Bluemix, promising for a small startup but a let down after further research.
September 19, 2017

Bluemix, promising for a small startup but a let down after further research.

Brett Bloethner | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cloud PaaS (formerly IBM Bluemix - PaaS)

We were part of the IBM Global Entrepreneur program and were given the opportunity to use Bluemix or SoftLayer. We made an attempt to use Bluemix for a few small applications when were were dabbling with rebuilding the platform Meteor. If it worked out it would have been the main platform for the production distribution of the web application.
  • Bluemix makes it really easy to deploy new applications; they give you a good starting point and try to walk you through the process until its time to write or deploy your code.
  • They also offer basically everything you could need for your infrastructure in one spot, which is super valuable. This was an attractive option for us.
  • They support all of the most popular languages and frameworks, JS, Ruby, etc... and have a lot of boilerplate apps to get you started.
  • It significantly reduces the amount of DevOps work.
  • When we used it, it was super buggy which didn't instill very much confidence in the platform.
  • It seems kind of 'black boxy' like we didn't feel like we had much control over the system, so we were always kind of skeptical of the magic going on behind the scenes and how secure it was.
  • There is not very much interfacing outside of the IBM ecosystem. We we felt pressured to use their version control management and the task management tools Bluemix provided when we were experimenting with it.
  • Well we didn't end up using it so, in that respect, I would say a negative business impact since we spent time messing with it.
  • It did show us some technologies to look for in the future though, so that was positive.
  • However, with Bluemix we were able to experiment with new technology which is always good for the engineers in terms of learning new things.
CloudFoundry was a big deal for us; rapid deployment is usually difficult in small teams so a tool allowing us to do that would be super beneficial. Unfortunately, we were having trouble getting Bluemix/CloudFoundry to spin up without a Rails-based web application. This was definitely a selling point for Bluemix, but we were let down. It was not as seamless as IBM made it appear.
We planned on incorporating Watson into our platform as well, for voice recognition. Bluemix would have made it easier to do this and helped us with that, but we ended up pushing the feature further down the roadmap. I've used Watson before with success, so I'm sure if we had chosen to go further with Bluemix, Watson and the AlchemyAPIs would not have been far behind.
We didn't use containerization in out application.
We didn't use open OpenWhisk either but we've always been told to stay away from technology like AWS Lambda and OpenWhisk since you are basically giving all of your app performance control up to the hosting provider. For that reason I would stay away from this as well, unless someone could could explain to me why my concern isn't an issue. It could be good for rapid prototyping though.
We chose to go with more bare metal options since Bluemix didn't really offer these at the time. It was simpler to get up and running with the bare metal service, and we felt that any problems we ran into would be a result of our own incompetence rather than problems with the platform. In fact, we never ran into a single issue we needed to contact support for with DigitalOcean or SoftLayer.
I would definitely recommend it for prototypes and, if it seems to work well, maybe in some working environments and production. When I was using it I definitely only would have recommended it for raid prototyping.

IBM Cloud Foundry Feature Ratings

Workflow engine capability
Services-enabled integration
Development environment creation
Development environment replication
Issue monitoring and notification
Issue recovery
Upgrades and platform fixes