Cloud Foundry was created by VMware to streamline deployment for application developers, application operators, and cloud operators. In April 2011, Cloud Foundry was announced as open source under the Apache 2.0 license. In February 2014, VMware spin-off Pivotal announced the formation of the …
Cloud Foundry was created by VMware to streamline deployment for application developers, application operators, and cloud operators. In April 2011, Cloud Foundry was announced as open source under the Apache 2.0 license. In February 2014, VMware spin-off Pivotal announced the formation of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, with Pivotal, EMC, IBM, Rackspace, and VMware as Platinum sponsors. Several Cloud Foundry Foundation members have released their own distributions of Cloud Foundry, including ActiveState with Stackato, Pivotal with Pivotal Cloud Foundry, and IBM with Bluemix. In February 2014, IBM announced BlueMix, a multi-tenanted PaaS hosted on SoftLayer, which combines Cloud Foundry with an improved online UI and services from IBM and third parties. The most distinctive services on Bluemix are based on Watson, a cognitive system that provides natural language processing, hypothesis generation and evaluation, and dynamic learning. Several of the other services and integrations in Bluemix fill gaps in the open source version of Cloud Foundry– for example, auto scaling, mobile, big data, and enterprise integration services. These gaps have been filled by IBM without forking the Cloud Foundry code. The application configuration command-line and the bosh PaaS configuration command-line for open source Cloud Foundry are the same as what the Bluemix engineers use internally. In addition, Bluemix is to shield users from PaaS administration, focus on service, and allow users to simply build apps. Because Bluemix is built on unmodified Cloud Foundry, it shares all of the Cloud Foundry architecture. It also shares the Cloud Foundry build packs and services available on the other Cloud Foundry implementations, while adding some of its own. We’ll break all this down into:
  • Bluemix boilerplates. They are known elsewhere as quick starts or as an app store. Bluemix currently offers 13 different “boilerplates” or quick-start packages.
  • Bluemix buildpacks. They includes six familiar runtimes java, node.js, go, php, python, ruby on rails and the seventh, Sinatra, is a domain-specific language for creating Web applications in Ruby with minimal effort.
  • Watson services. It consists of Concept Expansion, Language Identification, Machine Translation, Message Resonance, Question and Answer, Relationship Extraction, and User Modeling. But all of them are still in beta.
  • Mobile and application services. There are eight mobile services and 19 web and application services available in Bluemix.
  • Devops services. There are eight devops services on BlueMix include five from IBM and three from third parties.
That’s a lot of Bluemix services. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, many of them are still experimental, in beta, or have restrictions that make them inappropriate for most production apps. The Watson services, potentially the biggest differentiator of Bluemix versus other Cloud Foundry implementations, are all betas, and mostly restricted to limited domains. Fortunately, you can start Bluemix for free, run small for free, and pay as you go as you scale out. Both Cloud Foundry and Bluemix are also well documented. In conclusion, it’s worth your time to have a trial with Bluemix.  
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