IBM is continuing its cloud push with the announcement of a $1bn investment in a new platform-as-a-service (PaaS) initiative. The firm is also acquiring Cloudant, a database-as-a-service (DBaaS) provider, as part of the same move.
The IT services giant made the announcements at its Pulse 2014 cloud conference in Las Vegas, saying it was making the new investments to help clients and developers speed the adoption of hybrid cloud computing services.
The move follows IBM's earlier disclosure of a $1.2bn investment in its cloud systems earlier this year.
IBM's new platform-as-service (PaaS) initiative, named BlueMix, combines the strength of IBM software, third-party and open technologies to provide DevOps in the cloud, the firm said, offering an open, integrated development experience that can easily scale up.
Available first as an open beta, BlueMix allows developers to quickly construct enterprise-grade applications for the cloud by providing access to IBM's software portfolio to use as building blocks.
Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president for Software and Cloud Solutions, said: "IBM is ushering in a bold new era of innovation by partnering with developers in an open environment to accelerate the emerging world of hybrid cloud computing."
The Cloudant acquisition will further build on this, by providing developers with a cloud-based database service that will aid developers in creating next-generation mobile and web apps. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of this quarter, following which Cloudant will join IBM's newly formed Information and Analytics Group, the firm said.
Meanwhile, IBM said it is bringing its middleware portfolio, including WebSphere, to its SoftLayer cloud platform through pre-defined software "patterns" that can be deployed on-premise or off-premise, simplifying hybrid IT management.
IBM also confirmed that it is deploying cloud infrastructure based on its Power architecture systems using SoftLayer, a move which the company first detailed last month.
Beginning next quarter and continuing over time, SoftLayer's first service built on Power Systems will be IBM Watson solutions followed by additional offerings including DB2 with BLU Acceleration and IBM Cognos analytics.
Bare metal Power Systems will also be offered to clients as an on-demand infrastructure platform, IBM said.
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