Cloud, analytics and mobile aren’t just changing the way you compute, they’re changing the way you do business with customers. To succeed in today’s world, you must meet customers’ demands the first time, every time, any time and anywhere. To tackle such challenges, IBM is launching an enhanced zEnterprise® .
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.
Oracle's recent announcement
to stop further software development for the Itanium platform has
created a significant anxiety amongst clients using Itanium technology.
And with good reason. According to ComputerWorld, "Technology executives at companies running Oracle databases and
applications on Hewlett-Packard servers say that Oracle's decision to stop supporting Intel's Itanium chips could force them to undertake expensive hardware and software upgrades."
Since the announcement, we've heard from customers and Business Partners asking us what IBM's position on this is. In order to respond, IBM is holding a webcast on May 12th to discuss how enterprises can mitigate their risks and
build a transition plan to the IBM platform. Click here to register for this web event.
The webcast will feature information about possible options for
Itanium clients from IBM executives, including discussions on the impact, decision path, and major considerations that a
user might encounter as they look ahead for answers. As HP Itanium
Users re-evaluate their current infrastructure, IBM can make the
transition much easier.
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.
One of the best ways to get educated about storage and data management issues is to listen to how customers are working with their IT challenges. In the video below, Josh Morton, Vice President, IT Enterprise Services at Sprint talks abouthow IBM's storage made a huge impact on the way Sprint was managing their storage/data issues. IBM System Storage solutions helped Sprint slash maintenance costs by 60%, increase utilization by 45%, and more effectively utilize lower cost tier 2 storage and their existing infrastructure. It doesn't get much better than that!
On a smarter planet, technology is fueling innovation. Demand for
computing resources is growing. Are your clients ready for Smarter
Smarter Computing at the Pulse Conference
Pulse 2011 IBM is launching Smarter Computing at Pulse 2011. Join us in Las Vegas, February 27. Look for the Smarter Computing Zone in the exhibit hall. Click here to add session #2069 to your agenda now.
Don't Miss The Smarter Computing Live Stream Kickoff streaming from Pulse!
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Last week eWeek magazine featured a rave-up on IBM's enterprise hardware business. In IBM's recent earnings announcement the hardware division showed its "best quarter in a decade based on hardware sales in the first quarter of 2011, and analysts say it is because IBM has the right mix at the right time." So what are some of the right features IBM has at this time? The winning combination seems to be innovation and high performance. According to the article:
IBM's success in servers and systems is tied to the strategic decision IBM made during the 2008 recession to invest billions of dollars in hardware, with a focus on innovation and integration at every level of the systems stack, from semiconductor technology through application optimization, IBM officials said.
IBM's investments in high-value and high-growth areas like workload optimization, analytics, virtualization and data center energy efficiency are bearing fruit. In 2010, IBM released significant new product enhancements across its entire portfolio, from a radically redesigned System z mainframe and Power to Intel-based System x and storage.
If you're an IBM customer who has heard of, or attended our Pulse conference, odds are that you think of it a Service Management event that is about IBM's SLM software from Tivoli. But this year's event promises something different. Especially for customers who are interested in maximizing the performance of their enterprise hardware. After all don't business analytics and lightening fast servers go together like Fred and Ginger? This year, IBM is highlighting a new theme called "Smarter Computing" at the conference.
Smarter Computing is the next evolution of IT that will enable your clients to optimize their systems with analytics and high-performance hardware. The powerful combination of IBM hardware plus IBM software enables clients to plan and manage their investments to achieve an optimized enterprise. Investments in emerging technologies such as cloud computing can be more predictable, resulting in savings of up to 40 percent of technology infrastructure expenses through balancing IT capacity with business growth. Click here to see the Smarter Computing agenda at Pulse. A series of sessions at the conference will highlight these aspects of Smarter Computing:
The Smarter Computing tracks will demonstrate how businesses all over the world can use integration, automation and transformation to dramatically improve the economics of IT. Highlights include:
The Smarter Computing Agenda. Sessions and demos covering the industry's latest trends. If you attend, you'll learn how IBM is applying Smarter Computing to data, systems and service to create efficient and innovative IT.
