[This article was written by jwochna.]
We’ve all heard this before; “market pressures and the demand to move more quickly and develop innovative applications” are forcing organizations to rethink how they develop and release applications. But what options exist for organizations? How about public clouds? Yes, that’s right. Many organizations are looking at and embracing, public clouds as a means to get applications out in the market as quickly as possible. And not just any public cloud – think public PaaS (Platform as a Service) clouds that use Cloud Foundry as the open PaaS technology. These provide a complete platform for running and composing an application from a set of hosted services.
Tools in the Cloud – For the Cloud
To innovate as rapidly as possible, and “respond to market pressures,” organizations need a service provider to make this happen. IBM is one such service provider, and IBM Bluemix provides the PaaS, giving you the ability to compose applications from a suite of services directly in the cloud. Paired with Bluemix is IBM DevOps Services, which allows you to build cloud-first applications, and deliver them in the cloud. Think of the combination of IBM Bluemix, and IBM DevOps Services as ‘tools in the cloud – for the cloud’.
Enterprises like Fort Knox
But what about those large enterprise organizations? In these organizations, there is a growing pressure to build innovative applications that make use of their own enterprise services and data. The glitch? These services and data reside on premise – brick and mortar establishments, typically behind firewalls, in datacenters, with lots of mainframes, running mission critical applications, (high walls, barbed wire, mean guards, locusts, you know the place). Let’s just say these applications aren’t moving to the cloud any time soon. However… you still need a mechanism in place to securely update these applications and move them forward, innovate, control and automate them, and deliver changes.
These two types of environments; public cloud (Bluemix), and on-prem (enterprises), aren’t typically managed independently by organizations. Enter hybrid clouds. Hybrid clouds are ideal for organizations that are looking to develop engaging customer applications (often times referred to systems of engagement). For these new types of applications to be valuable for a consumer, they need to access data from the on-prem enterprise. Here’s a basic example of something you probably do with your banks mobile app: finding an ATM nearby using location services within your smartphone connected to the banks enterprise to get physical ATM information.
But to do that, you need a bridge, a secure connection from your public cloud (Bluemix) to your on-prem data (within Fort Knox). This can now be done utilizing Bluemix Cloud Integration Services – providing a secure connection to your back-end services.
Great. Your public cloud can now talk with your on-prem environment. Your application, this high-value and innovative application, has components that span both the public cloud as well as on-prem. And this application isn’t going to stay dormant. It will evolve, change, improve, and innovate over time, remember: “market pressures and the demand to move more quickly and develop innovative applications”. As these applications evolve, the changes that support the application in the cloud REQUIRE changes to your back-end services (on prem). In addition, more control and more synchronization are required. Utilizing the Cloud Foundry plugin in UrbanCode Deploy, organizations can synchronize their deployments across both public and on-prem services, providing the organization a highly repeatable, highly reliable deployment for their hybrid cloud.
UrbanCode solutions coupled with Bluemix and IBM DevOps Services, provide best of breed capabilities for building and delivering services for your public cloud, on-prem, or hybrid cloud. For more information, check out Bluemix, and the blog post: UrbanCode with Bluemix for Hybrid Cloud Deployment. But you know what? Words are cheap… take a look at this short video from Dan Berg, IBMs CTO of DevOps (and distinguished engineer – aka “smart”) – he explains this much more eloquently!