Some great technical experts participated in a panel on cloud technology at IMPACT. Working the way up the stack:
- Key element in Softlayer that drove the acquisition was the flexibility of their technology – that they could support various application types and workload, matching the available infrastructure to thee needs. The intent of rolling out Softlayer then is to provide an infrasturcture that does not require compromising on the workload or application design.
- Bluemix has been a big focus at this event. Bluemix is focused on exposing a lot of services at a variety of levels (infrastructure to business) so they can be composed and integrated into solutions.
- DevOps is being tied more tightly to the BlueMix platform so that a set of tools are available that “know” about the platform. Things like source code control, automated build, IDEs etc all integrated with the BlueMix platform.
- Over 100 SaaS offerings on the IBM cloud marketplace across a wide variety of business capabilities.
- Finally there’s a whole standards layer as IBM has become a big supporter of and player in open standards for cloud-based systems.
The critical issue here is how easy is to compose working solutions from these pieces. The focus therefore is on the end to end approach for development and deployment so that it is easy to do the right thing and assemble these components into a working solution. Hence also the support for Open Stack and Cloud Foundry.
Developers are not, of course, the only people that matter in a development team yet many of the cloud announcements are focused on the developer. IBM’s on premise tools support the full range of roles in DevOps but it’s going to take a while to get all these capabilities moved to the cloud.
Several themes came up during the panel – support for standards, support for communities, easy consumability, patterns (business and technical), rapid evolution and a focus on developers.