The Smarter Computing Zone. Demos featuring IBM's industry-leading capabilities to help you better manage data explosion, rapidly changing workload requirements and customer demands for more flexible service models.
The Hardware Circle. All the latest IBM hardware innovations. You'll see how flexible, centralized system designs are delivering superior IT economics.
If you're interested in learning more,click on over to www.ibm.com/pulse. Did I mention the conference is in Las Vegas featuring Pulse Palooza? And you never know who might show up. In years past, Smash Mouth has rocked Pulse Palooza.
Today at the Gartner Data Center show in Las Vegas, IBM announced that powerful new predictive analytical capabilities,
constructed using intellectual property from 21 inventions, have been
incorporated into its global technology services portfolio – including
information technology and strategic outsourcing services. IBM VP Steve Sams, vice president, IBM Site and Facilities Services, hinted at this news yesterday in his luncheon address to over 650 conference attendees.
This is the
latest example of IBM using analytics capabilities to transform the
nature of high-value business and technology services, which includes
everything from identifying fraud in tax or healthcare systems, to
predicting consumer buying behaviors for retail clients.
Predictive analytics capabilities have been pioneered by IBM
Research to enable chief information officers (CIOs) to construct
specific, fact-based financial and business models for their information
technology (IT) operations. Traditionally, CIOs have had to make
decisions about their IT operations without the benefit of tools that
could help interpret and model data. Now, planning future investments
for data center capacity or adopting emerging technologies such as cloud
computing can be more predictable, resulting in savings of up to 40
percent of technology infrastructure expenses through balancing IT
capacity with business growth.
"Until now, CIOs have been unable to access many of the predictive,
analytics-driven tools that CEO's or CFO's have used for years," said
Steven Sams, vice president, IBM Site and Facilities Services. "With
today's announcement, CIO's are able to not only apply relevant facts to
optimize current IT investments, but also access business insights
needed to make the best use of limited resources. In essence this broad
array of new analytical capabilities take data generated from IT
operations and turn it into a set of facts that clients can then use to
make smarter business decisions," he added.
New analytical capabilities are available now across IBM Global
Technology Services. Examples of capabilities that help clients with
data center rationalization include:
IBM's Alternate Cash Flow Analysis can help determine which
alternatives in data center or IT infrastructure operations can
cost-effectively meet a client's business goals. Consolidate or upgrade?
Two data centers or one? Short-term benefit or long-term approach?
This analysis calculates the "do-nothing strategy" – for example, what
would happen to investments if left in their current state – which
provides a baseline for other financial comparisons.
IBM's Physical Threshold Capacity Analysis can help forecast data
center capacity requirements many years into the future, allowing
clients to know how long their data centers will remain viable and when
they will need to be upgraded. A patent-pending algorithm developed by
IBM Research empowers decision-making and improved business performance
through the use of computational algorithms and modeling to determine
how to meet unpredictable demand in data center capacity. Based on
client's input on expected application growth, IT strategy and current
data center capabilities, the tool provides objective analysis on the
data center capacity thresholds to predict energy and space capacity
IBM's Resiliency Rationalization Analysis can help clients correctly
gauge resiliency within their data center infrastructure. Current
metrics for understanding reliability typically focus on the capital
costs and don't facilitate the business decision of understanding the
value of availability to the on-going business operations. Using client
input on relative application values, recovery times, operational
quality and other data can provide visibility into the trade-offs
between the values of availability with the costs of reducing risk
Adopting IBM's predictive analytical capabilities to analyze
cash-flow, threshold capacity and resiliency rationalization can help
CIOs and business leaders better plan, manage and deploy IT
infrastructure and budget effectively.
IBM continues to expand its multi-billion dollar investment in the
business analytics and optimization market. Over the past five years,
IBM has invested more than $14 billion in 24 analytics acquisitions.
Today, more than 8,000 IBM business consultants are dedicated to
analytics and over 200 mathematicians are developing breakthrough
algorithms inside IBM Research.
IBM has announced 55 new and updated server and storage technologies that can help clients gain actionable insights from data, increase IT capacity and deliver new services faster to create profitable business opportunities. This blog post offers a short summary of all the announcements by area of interest. The new and enhanced offerings include affordable business analytics systems, automated tools for implementing security and compliance standards, and starter kits for establishing private clouds.
