IBM today unveiled what essentially amounts to a bridge between IT environments as most organizations know them now and an event-driven IT architecture that promises to abstract away the complexity of hybrid cloud computing.
At the IBM Interconnect 2016 conference, IBM announced it has formed a strategic partnership with VMware under which organizations that have standardized on VMware management tools will be able to manage virtual machines hosted on the IBM SoftLayer cloud.
At the same time, IBM is unfurling IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk, an event-driven framework for developing applications across distributed data center environments. IBM is also making the core OpenWhisk software that enables that capability available to the open source community. In addition, IBM announced that to help make it easier to build those applications, a private instance of the GitHub Enterprise code repository will be made available on the IBM Bluemix cloud platform.
IBM is also moving to make it simpler for Java developers to integrate existing applications into the cloud by unfurling IBM WebSphere Cloud Connect, which provides access to hundreds of connectors for applications running on, for example, the IBM application server platform. IBM, as part of that capability, is making available API Connect, which allows IT organizations to wrap their own IT infrastructure around a custom application programming interface (API). Other connectors provide integration with IBM mainframes, IBM Blockchain encryption software and hundreds of other connectors.
Also being highlighted at the conference today is a preview of the Swift programming language developed by Apple running in the cloud. A Swift runtime and a Swift Package Catalog promises to allow developers to, for the first time, build applications using the now open source Swift programming language that will run natively in the cloud as well as on Apple iOS clients. That runtime is part of the open source Kitura web application framework that IBM built to create Swift applications that run on Apple iOS clients and Linux servers.
Finally, IBM announced that the object storage technology that it gained by acquiring Cleversafe is now available as a cloud service, and revealed that Bitly will be migrating over 25 billion links on the IBM SoftLayer cloud.
IBM reports that over 90 percent of new applications are now being built in the cloud and that by 2020 there will be some 25 million cloud developers. Clearly, not all those applications are destined to run in the cloud. IBM expects that at least 80 percent of IT organizations will be managing hybrid cloud computing deployments.
Adam Gunther, program director for IBM Cloud Platform Services and Developer Advocacy in the IBM Cloud Product Management group, says IBM is committed to leveraging technologies such as OpenWhisk to make sure those hybrid cloud computing environments are essentially borderless from the perspective of a developer. The challenge now is figuring out how to turn that vision of hybrid cloud computing into an everyday programming reality.