Hybrid Computing Live Chat with IBM’s System Z Experts Tuesday March 15th, 11am EST, 8 am PST
Hybrid Computing has been called the future of technology, but are you ready for the future? Join our IBM experts for a presentation followed by an interactive discussion to find out. Register to attend this Tech Chat to discuss: • The versatility of multiple architectures.
• The efficiency and simplicity of a single integrated system. • The freedom to choose the best platform for deploying today's complex workloads.
The live chat will feature these IBM experts to take your questions:
• Jeffrey Frey, an IBM Fellow, and CTO System z Platform, responsible for System z architecture and design
• Kelly Ryan, Product Development Team Leader for IBM’s next generation mainframe system
• Ellen Carbarnes, System z Product Manager
• Jenna Bucher-Brown, Program Director for System z Business
• Paul DiMarzio, System z, Enterprise Integration Strategy
Join us on July 12, 2011 for the next step in the evolution of zEnterprise™ hybrid computing – with a new entry point for clients of all sizes – designed to unleash new business innovation in your data center. Register now!
Attend this live virtual event to hear from an executive panel on the benefits of zEnterprise hybrid computing. This virtual event features an industry analyst as well as a customer case study, plus the perspective of IBM Executives.
Jean S. Bozman, Research VP at IDC Enterprise Servers, Reducing the Cost of Multi-tier Hybrid Computing
David Marts, VP of Operations at Transzap, Inc,
Strategies to Better Manage and Store Data with zEnterprise
Tom Rosamilia, IBM General Manager of Power and z Systems Smarter Computing Perspective
Whose Bad? Well, our IBM Jeopardy superstar Watson, that's who! And it's not just IBM saying so. It's the Oscars of the web world, the Webby Awards lauding Watson now. Previous Webby Honorees include no less than David Bowie. And now, the “Jeopardy” playing IBM computer Watson has been named person of the year by the Webby Awards. The Webbys have such good taste in people, don't they? :) Clearly the definition of a "webby person of the year" is changing. In case you haven't hear, the Webbys, honor Internet achievement. Yesterday, they, announced that IBM Watson was a special honorees.
So what's so special about Watson? He's a powerful super computer. Watson harnesses IBM’s commercial POWER7 system, showcasing how IBM workload-optimized systems provide unmatched capabilities for processing thousands of simultaneous tasks at rapid speeds, once the realm of only scientific supercomputers. According to IBM Blogger Elizabeth Stahl, "IBM workload-optimized systems provide unmatched capabilities for processing thousands of simultaneous tasks at rapid speeds. IBM systems can handle the massive analytics incredibly fast -- and that's what's needed to analyze complex language and deliver correct responses to natural language clues. Watson sifts through vast amounts of data and returns precise answers, ranking its confidence in its answers." No wonder IBM Watson is taking home a Webby! You can read more about the technology behind Watson at ibmwatson.com.
In case you missed it, IBM announced a new online IT Storage Community last week. The new site is designed to help you network with peers, share best practices, and dialogue with storage experts. Via this community, you’ll be able to learn about new developments in the Enterprise Storage Space from one single source, made up of many opinions and experts. The community is designed as a “coming together" of the world’s leading storage industry analysts and consultants, along with IBM customers and company leaders. Simply point and click to the community to learn how leading companies are transforming their data infrastructure to drive incredible efficiencies, breakthrough innovation and improved IT economics by effectively deploying data reduction, virtualization, data protection, and application integration strategies to drive business value.
This week, you can view all the videos and materials from our recent IBM Storage Innovation Executive Summit. You can watch the videos from your office, at your convenience, via the the community. Some of the most compelling video from the conference are the customer case studies from Centerpoint Energy and the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Overtime, we hope that many of you will join us, share your opinions and participate in our user discussions groups in the community.
IBM has announced new workload-optimized POWER7® systems, including a performance boost to the Power 750 -- the same server used in Watson, the Jeopardy! winner -- that provides even faster processing capability than each machine used in the computer genius. The new Power blades and upgraded Power servers are built to manage the world's most demanding emerging applications, used in healthcare management, financial services, scientific research and more.
