IBM has added a series of technologies and services to its cloud computing offerings, including support for Docker containers and the extension of the Bluemix developer platform into a customer's data centre, among others.
Announced at the IBM InterConnect 2015 conference, the additions are aimed at delivering the same level of control, visibility, security and governance in a hybrid cloud environment as an organisation has over its internal private cloud or traditional IT systems.
"Today, we are launching a new class of hybrid cloud innovations that extend open standards capabilities for the enterprise," said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president for IBM Cloud.
"This will help break down the barriers between clouds and on-premise IT systems, providing clients with control, visibility and security as they use the public and private clouds."
Among the new capabilities is the availability of IBM Enterprise Containers, which is based on Docker application programming interfaces (APIs) with IBM extensions to provide enterprise-grade control and security, the firm said, as well as an added level of automation.
First disclosed at the end of last year, this capability enables enterprise workloads to be packaged in a Docker container for deployment in a public or private cloud, including the ability to move it between the two.
In a similar vein is Bluemix Local, which will see IBM offer a version of its Bluemix developer cloud platform for deployment inside a customer's data centre.
Coming sometime in the summer, Bluemix Local is delivered behind the firewall, but as a fully managed service so that customers can continue to focus on applications rather than infrastructure.
The pitch behind Bluemix Local is that organisations can use the development platform for even sensitive workloads, but with seamless visibility and management across Bluemix environments on public or private infrastructures.
Other features include IBM DataWorks, described by the firm as a set of cloud-based services that can be used to speed up the preparation of data ready for use in analytics, and Secure Passport Gateway, a self-service portal to let developers securely connect data and services to Bluemix.
IBM also expanded the presence of its Watson artificial intelligence platform with availability of the Watson Personality Insights service, which offers developers new capabilities to analyse trends and patterns in diverse, high-volume data streams such as social media feeds.
Also unveiled is the Watson Zone, a new resource centre on Bluemix that brings together Watson APIs, sample code and other resources to spur new hybrid cloud applications infused with cognitive computing capabilities, the firm said.
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