As the world’s increasing demand for data and services puts a strain on IT resources, organizations become trapped in a vicious cycle in which a rigid IT infrastructure and lack of trusted data leads to reactive or risky decision making. Attempts to overcome these challenges through additional IT investments often result in a more sprawling and costly infrastructure.
The new offerings, highlighted below, address these challenges with smarter computing technologies for business analytics, integrated storage, optimized systems and virtualized data centers.
Designed for Data Companies that handle vast amounts of information need to be able to analyze that data to make better business decisions in real time. IBM is delivering new entry-level business analytics systems, accelerated database analytics and expanded data storage options. Highlights include:
IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator incorporates the Netezza data warehouse appliance into the IBM zEnterprise System for faster analytic responses. The blending of Netezza and System z technologies enables the merging of online transaction processing (OLTP) systems, which facilitate and manage transaction-oriented applications typically for data entry and retrieval transaction processing, with analytics into a single platform for operational business analytics. The appliance plugs into IBM DB2 for z/OS database on zEnterprise 196 (or z114) and is designed to speed response time for a wide variety of intensive analytics, which ultimately can provide faster business analysis. At a time when organizations are demanding access to customer purchase histories, customer behaviors and real time sales trends, IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator helps clients sift through this massive amount of data and make the information relevant and actionable in a timelier manner.
IBM Smart Analytics System 9700 and IBM Smart Analytics System 9710 utilize innovative technologies to deliver an end-to-end data warehouse and business intelligence solution on IBM zEnterprise System. The new systems can support a data distribution hub, transactional analysis platforms and modernized reporting systems, or provide a framework for comprehensive predictive analytics. IBM clients can now build a mainframe-based operational business analytics solution at an entry-level price.
IBM POWER7 processor-based IBM Smart Analytics System 7710 and x86 processor-based IBM Smart Analytics System 5710 are single server, all-in-one systems that deliver business analytics and reporting services faster and at a lower cost than previous IBM integrated solutions. Engineered for the rapid deployment of business-ready solutions in days and not months, they offer a breadth of capabilities including business intelligence reporting, analysis, dashboards, data mining, cubing services and text analytics.
IBM Storwize V7000 Unified midrange disk system brings efficiency and simplicity to data storage with file and block storage located on the same system with a world-class graphical user interface. It provides automatic policy-driven movement of files to the desired drive type to help manage costs and simplify administration, the ability to either scale within a system or scale out by clustering two systems together, and enhanced remote mirroring options.
IBM System Storage DS8000 Release 6.2 enterprise disk systems introduce greater performance and improved capacity optimization capabilities that allow organizations to manage diverse workloads efficiently and automatically without administrator involvement. Easy Tier enhancements include automated data migration across three-tiers of storage, as well as automated data rebalancing within a single tier, which can help clients improve performance where and when it’s needed. Moreover, with only two parameters to set, Easy Tier is easy to set up and manage.
IBM XIV Storage System Gen3 enterprise disk system was introduced in July with an advanced hardware upgrade that can improve performance for the most demanding workloads. Now, IBM is adding support for 3TB disk drives that increase capacity by 50 percent in the same physical footprint and enable an increase in usable capacity of up to 243TB per rack (based on IBM internal measurements). IBM is offering several other innovations such as the IBM XIV Mobile Dashboard, an Apple iPad application available at no cost that enables XIV system status to be monitored from anywhere. Separately, IBM this week announced the first Storage Performance Council (SPC) result with the XIV Storage System as part of the SPC’s announcement of the new energy extensions for SPC-2 (SPC-2/E) and SPC-2C (SPC-2C/E). XIV Storage System produced an SPC-2/E result which demonstrated its ability to handle Big Data as well as providing associated energy use data. The SPC-2/E result shows the XIV Storage System provides outstanding enterprise price-performance, in addition to Large File Processing (LFP) performance that is faster than all SPC-2 submissions from competing vendors to date.(1)
Tuned to the Task Systems that are optimized across the infrastructure and tuned for specific tasks enable businesses of all sizes to achieve superior economics. IBM is providing new technologies that automate security and compliance of virtualized environments and multi-system virtualization capabilities to reduce cumbersome IT sprawl. Highlights include:
IBM PowerSC technology provides automated tools for security and compliance of virtualized environments on Power Systems running PowerVM virtualization technology. Centrally managed reporting for compliance measurement and audit can reduce the cost of cloud computing security in virtualized data centers. Clients can automatically apply security profiles and generate reports about compliance, which can reduce administrative costs involved in configuring and auditing systems that require particular industry standards.
