Old mainframe servers and classical personal computer's from 80's are perhaps what many associate to the Big Blue. IBM has revised it's business strategy and is now focusing on software business only. MobileFirst and Internet of Things strategies as an example.
Last summer IBM acquired hosting company SoftLayer, and has invested to increase the network to cover 40 data centers worldwide. Since the acquisition, IBM has invested significantly to cloud software portfolio.
|Bluemix illustration. Image source: IBM|
At the moment, Bluemix is in beta, and available for developers free of charge. Commercial launch of the service is scheduled at summer. Pricing is not yet published. Bluemix represents a new software licensing model to IBM. Instead of initial investment and annual maintenance fee, customer pay per use (capacity), just like in case of popular hosting services.
The pay per use business model without initial license fee makes Bluemix cloud solution appealing to small enterprises and startups as well. As Bluemix is primarily intented for boosting sales of SoftLayer hosting, thus the price of the PAAS can not be significantly higher than the plain IAAS. As there is significant competition in the IAAS market, the pricing must be at competitive level.
Open APIs and open standards makes IBM offering appealing from developers and businesses point of view. Future maintainability and extendability is secured, and customer has freedom to choose preferred service provider without single-source vendor lock-in.