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The adoption of Git as the favored source version control tool in the open source community and across SMEs has been phenomenal, and within this community GitHub has grown to be the largest host of Git repositories (reported to be 34 million) with a current count of 15 million users. IBM has now partnered with GitHub to offer GitHub Enterprise on the IBM Bluemix cloud platform, meeting the needs of enterprises for a secure, managed dedicated GitHub service and able to deliver an integrated DevOps tooling experience. GitHub is looking to expand its enterprise offering into the kind of clients IBM attracts, while IBM is looking to improve the appeal of Bluemix to the developer community by supporting GitHub, so this partnership should work well and be a win-win for both parties.

GitHub seeks to grow its enterprise presence

Although it is the largest market player, GitHub is not without rivals, with competition from Atlassian BitBucket and startup GitLab. It is therefore looking to grow its market by offering services that will appeal to enterprises. A main concern for enterprises with cloud is the question of security, and by offering a secure service that can span on-premise to presence on Bluemix, it is able to satisfy enterprise and public sector concerns. Bluemix offers not only a public cloud service, but also a dedicated instance on SoftLayer (Bluemix Dedicated) and a local/on-premise instance called Bluemix Local that runs behind the firewall.

GitHub Enterprise is an enterprise’s own version of GitHub and is designed to be accessed behind a company’s firewall or on its private cloud. The integration of these services means that they are offered as a combined managed service so that they are always up to date with the most secure version in place. In the first release of this offering, the enterprise user gets a private, dedicated instance of GitHub Enterprise (a single-tenant hosted version) on Bluemix. A managed service was requested by GitHub Enterprise customers, and Bluemix is able to provide this. IBM SoftLayer is also present globally to meet the needs of governments that require data to be kept locally.

IBM’s policy is to respond to the needs of its clients, many of whom use Git

IBM continues to support its on-premise source version control with its high-end tools that perform additional functions, from change and configuration management to collaboration, with its Rational Team Concert and legacy ClearCase products. The aim is to establish Bluemix as an open platform that supports and integrates popular commercial offerings (especially open source tools), and to support IBM’s own application lifecycle management tools. This gives users a wide choice and will make Bluemix increasingly attractive as a development environment across the spectrum, from startups and SMEs to large enterprises.



Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst, Ovum Infrastructure Solutions Group

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