IBM z/VM 6.2 offers new multi-system virtualization capabilities within the software to help clients avoid virtual machine sprawl. Up to four instances of z/VM can be clustered together as members in a Single System Image, where they can be managed as a single z/VM system and share system resources.
IBM Systems Director v6.3 includes improvements in performance, scalability and usability for simplified management of optimized systems. Enhancements in the new version include simplified usability functions and fewer installation steps, the ability to manage more endpoints from a single interface, and streamlined database management with an embedded DB2 database.
Managed in the Cloud IBM cloud infrastructure solutions can accelerate deployment and maximize efficiency of businesses who want to achieve rapid, flexible delivery of high value services. IBM now offers solutions that help clients easily establish virtualized data center environments, scale cloud file systems more efficiently and improve system utilization. Highlights include:
IBM SmartCloud Entry solution, delivered by IBM Starter Kit for Cloud, offers the building blocks to create private clouds on virtualized IBM System x and Power Systems hardware. The solution provides simplified initialization and administration for cloud environments on Power and x86 systems, standardization of virtual machines and improved operations productivity with an easy-to-use, self-service interface. Organizations can also quickly and easily scale to more advanced cloud solutions as business demands and workloads increase. See related October 12, 2011 press release, “IBM Introduces New Portfolio of Private Cloud Offerings.”
zEnterprise Starter Edition for Cloud offers customers an entry-level Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud delivery model for Linux on System z with Tivoli Provisioning Manager. This easy-to-deploy, highly secure, resilient turn-key “cloud in a box” extends the scope of the enterprise cloud with centralized management of the entire zEnterprise system.
IBM BladeCenter Foundation for Cloud is a comprehensive, converged cloud computing platform that combines server, storage, networking and management technology that allows clients to quickly create an x86-based virtualization environment that is simple to deploy, manage and scale. BladeCenter Foundation for Cloud comes in three sizes – small, medium and large – designed to fit the business needs of any size business, based on budget, storage size or performance, and is capable of helping smoothly manage a typical multi-rack datacenter as if powered by a single chassis.
IBM Active Cloud Engine scales cloud file systems efficiently by moving files where and when they are needed. It gives companies fast access to billions of files and dramatically improves the management and efficiency of cloud storage. Capabilities for global clouds are available on IBM Scale-Out Network Attached Storage R 1.3 (SONAS) and for mid-sized clouds on Storwize V7000 Unified systems.
IBM Systems Director VMControl 2.4 now offers extended virtual image management and system resource pool capabilities on System x for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), the next generation open source hypervisor. The new cloud-ready virtualization capabilities help improve system utilization and reduce time to deploy new workloads.
IBM System Networking delivers smarter data center networking with faster, flexible and standards-based solutions designed to increase performance while helping to reduce costs, space, power and complexity for public and private clouds, as well as analyzing big data. New offerings include IBM 16Gbps Fibre Channel SAN backbones and switches that can ease migration to private clouds, the new 1.28Tb/sec 40GbE IBM RackSwitch G8316 that helps flatten networks for better performance and simplicity, the OpenFlow-enabled 10/40GbE IBM RackSwitch G8264 to increase client control, iFlow Director for high performance, low cost IBM BladeCenter-based appliances for mobile and Web 2.0 applications, and the new IBM Networking Operating System for today’s dynamic, virtualized data centers.
Financing provided by IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing arm of IBM, helps credit-qualified clients make the transition to smarter computing with zero percent financing for servers, storage and software or deferred payments up to six months. Financing helps clients accelerates their cash flow break-even point by spreading upfront costs over time, enabling them to utilizing cash reserves for other strategic investments. For more information on IBM’s financing options, visit http://www.ibm.com/financing/us/lifecycle/acquire/hardware.
