Looking to extend the reach of the IBM Bluemix cloud service into the on-premise environment, IBM today unveiled an instance of the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment that is deployed in a local data center but managed remotely by IBM.
Damion Heredia, director of IBM MobileFirst Software, says Bluemix Local represents the third form of Bluemix that IBM has developed. The other two are a public cloud service and a private cloud service that run on the IBM SoftLayer cloud.
This third instance of Bluemix is managed via Relay, which enables IBM to push updates to Bluemix out to multiple customers from a centrally managed service running in an IBM data center. Heredia says IBM leverages Relay for the multiple instances of Bluemix that IBM already manages across its own data centers.
Based on open source PaaS software developed under the auspices of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, Heredia says Bluemix Local goes beyond the scope of traditional managed services because it creates a vehicle through which IBM can provide access to additional services that manifest themselves via Bluemix application programming interfaces (APIs), including IBM Watson. IBM says it is currently exposing 120 services through Bluemix that Heredia noted can all be easily discovered via the same IBM Catalog.
Ultimately, Heredia says the goal is enable a set of “borderless” IT services that organizations can not only dynamically invoke at will, but also, depending on their own performance goals and compliance requirements, decide to consume in different places inside and out of the cloud.
The degree to which IT organizations want to rely on IBM to manage those instances of Bluemix on their behalf may naturally vary. But at a time when many IT organizations are trying to add more value by developing unique applications, every minute spent managing IT operations is one less dollar they have available to spend on developing those applications.