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Hybrid Cloud Technology Is Focus of IBM Confab

As it gets under way at the MGM Grand & Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, IBM’s InterConnect 2015 corporate convention will touch on cloud, mobile, DevOps, security, asset management, Internet of Things, application integration, and smarter processes. But a main area of focus is expected to be hybrid cloud technology, which gives IBM’s individual businesses a chance to discuss and demonstrate how they can better leverage each other’s technologies and capabilities. The convention runs through Thursday.

Many of the new services and software that IBM is unveiling at the Interconnect conference are designed to ease the work involved with linking the public cloud to internal operations. For instance, the company will release software to run IBM’s BlueMix platform services from within an organization’s own data centers. IBM has provided a managed service for drawing data from external APIs, as well as devised a new system that will allow organizations to package their workloads in containers so they can be moved into the cloud.

Greater Focus on Hybrid Cloud

Companies worldwide are spending about $80 billion per year to build and maintain hybrid systems, and IBM is one major provider that is making the hybrid approach a major part of its cloud computing strategy, according to IT research firm MarketsandMarkets. Just under three-quarters of organizations are already pursing hybrid cloud strategies, according to Gartner.

“There is no one single cloud. Our clients have clouds. We have a cloud. Clients want to connect with other clouds,” Angel Diaz, IBM vice president of cloud performance, told PCWorld. “If clients want to get the most from the cloud, they have to link to their existing investments.”

The BlueMix Local software package promises a subset of developer services found in IBM’s BlueMix cloud platform. That platform offers basic software functionality and management tools for developers building cloud applications. With BlueMix Local, companies can build a set of services in-house and then move them to the IBM BlueMix hosted service to run in production.

Versatile API

Meanwhile, the new API service, API Harmony, aggregates a wide range of public APIs that developers can then weave into their own applications. IBM’s Enterprise Containers service offers a full system for spinning up and managing virtual containers. As with comparable services offered by Google, Microsoft and Amazon, IBM’s service is based on the Docker open source container, but with additional security and management tools provided by IBM. With API Harmony, users can move their container based workloads between the IBM cloud and their own internal systems.

IBM InterConnect is a combination of three big IBM events: Impact, Innovate and Pulse. The convention is meant to create the most comprehensive and collaborative event. The InterConnect curriculum contains sessions on such areas as application infrastructure and integration, asset management and Internet of things, cloud business applications, DevOps and continuing engineering, mobile enterprise, and security intelligence.

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