Last week IBM made news by announcing innovative new storage systems that are optimized for workloads such as transaction processing and real-time analytics, reflecting the company's $6 billion annual investment in R&D.
Among the new products is a midrange disk storage system, called the IBM Storwize V7000, designed to efficiently and cost effectively manage the torrent of data flowing into companies so it can be swiftly delivered for such workloads as transaction processing -- like the growing volume of transactions completed from the Web and mobile and embedded devices. The new announcements include technologies that can eliminate the need to repeatedly make copies of the same data; scale-out storage technologies to support growth -- particularly of unstructured data like video and photos -- and high-performance workloads like cloud computing; and technologies to place the most critical data on fast, dynamic storage devices so it can be more quickly made available for workloads like analytics and mobile transaction processing. Examples include:
IBM System Storage Easy Tier software, which was invented by IBM Research and can improve performance by up to 200% (3). Easy Tier automatically moves the most active data (such as credit card transactions) to faster solid-state drives (SSDs) to prioritize and provide quick access to data for emerging workloads like analytics, while moving secondary data (less urgent data to be saved, for example, for regulatory requirements) to more cost-effective storage technologies;
The IBM ProtecTIER deduplication technology that IBM acquired in 2008 to help clients eliminate duplicate copies of data and significantly improve storage efficiency;
The IBM Real-time Compression Appliances -- technology that IBM acquired earlier this year to help clients reduce physical storage requirements by up to 80%, based on data from currently installed appliances (4);
The XIV high-end disk storage architecture that IBM acquired in 2008. XIV's architecture enables it to adapt to changing workloads and deliver consistent high performance;
IBM's Scale-out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), invented by IBM Research to support multiple petabytes of storage in a single file system. Clients can also use XIV and SONAS together to create a complete cloud storage solution; and
The IBM Information Archive, which combines tape and disk storage to deliver clients a tiered storage system that can protect data for long-term retention while helping optimize costs.
The IBM Storwize V7000 system further demonstrates that IBM is sharing its most innovative storage technologies across its portfolio. For example, the system includes a graphical user interface (GUI) modeled after the popular XIV user interface designed to significantly reduce system set up and administration; Easy Tier software; and industry-leading storage virtualization software that has been shown to double productivity (5).
IBM also introduced a range of other storage products, including:
IBM System Storage DS8800, which based on internal studies, can offer up to 40 percent faster performance than its predecessor, the IBM System Storage DS8700 (6). The DS8800 will next year support IBM Easy Tier.
Updated SAN Volume Controller software that includes Easy Tier, an improved administrator GUI and increased scalability as compared to the previous version of the technology;
IBM Systems Director Storage Control software that manages storage, servers and network technology through a single interface, reducing storage management complexity, risk and cost;
IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center v4.2 software that has been enhanced for midrange systems; and
Implementation Services for Disk Systems - IBM Storwize V7000, using highly skilled storage specialists who will provide planning, implementation, configuration, testing and basic skills instruction. Using IBM services will enable clients to use in-house resources for higher priority business initiatives and can accelerate the return on investment in IBM storage technology.
"Organizations are struggling with the volume and evolving nature of the data they're already collecting. The IBM Storwize V7000 will deliver clients a new level of storage efficiency that can help them better store and secure their data," said Brian Truskowski, general manager of IBM storage. "IBM is combining home-grown storage innovations like our Easy Tier technology together with acquisitions of industry leading storage technologies such as XIV to deliver our clients a truly unmatched portfolio of storage solutions."
We're gearing up for our presence at the Gartner Data Center Conference next week with exhibits and all our IBM experts. IBM has some great speaking sessions offered at the conference that attendees will want to take advantage of. Take a look at the schedule of our sessions, and save the dates on your calendar. If you're attending the show next week, remember you can use the Gartner Data Center Agenda Builder to plan a visit to the IBM Booth or speaking slots. Click here to add IBM events to your Gartner Data Center calendar. Monday, 12/6, Lunchtime Session:
Time: 11:45am - 12:15pm Room: Octavius 12 Title: Blueprint for a Smart Data Center Speaker: Steven Sams, Vice President, IBM Site and Facilities Services Abstract: Addressing unpredictable demands from business, technology and compute models are challenges we all face. Learn how to leverage proven approaches to provide flexible, cost-effective and efficient data centers that can support your business growth in four simple ways to: extend the life of your existing data center; rationalize your overall data center portfolio; design new data centers and manage your IT and data center operations.
