As part of an ongoing effort to make it simpler to manage and analyze massive amounts of data residing in the IBM Bluemix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment in the cloud, IBM today unfurled a managed service, IBM Compose Enterprise, making it easier to create and spin up open source databases in the IBM cloud. It also adds a service that enables developers to create machine learning models. Databases supported by IBM Compose include MongoDB, Elasticsearch, Redis, PostgreSQL, RethinkDB, RabbitMQ and etcd running on a private cloud network hosted on IBM Softlayer or Amazon Web Services.
IBM also announced it is opening IBM Analytics Exchange, a service through which developers and data scientists can access an initial catalog of 150 data sets that can be integrated into their applications.
Finally, IBM announced IBM Graph, a graph database delivered as a service using the Apache TinkerPop graph database project.
Adam Kocoloski, distinguished engineer and CTO of IBM Cloud Data Services, says each one of these efforts is designed to complement IBM’s effort to focus more IT attention on how open source technologies such as TinkerPop and the Apache Spark project provide a neutral format through which information stored in other platforms can be more easily shared. Apache Spark, for example, is widely associated with Hadoop but in fact is designed to support multiple data sources, says Kocoloski.
All told, IBM says 25 distinct services are now available on Bluemix. Much work is still to be done on making various cloud instances interoperable with each other at the data layer, but Kocoloski says the more IT organizations stick to open source technologies, the easier it is to achieve that goal. In the meantime, Kocoloski says IBM is making it clear the open source database technologies are its primary priority as far as Bluemix services are concerned.
It’s still too early to say how data management in the cloud will evolve. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is clearly the dominant infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider, but IBM is trying to leverage its broad portfolio of database, middleware and analytics software to make Bluemix a force to be reckoned with in the cloud. A big part of that effort, adds Kocoloski, is achieving enough of a critical mass of data to allow the forces of data gravity to eventually create an ecosystem that is simply too large for application developers to ignore.