RESEARCH & RESOURCES

IBM Cloud Makes Hybrid a Reality for the Enterprise

Big Blue extends client control, visibility, and security to the public cloud; tools to accelerate apps and services that use IBM Watson.

Note: TDWI’s editors carefully choose vendor-issued press releases about new or upgraded products and services. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the vendor's statements.

IBM has announced new Hybrid Cloud technology and investments that will solve the biggest challenges enterprises face as they adopt cloud technology and integrate existing applications, data, and services across a multitude of traditional systems and clouds. The company also unveiled new tools and resources in the cloud to speed the development of cognitive computing apps and services powered by IBM Watson.  

IBM is delivering a series of technologies and services on the IBM Cloud that will extend clients’ control, visibility, security, and governance that are inherent to their private cloud and traditional IT systems to incorporate into the public cloud. In doing so, this will also provide increased data portability across environments and make it easier for developers to work across cloud and non-cloud environments.  

According to Gartner, 75 percent of large enterprises expect to have hybrid cloud deployments this year. IBM is dedicating the talents of more than half its cloud development team to hybrid cloud innovations, including hundreds of developers working solely on open cloud standards.

As companies continue to move towards a digital transformation, the cloud must serve as an extension of the company's existing infrastructure. It must provide the same level of security, control, and visibility they have come to expect. It must also provide the flexibility to run critical applications and processes in an environment that mirrors and extends their existing one. Through the SoftLayer infrastructure combined with the new services IBM is announcing, clients with now have the right tools and environment to combine all of their data no matter it resides to respond to changing market dynamics.

According to IDC, 80 percent of new cloud applications are predicted to be big-data intensive and much of it born on the cloud, brought on by the convergence of mobile applications, e-commerce transactions, and other Web applications, companies are struggling to gain value in the data being generated in today's digital revolution.  As a result, businesses are increasingly struggling with incorporating, managing and gaining insights into processes and data with the required security, governance, and performance.

"Today, we are launching a new class of cloud innovations that extend open standards capabilities for the enterprise. This will help break down the barriers between clouds and on premise IT systems, providing clients with control, visibility and security as they utilize the public clouds,” said IBM SVP Robert LeBlanc. "Data location across an ever-growing number of clouds is an increasing concern for customers and we are unveiling new portability and developer services to make this easier to manage.”

By surfacing the following services via Bluemix, IBM is helping create a hybrid cloud environment that provides clients with the tools they require to extend their business to the cloud.

Control, Visibility, and Security

New services that extend clients’ control, visibility, security and governance of their traditional environment to the public cloud, including:

  • IBM DataWorks: New, intuitive tooling and experience to find, refine, enrich, and deliver trusted data. This allows developers to subdivide and manipulate data sets from the treasure trove of public and private data.
  • Collaborative Operations: Enhanced visibility and control of your hybrid environments with a single, end-to-end view.
  • Orchestration: Available as a service enabling management across hybrid environments that is the largest federated orchestration library in the industry.
  • Security: New features protect the most vital data and applications using analytics across the enterprise, public and private clouds and mobile devices.

Accelerate Development of New Apps Powered by Watson

IBM is introducing new tools, resources, training materials, and code to accelerate the development and delivery of an entirely new class of cognitive computing apps and services powered by Watson.  

  • Watson Zone:  A new center of information and capabilities on Bluemix that bring together developers, partners, customers, and cognitive services from Watson including sample code, training resources and use cases to help inspire and guide users. These resources come together to help infuse cognitive computing capabilities into cloud and mobile applications.  
  • Watson Personality Insights Service:  The first beta service to become generally available for commercial use via Bluemix.  The Watson Personality Insights service (formerly known as User Modeling during beta) allows developers to integrate new cognitive capabilities that can analyze trends and patterns in diverse, high volume social media and other public data streams.
  • New Beta Watson Services:  New beta Watson services added to Bluemix including: speech to text, text to speech, visual recognition, concept insights, and tradeoff analytics. These services are available free of charge to help developers explore potential use cases.  Since October 2014, more than 5,000 partners, developers, data hobbyists, entrepreneurs and students have already built 6,000 apps using the beta Watson Services available on Bluemix.

Bringing Portability to Enterprise Applications

New portability services and open standards to easily move enterprise workloads across environments to bring the app closer to the data or the data closer to the app, including IBM Enterprise Containers, which help developers rapidly build and deliver applications by extending native Linux containers with Docker APIs to provide enterpriseclass visibility, control, and security as well as an added level of automation. Solutions developed in a cloud environment could be brought to on-premises systems for execution, allowing many of the benefits of cloud computing to be realized for data that cannot be moved to cloud for processing for reasons of data sensitivity, size, or performance.

Increasing Developer Productivity

New services enable developers to more quickly, effectively, and securely connect apps, data and services across an open and flexible environment of traditional systems, cloud platforms, and any device, seamlessly weaving data and services with APIs to compose new apps and services, including:

  • Secure Passport Gateway: Allows self-service to developers to securely connect data and services to Bluemix in minutes through a simple Passport service that keeps IT in control
  • API Harmony: Find a perfect API match for your application using the world’s largest knowledge base of APIs; easily expose and manage APIs
  • Bluemix Local: Extends Bluemix into your data center with borderless visibility and management across Bluemix environments (public, dedicated, and local)

In addition, IBM recently announced the Bluemix Watson Zone that provides an intelligent search to assist developers make sense of all of the best programming, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding what is best suited for their cloud environment quicker than ever before.

To make much of this possible, many of these new services rely on open technologies. As a top contributor to a number of open foundations including Cloud Foundry and OpenStack, IBM has dedicated hundreds developers to advancing open technologies for the hybrid cloud market. This has led to using OpenStack-based services to provide companies with the means to deploy and manage cloud workloads and package them in containers that ensure an open approach to portability.

For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/cloud.

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