IBM Power Systems incorporate a number of unique technologies for the specialized demands of new applications and services. In addition, the systems enable clients to manage current applications and services at less cost with technology breakthroughs in virtualization, energy savings, more cost-efficient use of memory, and better price/performance. Here are some highlights of the new announcement:
New and enhanced Power Systems products include:
The new 16-core, single-wide IBM
BladeCenter® PS703 and 32-core, double-wide IBM BladeCenter PS704 blade
servers, which give clients an alternative to sprawling racks. The PS704
delivers 60-percent faster performance with twice the number of cores
while using the same amount and space and energy as previous POWER7
blades. The new POWER7 blades support massive server consolidation with
The enhanced IBM Power 750 Express, the
same system that powers Watson, now further optimized for the most
challenging analytics workloads. The Power 750 has been upgraded with
several options, including a faster POWER7 processor that offers more
than three times the performance of comparable 32-core servers, such as
Oracle's SPARC T3-2 server, and more than twice the performance of HP's
Integrity BL890c i2. (2)
The enhanced IBM Power 755, a high-performance computing cluster node with 32 POWER7 cores and a faster processor.
IBM also introduced a new Systems Director Management Console
appliance that allows data center administrators to operate both Power
servers and blades with a unified, intuitive interface for physical and
virtualized system resource management.
IBM is extending technology from the acquisition of BLADE Network
Technologies (BNT) across its portfolio of workload-optimized systems,
including high performance top-of-rack BNT switches with VMready network
virtualization and BLADEHarmony management software. These IBM BNT
RackSwitch products will, for the first time, be closely integrated with
IBM Power servers to support workloads such as cloud computing,
financial services, Web 2.0, streaming video, medical and scientific
research and business analytics. According to a recent report by The
Tolly Group, the newest IBM BNT switch demonstrated significant
performance and energy efficiency advantages over comparable switches,
including an average of 55 percent better price and performance. (3)
IBM also announced additions to its Intelligent Cluster line of
energy-efficient, high-performance computing platforms -- pre-integrated
solutions that build upon its rack servers including BladeCenter or
iDataPlex platforms. These new offerings allow customers -- in segments
such as financial services and energy exploration, for example -- to
build HPC configurations that can reduce power and cooling costs by up
to 50 percent. The new Intelligent Cluster offerings include:
New platforms updated with the latest Intel Xeon processor E7 family;
New 10Gb Ethernet solutions that can enhance performance of HPC workloads by leveraging up to 11 times lower latency (3);
A new InfiniBand solution for Intelligent
Cluster that features integrated ethernet gateway to eliminate the need
for a separate ethernet switch to help optimize workloads such as
IBM will be where the action is this week at the SNW Show sponsored by Computerworld. SNA is one of the world's largest tradeshows and conferences on managing information infrastructure. Look for IBM experts and executives speaking at the event at the Santa Clara Convention Center, plus IBM Wonderkind, IBM Watson on display in booth 401. Following is a list of IBM highlights at the event, so you can find us. All times listed are in PST. This morning IBM will be holding a "Storage Security Tutorial" session at 9:20 am PST.If you miss it, don't worry, this session will repeat in the afternoon, at 2:50 PM. Look for the speaking session, "New Era of Storage Efficiency" at 1:00 pm today, April 4th.
For real time coverage, follow IBMSTG on Twitter and follow the conference hashtag #SNWUSA on Twitter.
Mark your conference calendar for these IBM Highlights
"Storage Security Tutorial" IBM Presenter: Gordon Arnold, IBM Senior Technical Staff April 4 from 9:20 AM to 10:05 AM AND April 4 from 2:50 PM to 3:35 PM Introduction of computing and data services in a virtualized and service provider context exposes the customer's information to a new set of threats and vulnerabilities. This session provides an introduction to those threats and what techniques are available to mitigate the threats.
