The Why, What and How of Bluemix, the IBM Cloud Stack for Legacy Apps

Have you heard of Simon Sinek’s “startwithwhy” theory ? Simon offers a fabulous perspective on why “why” should be your first question ? Interesting right ? Simon believes that starting with “why” inspires action , so going by this inspirational theory I thought we should try to understand IBM Bluemix by first asking “Why Bluemix ?“

IBM Bluemix is big blue’s answer to the disruption in platform as a service (PaaS) cloud computing space. Bluemix is gaining momentum in India as well. This is touted to be an ideal platform for Indian startups to develop their applications and deploy them in fascinatingly short duration of time.

But why do we see so much focus on Bluemix or competing offerings in this space of cloud computing, such as EngineYard, Heroku or OpenShift?

This is intriguing because very few analysts had predicted this kind of demand coming in for a developer ecosystem.

Yes, Bluemix is a developer ecosystem, also referred to as PaaS in the cloud stack. But what is driving this focus on the developer ecosystem?

I believe that this happened due to a nexus of factors such as,

  • Business demands that necessitated developing of open, customer proximate, omnichannel applications
  • Enterprises sourcing developers and skills from external communities (crowdsourcing) to support their need for developing this “new age” applications
  • Ubiquity of devices , programming lanugages, development and operational techniques
  • The convergence of development and operations to support shorter life cycles of these “new age” applications
  • Demands on the infrastructure and application platform to scale, be reliable and perform under the looming magnitudes of workloads for these applications
  • Enterprises looking at cutting IT costs to balance their budgets
  • Fail fast development philosophy gaining acceptance as opposed to unacceptably long project cycles
  • Device penetration among employees, partners and customers
  • A growing need for access to information everywhere and anytime and with uncompromised speed
  • The need to innovate in process, strategy, sales and marketing in order to stay in business
  • Explore and experiment channels to establish or gain customer reach

Of course, there may be more, but these factors should be able to build a convincing case for why the need for a developer ecosystem has surfaced, why demand has grown for PaaS and why cloud has become so pervasive. All this subsequently answers the question: Why Bluemix?

To look at it specifically in the context of India, we see that today India is seeing technology start-up culture mushrooming in its own soil, bluemix provides the perfect platform for these start ups to embrace innovation at affordable IT infrastructure and development costs. Bluemix helps these start-ups to minimize on their CapEx and helps them to get started and get going with minimal OpEx.

Having got a perspective on the why, let’s look at the what of Bluemix.

To state it simply, IBM Bluemix is a PaaS stack that offers developer ecosystem to enable rapid building, deployment and managing of new age applications. These new age applications are typically systems of engagement apps that are interactive, situational and context-aware.

Bluemix provides middleware and application infrastructure offered as composable services to application development. Bluemix also provides APIs for a mix of third-party and community developed services.

Further , DevOps services on Bluemix, provides the necessary tools for development, deployment and management of the applications, not to forget all this runs on very capable infrastructure service offering from IBM SoftLayer.

Click here For a great overview on What is Bluemix .

Now, let’s take a look at the how of Bluemix.

IBM recently announced the general availability of Bluemix. This means that all basic accounts remain free. If you don’t already have an account, you can just go to, register, and get free instant access to a 30-day trial without a credit card. This also has further information on the Bluemix pricing .

This great video tutorial by David Barnes demonstrates the capabilities of Bluemix and elaborates on how to get started with IBM Bluemix.

Before signing off, it is befitting to reference here an article that explains the development experience on Bluemix, leveraging what the platform has to offer.

There is a gamut of examples you can find in IBM DeveloperWorks , but I chose to share this example that explains on setting up an opensource web analytics service called Piwik on Bluemix.

Try Bluemix & experience the disruption in development experience !

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