How to Get the Most out of IBM Bluemix

IBM Bluemix

What About Watson?

Watson is IBM’s cognitive computing, and it’s available to you via Bluemix. You can even access a free 30-day trial of Watson services to determine if the functionality works for your organization. The Watson Internet of Things (loT) platform lets your applications communicate with and use the data collected by myriad smart devices. The local offering permits running a private version of Watson to run within your environment, with a capacity of up to 100,000 connected devices or applications and 1.6 TB of storage. There’s also an optional service available where you can purchase an additional environment, along with an additional .5 TB of storage. In a recent IDC report, IBM was named a leader in IoT, which is a system of integrated computing devices with the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human interaction. The product is very developer friendly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s ready to use out of the box.

With Bluemix, you can scale your applications vertically or horizontally (or let Bluemix automatically scale for you). Available languages include Go, Java, Node, PHP, Python and Ruby. From an application DB perspective, it supports MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis and RabbitMQ. Their Frameworks include Rails and Sinatra. You should also know that there is a ton of Powerful API’s available. They offer a delivery pipeline system, which lets you configure scripts and build customized automations for an entire build/test/deploy sequence. What also sets IBM apart, is the versatility of open source with the power of an enterprise infrastructure that only an IBM can provide. The Bluemix infrastructure consists of 39 data centers worldwide in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Australia. The servers themselves have racks with 40 Gbps of connectivity split between private and public networks. Like any product, there are areas that can be improved upon. There are no uptime guarantees, and public cloud customer support can be a little sluggish at times. Overall, the product gets high ratings, based on its ability to provide a secure cloud based environment, with outstanding development and deployment tools, along with a myriad of options available for the most complex of enterprises.

Cloud computing is here to stay. You may already be running infrastructure off a cloud (e.g., Softlayer). Cloud computing simply makes it easier to manage your infrastructure and most importantly should lower your total cost of ownership. If you’re looking at an end-to-end cloud solution that includes software infrastructure—which is what PaaS is all about—you simply can’t go wrong looking at Bluemix!

Ken Milberg, CATE, PMP, is a diverse IT Professional with 20+ years of experience. He is a Power Systems Champion. Ken is a technology writer and site expert for techtarget and has also been a frequent contributor of content for IBM developerWorks. Ken has also been a freelance writer for IBM Systems Magazine and is a former technical editor. He can be reached at

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