Monday, 12/6, Solution Provider Session: Time: 2:45pm - 3:45pm Room: Octavius 12 Title: Smarter Infrastructures Deliver Better Economics Speaker: Elaine Lennox , Vice President and Business Line Executive, IBM Systems and Technology Group Abstract: The traditional data center model just can't keep up with today's spiraling costs, explosive growth and IT complexity. Learn how smarter infrastructure strategies can help you gain insight, manage growth, leverage new technologies including cloud computing and business analytics and deliver better economics.
Monday, 12/6, Theater Session Time: 6:50pm – 7:10pm Room: Show Floor Title: Maximizing Your NAS Storage Environment with IBM Real-time Compression Speaker: Steve Kenniston - Global Storage Efficiency Evangelist, IBM Systems &Technology Group Abstract: Learn how you can maximize you NAS Storage Environment by deploying IBM's Real-time Compression technology. Real-time Compression provides up to 80% compression without performance degradation and fits transparently in your storage environment not requiring any changes to your applications, servers, networks storage or any of your down stream IT process.
Tuesday, 12/7 Theater Session: Time: 12:55pm - 1:25pm Room: Show Floor Title: Making the Right Storage Choice for your Virtualized Server Environment Speaker: Tony Pearson, Master Inventor/Senior Managing Consultant, IBM System Storage Abstract: Learn about the IBM Storwize V7000 disk system and how it can provide better storage performance, utilization and productivity in a virtualized server environment such as VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V. Integrating storage efficiency techniques, including thin provisioning and automated data tiering, can provide dramatic benefits to your business.
Tuesday, 12/7, Theater Session Time: 1:25pm – 1:45pm Room: Show Floor Title: Maximizing Your NAS Storage Environment with IBM Real-time Compression Speaker: Steve Kenniston - Global Storage Efficiency Evangelist, IBM Systems &Technology Group Abstract: Learn how you can maximize you NAS Storage Environment by deploying IBM's Real-time Compression Technology. Real-time Compression provides up to 80% compression without performance degradation and fits transparently in your storage environment not requiring any changes to your applications, servers, networks storage or any of your down stream IT process.
12/08 Wednesday Speaking Session: Time: 11:45am – 12:15pm Room: Octavius 11 Title: Univ of Pittsburgh Medical Center Maximizes Storage Efficiency with IBM Speaker: Norm Protsman, IBM ProtecTIER Abstract: An integrated global healthcare enterprise provider headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., UPMC is one of the leading nonprofit healthcare systems in the U.S. -- having just been recognized for the 11th time as one of America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report . Faced with exponential data growth and stringent backup and recovery requirements for healthcare records, UPMC deployed a total IBM solution that has enabled significant storage efficiencies in their Oracle environment while enabling them to decrease their dependency of tape for their on site backup & recovery requirements.
12/08 Wednesday Speaking Session: Time: 2:45pm - 3:15pm Room: Octavius 7 Title: Enabling 5x Storage Efficiency in your NAS Storage Speaker: Steve Kenniston - Global Storage Efficiency Evangelist, IBM Systems &Technology Group Abstract: Learn how IBM's Real-time Compression technology is the latest in the portfolio of storage efficiency technologies that help customers develop a more efficient storage infrastructure. By leveraging Real-time Compression customers can get up to 5x of their storage back to do more analytics to be more competitive while reducing their overall $/TB and develop a greener storage environment.
In case you miss a session, stop by IBM Booth Z for a demo, and a Starbucks coffee card when you get your conference badge scanned. See you in Las Vegas!
Next week, IBM will be hosting a unique web event. We'll be doing an industry roundtable, entitled the "IBM Private Cloud: Why Infrastructure Matters." What's the difference between an a roundtable web event and a webcast you might ask? Well, this roundtable is designed to be more interactive that a typical webcast. On a webcast, listeners typically hear a presentation and get to ask questions at the end. In this roundtable format, we'll be taking some commonly asked questions from IBM customers and asking them of our speakers, David Reine, Analyst at The Clipper Group and Annette Miller, Worldwide Cloud Development Executive at IBM.
