IBM announced a number of new tools and services at the February InterConnect conference in Las Vegas. New and noteworthy is IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk, an event-driven environment that allows microservices based applications to be built, with the infrastructure required to run them fully automated and hidden from the developer. In addition, IBM announced a strategic partnership with GitHub to offer a dedicated GitHub Enterprise Service on Bluemix.
IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk and serverless architecture
Cloud PaaS providers are competing to offer developers a way of creating services and applications that are triggered by events. Amazon AWS Lambda pioneered this model and was followed by Google Cloud Functions, and now IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk. Building with this development paradigm is ideal for microservices, which are written to respond to triggered events. These events can be a range of activities in the cloud environment, such as a change in a database, or through a scheduling application, or invoked through a REST API. IBM’s angle in this contest for developer mindshare is to make OpenWhisk an open environment by open-sourcing the project.
The associated development paradigm is being called serverless architecture, or serverless microservices architecture, the nub being that developers do not have to be concerned with infrastructure. Microservices are built and run without the developer having to spin up a server and manage it. The cloud provider manages the infrastructure required to run the microservices as part of its offering.
GitHub and IBM join forces to offer an integrated environment
GitHub is one of the most popular collaborative environments for developers, and the new GitHub Enterprise Service on Bluemix allows GitHub users to tap into a range of Bluemix APIs, including Cognitive, Inter of Things, and other data sources. Hybrid DevOps capabilities are built in to Bluemix for a range of delivery options. This partnership brings GitHub closer to large enterprise software development, while also making Bluemix attractive to the large cohort of GitHub users.
Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst, Ovum Infrastructure Solutions Group