"New Era of Storage Efficiency" IBM Presenter: Eric Collins, IBM Senior System Architect April 4 from 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM Today's organizations require efficient, affordable storage solutions that help keep up with exploding information demands. Yesterday's storage solutions are not built to meet these new challenges. Your clients' business information is multiplying rapidly. Managing this information is becoming increasingly complex and expensive. Eric Collins, Senior System Architect at IBM, will discuss how the IBM Storage strategy will help your clients drive down the cost of storage acquisition, data retention, and management and can reduce physical storage requirements by up to 50% and make future storage growth easier to accommodate. "Cloud Computing & the Enterprise" IBM Presenter: Kevin Leahy, Director, Cloud Strategy, IBM GTS April 5 from 11:40 AM to 12:25 PM This presentation will draw on IBM's experience working with customers and operating 13 cloud centers world wide to review the conditions under which cloud computing can deliver its promise of flexibility and cost savings in the delivery of IT services to the enterprise. IBM will discuss the importance of dynamic infrastructures and service management for both public and private clouds, cloud service life cycles and integration between public clouds and enterprise services. Also discussed will be standards required for interoperability between clouds and application scenarios that demonstrate the use of cloud computing in an enterprise context for a smarter planet.
IBM Keynote: "Smarter Computing for a Smarter Planet -- Managing the Explosion of Data" IBM Presenter: Dr. Krishna Nathan, Vice President, IBM Storage Systems Development April 5 from 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM The tremendous explosion of data presents both opportunities and challenges to the IT industry. On one hand, there is the opportunity to analyze and transform the data into business value, on the other hand, there is the challenge of managing this data in an era of flat IT budgets. But the opportunities for innovation have never been greater. In this session, Dr. Nathan will highlight how you can transform your information infrastructure to get the most out of your data and your storage systems in order to deliver breakthrough economics and help support innovation.
"Understanding High Availability in the SAN" IBM Presenter: Mark Fleming, IBM Senior Software Engineer April 7 from 8:30 AM to 9:15 AM This session will appeal to those seeking a fundamental understanding of High Availability (HA) configurations in the SAN. Modern SANs have developed numerous methods using hardware and software to assure high availability of storage to customers. The session will explore basic concepts of HA; move through a sample configuration from end-to-end; investigate HA and virtualization, converged networks and the cloud; and discuss some of the challenges and pitfalls faced in testing HA configurations. Real customer experiences will be shared to drive it all home.
IBM Exhibitor Booth (number 401)--Look for Jeopardy Superstar IBM Watson!
Booth Hours: April 3rd: 12:30pm -4:00pm April 4th: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
IBM's booth will feature our innovative storage solutions in action with demonstrations on touch-screen monitors and white boarding capabilities. We plan to organize our booth pedestals by four key storage themes around storage efficiency, data protection, application integration and management simplicity. The IBM Watson kiosk will be prominently featured in the IBM booth.
And a final highlight of the show, is the awards ceremony. Congratulations to the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR). DIISR, an IBM client, is a Finalist in SNW’s Spring 2011 Best Practices Awards Program in the category of "Best Practices in IT Consolidation, IT Efficiency and Data Center Design." As a Finalist, DIISR will be welcomed to the stage to accept their award on Wednesday, April 6 from 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM.
IBM's Steve Mills,senior vice president and group executive of IBM Software & Systems, took the stage at IBM's Pulse conference in Las Vegas this morning to deliver a message about cost savings and the increased amount of data and "server sprawl" that will force all organizations to start working smarter towards the goal of Smarter Computing. Mills told an enthusiastic crowd of 7,000 IBM customers, business partners, press and IBM employees that now is the time to focus on their data and start consolidating and optimizing their systems to reduce costs and improve time to value. "You can have your own opinions but not your own facts," stated Mills with obvious passion. "IT consolidation saves money. Period."