These experts will share best practices for choosing an infrastructure that gets the most from your cloud. You'll see how you cannot only look forward to increased utilization and availability, but also to solutions that can be easily integrated into your existing resources—saving you from costly "rip and replace" disruptions. With a strong private cloud foundation, you can start driving high-levels of business value with new offerings and services.
Companies are already turning to the cloud to extract the greatest utilization and value from their IT investments. But some are finding that immature and insecure infrastructures are limiting the efficiency of their cloud. They're still waiting on the promise of a flexible, scalable and cost-effective environment.
Register for this informative industry roundtable to hear customers' frequently asked questions on the cloud answered by experts! And bring your own questions,
On May 24th, IBM and Information Week will be presenting the online event The Data Protection and Retention Mandate: Keep it Close, Keep it Safe and Secure, Keep Costs Low, 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET. The topic for the show is how to protect your data, and keep it safe and secure. With data protection and
retention requirements growing 40 to 50 percent annually,
organizations are struggling to ensure their data meets government,
compliance, and security requirements, not to mention risk management
responsibilities. The challenge of keeping and protecting all this
data, while ensuring access when needed, means that traditional
approaches may fall short or simply cost too much. Join Information Week magazine and IBM for this special webcast on May 24th. Click here to register.
If you are struggling with your storage infrastructure, or anxious to learn best practices, you'll want to register for this webcast and participate in the live Question and Answer session that will follow the speakers' presentations. Save the date!
Data centers today are stretched to the limits with fast-paced business demands. On top of that, integrating and managing IT infrastructures can pose major challenges. Organizations need a new solution that consolidates servers and workloads without breaking the bank—and Linux, together with IBM® Enterprise Linux Server offers exactly that. Register for this informative webcast to hear IDC Vice President, Enterprise Servers, Jean Bozman's perspective on how you can overcome your IT challenges by optimizing workloads and lowering costs with an enterprise-wide Linux strategy, and gain “the flexibility of many and the efficiency of one.”
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.
We've heard consistently from our customers that one thing that is really valuable to them is the ability to test drive IBM products and solutions. That's why we're making a demonstration of IBM Systems Director available to our customers. IBM Systems Director offers a central point of control for all IBM resources in
the data center—simplifying the entire IT process. Combining IBM Systems
Director with IBM Tivoli creates a unified platform approach to systems
management for a fully integrated IT system.
The online demos show how Systems Director can be an integrating force in
your data center. Each demo includes topics such
as deployment, capture, grouping, monitoring, cost calculation, power capping
and much more.
Does your organization face challenges with:
• Monitoring and repairing systems? • Deploying and optimizing
workloads? • Planning and documenting your IT infrastructure?
You can sign-up for the demo, and listen any time from the comfort of your office, at your convenience. If you check out the demos, leave a comment here on the blog and tell us what you think!
IBM is preparing to exhibit and demonstrate their Portable Mobile Datacenter pictured on the left, (PMDC) at the Gartner Group Data Center Conference Dec. 5-7, 2011. The conference will be held in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. Among the superstar presenters at the show will be Steve Sams, IBM Vice President of IBM Site and Facilities Service. Last year, Mr. Sams spoke to a standing room only crowd at the conference about best practices for developing cost-effective and efficient data centers to support business growth. According to Steve, "60 percent of Data Center savings come from smart mechanical and electrical savings." He reminded the crowd to plan for efficiency in the "design phase of a project." He also recommends the use of "server virtualization analytics" in planning for an optimized, productive data center. Look for Steve Sam's session on Monday Dec. 5th at lunch time during the conference. Following are full details.
Monday Dec 5, Lunchtime Speaking Session: 11:45 pm – 12:15 pm, Octavius 12 Title: "Watson and your Data Center "
Abstract:Analytics have been used by CEO’s to improve business performance. What if analytics-based services could be applied to improving your IT performance? Addressing unpredictable demands from business, technology and compute models are challenges we face. Learn how to leverage Watson-like analytic approaches to provide flexible, cost-effective data center solutions. Analytics can be used to better align IT to the business needs, optimize server, storage and network utilization and improve data center design.
