IBM begins moving software portfolio to the cloud

IBM's BlueMix project aims to bring all of IBM's cloud services together under a single architecture

Swiftly putting its recently acquired Softlayer global cloud to use, IBM is moving much of its software portfolio and all of its existing platform services to the Softlayer cloud, where they all can be accessed as services under a common open architecture.

"We're going to bring a lot of IBM middleware over into a cloud environment, so it will be consumable worldwide," said Lance Crosby, CEO of Softlayer, a public cloud company IBM purchased last year for US$2 billion.

IBM will also launch a marketplace where organizations and developers can search for and deploy their IBM applications and services of choice. It will offer a set of IBM software patterns for sets of applications and services that are commonly used in conjunction with one another for some predefined service. The marketplace will have over 2,000 products, including applications available as a service through application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as patterns and IBM services already in operation.

IBM has worked on this initiative for awhile, under the code name BlueMix. The company plans to introduce the first BlueMix services Monday at its annual Pulse cloud user conference in Las Vegas.

BlueMix will use IBM's global network of 40 data centers, which the company is still building out on top of the Softlayer cloud. Last month, IBM announced that it would invest $1.2 billion into building this global infrastructure.

To render its applications as services, IBM will use the open-source Cloud Foundry framework, currently managed by Pivotal. It will also offer a developer environment that uses the open source Git repository, and has a Web IDE (integrated development environment), along with Eclipse and Visual Studio plug-ins.

By 2019, 67 percent of software programmers will primarily be developing in the cloud, up from 18 percent today, predicted Evans Research.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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Joab Jackson

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