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IBM Bluemix and Application Development

Speed, flexibility, and mobility are all coveted by developers when it comes to app development.
New Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) offerings are allowing developers to focus on building code and apps without being slowed down by backend infrastructure concerns.

These new agile platforms, like IBM Bluemix, are shaking up the development industry.

Here’s a quick review in case you don’t yet know about IBM’s new revolutionary, open cloud platform. 

How IBM Bluemix Helps Businesses

  • Pick from a Range of Pre-configured Services and Programming Models

  • Build and extend web and mobile apps faster with fit-for-purpose programming models and elastic workloads.
  • Gain Faster App Delivery and Better Management

  • Better manage releases and automate app deployments so your company doesn’t get bogged down with bottlenecks. This helps reduce costs, mitigate risk and waste, and speed time to market.
  • Monitor Apps 24x7

  • Automated monitoring helps companies optimize apps to improve user experience in private data centers, clouds, or hybrid environments.
  • Develop and Test in a Collaborative Environment

  • Integrate your code editor with a version control system – like GitHub – to enable your teams to develop collaboratively. Integrated testing eases the handoff between development and IT ops.

[For a more in-depth refresher on IBM Bluemix, check out our previous blog, IBM Bluemix for Beginners]

IBM Bluemix and other virtual stack open platforms have become critical to today’s development strategies, especially since the ever-changing needs of workforces drive new app requirements.

Developers in charge of supporting fast-paced business needs require more than an open cloud platform, though.

They need to be able to manage and run apps seamlessly between traditional, cloud, and hybrid computing environments. IBM Containers acts as that buffer and adds a new layer of functionality to the Bluemix open platform.

In a sit-down session, Jason McGee (IBM Fellow, VP, CTO, and IBM Cloud Foundation Services leader) and Rick Osowski (Product Manager of IBM Cloud Foundation Services) discussed how IBM Containers and IBM Bluemix are changing the way developers operate for the better.

Before jumping into the game-changing functionality, they started by painting the picture of how IBM Containers and IBM Bluemix software pair so well together.

How IBM Bluemix and IBM Containers Are Shaking Up the Cloud Industry

Acting as the platform that fits between IBM’s open cloud foundry Bluemix and your company’s internal data center, IBM Containers is that middle ground platform that allows developers to choose the run time capacity that fits their need.

Developers who have to perform a lift-and-shift and need full control over an environment, for instance, have the VMs in place to execute that task.

At the same time, if developers have code that they just want to push out with minimal run-around, they have access to the open cloud foundry and gain instant run times.

Even if you have code with some dependencies and you want to control how it’s built, linked, and delivered, developers have Docker there in the middle to act as a buffer.

In the end, developers can manage how fast they go and how much control they need – all with the full flexibility to choose their platform of choice.

Delivering containers in this broader environment gives people options to pick the tech that best fits their workloads.

And, with more options, developers are not being forced to manage the rest of the stack, including management or operation pieces. Through IBM Bluemix and Containers, developers get the same type of management capabilities with their choice of run time.

IBM Containers has become a critical element of cloud strategy today.

It is the first enterprise container service of its kind. Just look at everything it can do.

Best features of IBM Bluemix and Containers 

In Osowski and McGee’s eyes, these were the 11 greatest features of IBM Bluemix and Containers that make the lives of developers easier.

  1. Run on Bare Metal

    Gain pure performance. With the option to run bare metal instead of inside VMs, developers can just focus on the containers they’re working on without having to worry about building off of another model.

    This is also simpler for users since they don’t have to manage Docker hosts or set anything up. With IBM Containers, there is no encapsulation or extraction. In addition, this is all without a hypervisor tax that other container services charge.
  1. Operate Using Your Own Private Registry

    Manage your own images and options with your own private registry. You can also pull from other available registries with access to over 150 services available from Bluemix. As a result, you can start quickly composing some of your own applications instead of managing additional services and components.

