and mobile offerings and become an essential component of BlueMix.

IBM is bringing its middleware portfolio, including WebSphere, to SoftLayer through pre-defined software patterns to extend existing applications to the cloud. More than 200 application and middleware patterns are currently available from IBM and IBM Business Partners, IBM said. The company  is making SoftLayer the foundation of its cloud portfolio,  and adding new cloud services on SoftLayer, including IBM Systems Management as a Service.

IBM Strengthens Developer Ecosystem 

IBM continues to invest in and expand the services running on SoftLayer, including DevOps to provide essential capabilities to plan, develop, test, deploy and monitor applications, and “systems management as a service.” IBM also announced that it is integrating its Power Systems into its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure.

“We are combining the strength of our developer ecosystem with the depth of subject matter expertise in domains such as mobile, big data and DevOps, to build a scalable model that easily spans from a single developer to global teams,” said Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president for software and cloud solutions.

As part of BlueMix, IBM is also adding a lineup of developer services focused on mobile, web apps, integration, DevOps and data management. In addition, IBM is continuing to make available to developers its suites of business applications (SaaS) as composable API-based services, such as Watson, commerce, security, analytics, marketing and others. As an example, using BlueMix, developers can leverage middleware services to build a new sales app that can provide retail associates with access to inventory management information from systems of record at the time of customer engagement.

BlueMix includes services to store and manage code (using the popular Git repository), a built-in web integrated development environment (IDE), and Eclipse and Visual Studio integrations to let developers use whichever environment they prefer.  DevOps Services enable agile planning and tracking to share work and collaborate across team members, as well as application deployment automation to streamline the delivery of new function, mobile quality, and performance monitoring to help learn and iterate more quickly. By integrating across the software delivery lifecycle, DevOps services help developers move faster from an idea to an application that meets users' needs.

For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, go here.