IBM Unveils $1 Billion Platform-as-a-Service Investment

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- IBM (IBM) revealed a more than $1 billion cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) investment on Monday, opening its middleware to the cloud for the first time and bolstering the connectivity of enterprise applications and data to the cloud.

The investment was disclosed to more than 9,000 clients, partners and developers at IBM's Feb. 23-26 cloud conference in Las Vegas, which kicked off in earnest on Monday.

The investment starts with IBM's launch of "BlueMix," codename for a new PaaS, open beta, that combines IBM's software, third-party and open technologies. BlueMix will be providing DevOps in the cloud to facilitate effective and rapid construction of enterprise applications by developers, independent firms and enterprise teams. BlueMix runs on SoftLayer's global cloud platform.

The investments also bring IBM's middleware portfolio, such as WebSphere, to the instant global cloud distribution system of SoftLayer through pre-defined "Software Patterns" that will bring existing applications to the cloud. IBM says that with more than 200 application and middleware patterns available from IBM and IBM business partners, IBM Software Patterns differentiates itself from the rest because it enables application portability across a hybrid cloud environment, thereby allowing for the flexible deployment of applications and middleware both on- and off-premise.

IBM's middleware services focuses on mobile, web apps, integration and data management, as well as application process interface (API)-based services such as those from Watson. It forms the core of the company's $26 billion software business.

The third portion is composed of IBM's continued investment in and expansion of services running on SoftLayer, including DevOps, which offers users the capability to plan, develop, test, deploy and monitor applications, as well as systems management via Service Engage. IBM says its data and analytics optimization system Power Systems will soon begin running on the SoftLayer cloud infrastructure to support Watson Solutions.

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