    This PaaS type of environment allows developers or cloud engineers to move fast because it offers more control and flexibility of applications – from your laptop to the full power of a data center.

    For instance, when you’re done building an application on your laptop, IBM Containers allows you to easily transition that code to a large data center and run it in real executions and production settings.

    Management capabilities are built right into the platform for integrated monitoring and logging. With this additional service through Bluemix, developers can manage and scale at will.
  1. Keep Code Up-to-code with Built-in Security

    The vulnerability advisor automatically scans your work once you load your images to display vulnerable packages and security policies that would be applicable to your work.

    As developers start building images on top of other images, the security policies will all be visible. This all-encompassing vision into your full stack of images allows developers to move faster and feel more secure as they’re building. 
  1. Run Containers in Clusters to Ease Management

    Don’t get stuck managing single containers as your teams of developers continue to build out these environments.

    Instead, companies need the flexibility to manage either single or container groups to ensure these environments are resilient. Companies that take advantage of a cloud environment’s elasticity gain restart flexibility and routing, all of which are managed behind your private network.

    With IBM Bluemix and IBM Containers, companies combine the elasticity of cloud with the ability to run clustered applications. And, depending on your workload, developers can use what they need.
  1. Built-in Limits Keep Container Usage In-check with Costs

    With cloud environments, companies must be sure that they are staying within usage and budget restrictions to avoid surprise costs.

    IBM Containers puts in limits and allows for resource loads to be assigned to specific containers. All of this is to ensure that one container isn’t eating up the whole space, as well as to maintain cost-effective service levels.
  1. Deploy What You Need and Not More

    Companies that move to a VM-based cloud are forced to take on large deployments. They have to go big and invest.

    With IBM Containers, it’s all about going smaller. This solution is designed to wrap around a single process.

    As a result, companies doesn’t even require a few gigabytes of RAM to run off a single process.
  1. Operate Containers in a Private Environment and Easily Switch to Cloud

    With the IBM Containers service, you have the flexibility to work from a public and private registry.

    You can have a full private network model, where some services run private to your applications. At the same time, some of your other services can go to the public internet. Even the transition from private to public is painless.

    Your entire resource set is available on your private network automatically, is already pre-integrated, and is ready to route to a public IP. You expose chosen ports to additional public IPs or through a route as required. Expose as many ports as you want when you’re ready for an application to go public.
  1. Develop and Configure Using the Tools You’re Used To

    As a developer, you get used to a certain set of tools.

    With the open standards of IBM Bluemix and Containers, you don’t have to change between tools or learn something new. Developers can make configurations they want and use these cloud platforms any way they see fit.

    And, with Docker capabilities, developers can have their various containers link to be aware of one another.
  1. Built-in Networking Eliminates Network Complications

    As a PaaS, IBM Bluemix and Containers offers a full networking model, so developers don’t have to worry about port conflicts.

    These solutions map internal and external ports, so companies don’t have two ports running at the same time. The service takes care of it all for you. 
  1. Access to IBM Cloud Data Solutions and Other Services

    Through IBM Bluemix and Containers, companies can gain fast access to the latest analytics technologies, like IBM Watson and IBM’s newly acquired DBaaS subsidiary company, Compose.

From operations services to mobile services, companies gain access to anything they need to run as a service in the cloud with IBM Bluemix. And, with IBM Containers, you can launch and run it easily, quickly, and efficiently.

Using a mix of containers and services, developers can have a field-day creating in an environment built for their ease of use.

Speed, flexibility, and mobility are where IBM Containers shine, whether you run IBM Containers locally, in the cloud, or in any environment.

Paired with IBM Bluemix, developers can pull from a multitude of pre-configured solutions and services.

Regardless of which technologies or programs your teams work on, every developer will have the same experience no matter where or what they are developing.

In the end, IBM Bluemix and Containers are two fully hosted and managed open source platforms built to support the agile imaginations of developers.

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Written by IBM BP Network