Welcome to the era
of Smarter Computing - a new era of IT necessitated by economic
conditions and the need to conserve energy and precious resources. According to Mills, IT budgets are not growing, but instead shrinking. This lack of budget is forcing organizations around the globe to look at new ways to reduce the cost of doing business,while simultaneously increasing profits. To help organizations increase their business efficiencies, Mills urged the audience to consolidate their data and optimize workloads. He noted that IBM hardware, from the Power7 system behind IBM Watson to Systems Z is high performing, reliable and saves data server floor space because it is energy efficient. In one of the keynotes best received comments, Mills lauded the power of the 5.2GHz micro processor zEnterprise system, stating that IBM's ZEnterprise "runs like a bat out of hell" and is the "ultimate platform for server consolidation." He also praised the creation of hybrid environments saying, "Why fragment your workloads onto thousands of computers? You can bring in
Intel and Power blades to create a hybrid environment,” he said. “You can run
thousands and thousands and thousands of concurrent jobs.”
Clearly, the economics of Smarter Computing are compelling. Who doesn't want to double their IT capacity while improving availability and performance? Smarter Computing is clearly a way to maximize business efficiencies while increasing ROI. To hear Steve Mills keynote, register for the upcoming April 6 Virtual Event: The Smarter Computing Executive Summit. Click here to register.
Pictured: Roxanne Reynolds-Lair (center),CIO at FIDM, flanked by IBM Watson researchers Bhavani Iyer (left) and Rick Lawrence (right).
Last week IBM held a series of private viewing events around the United States to let our customers enjoy the IBM Watson Jeopardy final. One of the most enjoyable parts of these events is having the opportunity to speak with IBM customers about their view of Watson's supercomputing capabilities. Before the event, I had the opportunity to chat with Roxanne Reynolds-Lair, CIO of The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. FIDM has been in downtown Los Angeles since 1969. Today, the college consists of four dynamic campuses with a co-ed student body of 6,000 full-time students from 30 countries and more than 30,000 graduates. The college's Resource and Research Center is the largest specialized fashion library in the Western United States, offering students access to print, online and electronic resources, as well as visual and creative materials. In 2009, the school achieved worldwide fame when it was featured on Bravo's popular Project Runway series. With such a large infrastructure, keeping the school systems and data running is a big task. In 2010, FIDM choose IBM Power7 to help them power their systems and keep critical information at their fingertips.
Because Roxanne is an IBM Power7 Customer, she wanted to see IBM Watson in action during the Jeopardy challenge. IBM Watson runs on the same type of IBM Power7 hardware that Ms. Reynolds-Lair uses at The Fashion Institute for Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. Following is my interview with Roxanne Reynolds-Lair, CIO of The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles.
Q. Why are you so interested in IBM Watson? A.. Watson and FIDM rely on the same IBM Power7 hardware to accomplish their mission. At FIDM we installed an IBM Power7 770 in December 2010. We run IBM i OS and Linux, with IBM Websphere Portal, IBM Content Management, IBM Websphere Commerce, Lotus Notes, Sametime, QuickR and Forms along with our custom applications. It is really exciting for our FIDM IT team and the entire IBM i and Power platform community to see "IBM Power 7" on TV and in all the Watson articles.
Q. How do you think Watson's Deep QA (Question/Answer) technology can be used after Jeopardy?
A. The applicability of Watson Deep QA in our everyday lives has limitless potential. I would like my doctor to have the Watson wealth of analytic information prioritized to determine the best diagnosis. I don't believe computers are going to take over the world but I do believe that we as humans need to take full advantage of the benefits of technology and create collaborative solutions using the best of both technology and the human brain.
Q. What did you think of a Supercomputer playing Jeopardy? A. The IBM Watson Grand Challenge was a serious research project but presented to the public in a very understandable and entertaining manner. Watson has been the "buzz" around the water cooler. The Jeopardy Challenge was presented in an informative, educational and entertaining format. And just like humans, Watson is not always perfect, but learns from mistakes and moves on to make our world better.
To learn more about how Ms. Reynolds-Lair uses Power7 at FIDM, watch this video.
