Think of it as IBM as a service. That's how Robert LeBlanc, senior VP at IBM, characterized the IBM Cloud Marketplace announced on Monday at IBM's Impact Event in Las Vegas.
"It's one place where you can discover, try, and buy cloud-based capabilities, and we're also making available our expertise, so there's lots of content supporting the services," said LeBlanc during a press conference at the event. He cited code, videos, case studies, and white papers among the assets that clients and partners can download to learn more about available services.
[Want more on IBM's latest cloud services? Read IBM Launches Disaster Recovery Via SoftLayer.]
Initial coverage of IBM Cloud Marketplace drew analogies to the Apple App Store and Salesforce.com's AppExchange, but the site actually wraps mobile apps, software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings all into one spot where they are "easy to locate, easy to understand, easy to order, easy to try out, and easy to purchase," according to LeBlanc.
IBM says its marketplace will launch with more than 100 IBM SaaS services for "biz" types, IBM's BlueMix composable PaaS capabilities for "dev" types, and IBM SoftLayer IaaS capabilities for "ops" users. The SaaS portfolio includes notable IBM offerings including DemandTec, Marketing Center, Kenexa, and Cognos. The PaaS highlights include various database, Java, and integration services. IaaS services include bare-metal servers; virtual servers; security services; and backup, recovery, load-balancing, and management services. The many third-party partner offerings include services from SendGrid, Zend, Redis Labs, Sonian, Flow Search Corp, Deep DB, M2Mi, and Ustream.
"We're starting with six categories of services: mobile, analytics, computing infrastructure, a product-development environment, and services for gaming companies, and for startup businesses born on the Web," LeBlanc wrote in a supporting blog. He promised additional categories in the near future, including cloud services based on IBM's Watson cognitive computing platform.
For all its breadth, the IBM Cloud marketplace could use a bit more depth. But that may take time. Where IBM's Cloud Marketplace offers a couple of hundred services in total, Salesforce.com's AppExchange, which was launched in 2005, now offers more than 2,200 partner apps that have racked up more than 2.3 million downloads.
IBM also added new DevOps, data, and mobility services to its BlueMix portfolio on Monday. It also launched a BlueMix Garage development center in San Francisco. It's the first of many centers where IBM plans to work hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs and startups on next-generation, cloud-based agile applications.
Could the growing movement toward open source hardware rewrite the rules for computer and networking hardware the way Linux, Apache, and Android have for software? Also in the Open Source Hardware issue of InformationWeek: Mark Hurd explains his "once-in-a-career opportunity" at Oracle.