I hadn’t heard about Bluemix until about two weeks ago, which I was a little surprised by, since I have been keeping an ear to the ground with all stuff cloud-related – or so I thought. But perhaps you can’t blame IBM for playing it cool with their new PaaS cloud offering. It was only released into the wild a few months ago.
I was invited to a “Bluemix Day” out at the IBM campus last week, which I went along to. It contained surprisingly little sales-talk and was aimed very much at us techies. That in itself made the trip out there worth it. We got a bit of background to Bluemix, and SoftLayer, the infrastructure provider that IBM purchased last year and that Bluemix is built on top of. All very interesting, but then we spent the rest of the day spinning up instances and deploying sample applications, etc. – all led by our very capable IBM instructor, Brian Innes.
I think IBM may be onto a winner here, or at least I hope so. As someone who has worked for big, conservative corporations and who is no stranger to that look of fear and loathing when talking about the cloud amongst colleagues, I welcome IBM’s entry to the party. Because if IBM is doing it then it must be okay.
All sarcasm aside, what Bluemix appears to be offering is actually quite impressive. I’m not going to go through all of it here – check it out yourself. However, a couple of things did strike me as getting it right. Firstly, it is not just IBM products and services on offer, there seemed to be a number of third-party and community (open-source) options too. Secondly, is the pricing. You get 30 days free trial, which is nice, but you’re not going to get a whole lot done in 30 days. The good bit is that you still get a certain amount of free GB-hours every month thereafter, enough to play around with and do some demo’s to show your boss.