Pictured: IBM Watson in Action: Buzzing in with the right answer to take the lead
Some of you may have heard that on Wednesday night, the Supercomputer known as IBM Watson defeated the two biggest "Jeopardy" winners of all time: Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. IBM Watson finished the Jeopardy competition on Wednesday night with $77,147 in winnings over Jennings' $24,000 and Rutter's $21,600. Whether you turn on the TV, open the newspaper or log-on to Twitter, you'll find news of Watson's victory. Watson is sweeping the media with headlines shouting that in the battle of man versus machine, the machine won. Well, that's not quite true. Yes, Watson is a machine, but the Supercomputer is a machine created by humans. The brains behind Watson are the researchers and IBM technologists who developed this creation. Wednesday night at the special Jeopardy screening viewing at the Landmark Theatre in Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the brains behind Watson. Two brilliant IBM Researchers joined a full house of IBM customers at the event. Just as fascinating as watching IBM Watson play Jeopardy, was the live question and answer session that followed the Jeopardy TV show. Rick Lawrence, Manager, Machine Learning at IBM Research and Bhavani Iyer, Software Developer, IBM Research held the interest of the capacity crowd for almost an hour after the Jeopardy show ended. The human brains behind Watson shared the fascinating back story of how Watson was built and programmed for Jeopardy success.
Pictured: IBM's Bhavani Iyer and Rick Lawrence at the Los Angeles Jeopardy viewing party for IBM Watson.
According to Rick Lawrence, the power behind Watson is "2,800 IBM Power7 processor cores and 16 terabytes of working memory. " What does that look like? Well think of 10 big refrigerators all together in one room, and that gives you a vision of the servers behind IBM Watson. The IBM Watson Super Computer enjoys virtually 24 X 7 up time and lightening quick processing time via IBM's Power7 processors. This accounts for the speed with which Watson can "buzz in" to note he is ready to answer a question or search his data stores to find an obscure answer like who was inspired by William Wilkinson's "An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia" to create a famous novel? Elementary my dear Watson, Who was Bram Stoker and Watson got it right! While Watson knew his 19th century authors, there were other questions that he appeared not to know. There were a few of questions from the Los Angeles audience about some of Watson's answers during the Final Jeopardy part of the first game. In this Jeopardy match, Watson gave a notable wrong answer. The category was US cities, the Jeopardy clue was "Its largest airport is named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle." The correct answer was "Chicago", but Watson answered "Toronto." One customer asked, "How did Watson get the wrong city on the airport and the World War II battle question?" Good question.
Rick explained that Watson has "learned" that correct answers within the US cities category are not always cities, so that the category did not provide sufficient confidence to select Chicago over Toronto. Indeed, Watson's confidence for both answers was well below 50 percent. Rick also noted that postmortem analysis by the Watson team has shown that had the words "US City" been in the clue, Watson would have given priority to Chicago. Another question from the Los Angeles audience was, "What about how Watson computes the amount of the odd wagers/bets he made?" While Watson has tremendous capability to search and retrieve data from all the encyclopedias, dictionaries and news articles stored in his data repository, the Super Computer had an interesting way of placing wagers that did not go unnoticed by the audience. When Ken and Brad made nicely rounded wagers, like $2,000 or $5,000, Watson was coming up with odd numbered wagers like $8,788. What accounted for Watson's odd wagers? According to the researchers, it was the mathematical calculations that Watson was running that allowed the Super Computer to come up with its precisely numbered bets. Rick discussed Watson's wagering strategy in some detail, noting the the relatively low wager that Watson placed during this Final Jeopardy round reflected Watson's historical performance in this category, as well as the fact that Watson had a significant lead at this point.