Speaker Name: Steven Sams, VP, Site and Facilities Services, IBM
Other IBM Speaking sessions at the conference include:
Monday Dec 5, Solution Provider Session: 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm, Augustus 5 Title: "University of Rochester Medical Center Cracks the Code on Data Growth"
Medical Imaging is changing the dynamics of data storage with over 20% annual growth and no end in sight. The challenge for The University of Rochester Medical Center was to keep up with their data growth while containing costs. Rick Haverty will discuss how his team built a storage strategy that transformed their environment to bring savings right to their bottom line without sacrificing the speed, criticality and performance requirements of their imaging and EMR systems.
Speaker: Rick Haverty,: Director of Infrastructure, University of Rochester Medical Center
Speaker: Tony Pearson ,IBM Master Inventor and Senior IT Management Consultant
Tuesday, Dec 6, Speaking Session: 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm CIOs and Storage -- Strategies and Solutions In 2010 and 2011, IBM storage consultants conducted a series of analyses on enterprise storage environments around the world. These efforts uncovered interesting trends in storage management strategies, shared challenges, as well as design trends that yielded positive results in controlling costs and improving usage efficiency in storage environments. Come learn about what challenges CIOs face with regard to storage management, and IBM's blueprint for taking the next steps towards a smart storage infrastructure. Speaker Name: Barry Becker, Manager, Global SO Programs, Global Technology Services, IBM
Wednesday, Dec 7, Solution Provider Session: 9 am - 10 am, Augustus 1 Cloud computing – What's Real vs. Virtual
Are you fighting a battle of growing resource management costs and shrinking budgets and being asked to move to the cloud? Drive more virtualization than ever before using best practices from virtualizing over 130,000 images in our own data centers. Learn which three advances in technology and software will help you to achieve a significant breakthrough in IT effectiveness, resiliency and security. All while positioning your company to be able to move faster into the cloud.
Speaker Name: Chris Molloy, Distinguished Engineer, Global Technology Services IBM
Wednesday, Dec 7, Lunchtime Speaking Session: 12 pm – 12:30 pm, Octavius 12 Wes Ganeko, System x Sales Executive, North America, IBM
If you're interested in learning more, stop by IBM Booth MM at the Gartner Data Center Conference. Exhbit hours are the following:
Solution Exchange Hours:
Monday, Dec 5: 6:15PM – 8:15PM
Tuesday, Dec 6: 11:45AM – 1:45PM 6:30PM – 8:30PM
Wednesday, Dec 7: 11:45AM – 1:45PM
Look for the IBM Portable Mobile Data Center, the big trailer on the show floor. And take the opportunity to ask IBM Experts at the show your questions about how to increase the efficiency of your data center, and optimize your hardware for greater savings. Make sure to stop by, your session with an IBM Expert is complimentary. Take a tour of the IBM Portable Modular Data Center; a turnkey data center built for any environment for remote, temporary, mobile and raised floor expansion solutions.
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.
It has been said that if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Developing a centralized business analytics infrastructure that is highly reliable and secure can save money and increase productivity. It's a fact that business analytics can provide the insight users need to make adjustments, prevent slowdowns and enhance business effectiveness.
How running business analytics workloads on IBM System z can lead to greatly improved business process flows, resulting in more business and improved customer service.
How to effectively deploy Business Analytic Applications.
How placing data into a common repository where multiple decision makers, suppliers, and customers can access that data can facilitate business decisions.
If you missed IBM at the recent Information on Demand show (IOD 2012), then you'll want to read this complimentary paper. The IBM Smart Analytics System 9700 / 9710 generated a lot of interest with our customers at IOD after it was announced on October 12th in conjunction with the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator. This new version of the IBM Smart Analytics System has been completely refreshed to create the ultimate transactional analytics workhorse. It is hybrid ready to provide a single transactional and deep analytics server when combined with the DB2 Analytics Accelerator. With the 9710 model it provides a starter configuration, at an extremely attractive price point, allowing them to start small with low risk and grow their analytics environments incrementally.