The evening concluded with Bhavani Iyer taking a few questions from the audience on the Question and Answer Technology Watson uses. Bhavani Iyer is responsible for achieving the speed in the DeepQA technology that makes the system competitive in a live Jeopardy match. One audience member asked,"How is Watson processing the Jeopardy questions? " Bhavani explained that Watson considers internal representation of analyzed content of about the equivalent of 200 million pages when attempting to answer a clue. Bhavani explained that Watson's DeepQA processing is both CPU and memory intensive. Initially, Watson's computation took 2 hours to answer a question on a single CPU. By scaling out Watson's computation over 2,880 POWER7 processing cores and optimizing the computation and access to its data, Watson is able to answer most questions in about 3 seconds enabling the system to compete on Jeopardy. This how Watson can search his machine brain, just like a human processes a question through the brain pathways looking for an answer. Another question for Bhavani " What was the underlying framework within Watson used to scale things?" "We used Apache UIMA," said Bhavani. "This is a technology developed in IBM and used as the framework for the processing. This is Opensource and can be downloaded from www.uima.apache.org"
Both Rick and Bhavani were amazed by the audience's enthusiastic response to Watson's Jeopardy win. "Watson sparks the audience's imagination and everyone is fascinated by Watson whether they are technical or not," Bhavani told me after the event. "This is because Waston changes the way humans interact with computers," says Bhavani. "No more searching by one keyword for an answer, now you can just ask a question." I have a feeling, Watson will be answering a lot more questions. Think of the possibilities for enhancing decision making in scenarios like health care. The possibilities are endless.
Next week kicks-off with a milestone in the world of technology. IBM Watson, a Super Computer, not a human being, will play Jeopardy with two of the games all time champions.The press and the blogs have been buzzing about IBM Watson for months. And naturally, as a Super Computer, Watson doesn't give interviews. He's more elusive than JD Salinger was. And, as far as I know, Watson doesn't yet have a Hollywood agent, although he is about to become a TV star. So just what is this thing called IBM Watson? I've heard from a few of you via my social channels that you are eager to learn more. So here's a little more about the power of Artificial Intelligence behind Watson.
IBM Watson grew up at the T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. He's named for IBM founder, Thomas Watson. The Super Computer known as Watson is the brainchild of a brilliant team of IBM researchers, lead by Dr. David Ferrucci and a team of technologists. To make Watson come to life, there are IBM'ers working on his speech, algorithms that allow Watson to have answer recognition capability followed by answer detection capability, plus a systems team that worked to give Watson the processing power to rival a human brain to answer questions via natural language and artificial intelligence. Within Watson are databases stocked with what Dr. Ferrucci calls "as is knowledge from encyclopedias, dictionaries, plays and books." This is the repository of knowledge that Watson calls upon to answer questions. So basically, Watson uses information from existing sources, compiled by humans, and then analyzes it to find answers to questions. It is the computer algorithms within Watson that allow him to read from all the stored data, to find the answers. But what allows Watson to answer so quickly? That is the IBM Power7 processor which literally powers Watson's DeepQA natural language processing technology. According to Tilak Agerwala, Vice President, Systems, IBM Research " Watson relies on multiple IBM Power 750 servers clustered together, each with four processor sockets with eight POWER7 cores per socket, and four threads per core. Combined, they make a workload optimized system that can answer questions posed in natural language in seconds. No other system in the world can do this." In other words, Watson is lightening fast in his question and answer response time, running on the IBM Power7. Watson can answer a Jeopardy question in under 3 seconds because the Power7 system can run thousands of breakthrough analytical tasks at once.
Pictured: IBM Watson, in the center, playing a practice Jeopardy round.
There is no question that Watson is quick, but is he quick enough to beat the human Jeopardy champions? At last week's Lotusphere closing ceremony, IBM Watson won a preliminary match against some IBM human challengers. Even in categories as non-scientific as fashion, the Watson Super Computer was able to answer questions. How fascinating is that? Remember to watch Jeopardy next week to see how Watson performs. Whether Watson wins or not, it's amazing that the Super Computer is a player!
If you have more questions about Watson, you can actually ask Dr. Ferrucci a question about the Super Computer. NOVA is taking your questions about Watson, and Dr. Ferrucci will answer them on Feb 17. Click here to ask Dr. Ferruci a question on NOVA on PBS.
If you're interested in attending an exclusive IBM Watson viewing party in your region, ask your sales rep for details.