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.
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
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.
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.
IBM is at it again. That is being innovative, and taking those innovations to the airwaves. IBM and America’s Favorite Quiz show® Jeopardy! today announced that an IBM computing system named “Watson” will compete on Jeopardy! against the show’s two most successful and celebrated contestants -- Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. The first-ever man vs. machine Jeopardy! competitionwill air on February 14, 15 and 16, 2011, with two matches being played over three consecutive days. "Watson" is a Natural Language Processing, Question Answer machine, named after IBM company founder Thomas J. Watson, Sr., to challenge two of the
world’s trivia grand masters, to be aired on U.S. television from February 14-16, 2011.
So what can Watson do? Watson will enable people to rapidly find specific answers to complex
questions. The technology could be applied in areas such as healthcare,
for accurately diagnosing patients, to improve online self-service help
desks, to provide tourists and citizens with specific information
regarding cities, prompt customer support via phone, and much more. 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."
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 is showing customers and analysts their "Blueprint for a Smarter Data Center" today at the Gartner Group Conference. Steve Sams, IBM Vice President of IBM Site and Facilities Services spoke today to a standing room only crowd at the conference about best practices for developing cost-effective and efficient data centers that can 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 recommended the use of "server virtualization analytics" in planning for an optimized, productive data center.
If you're interested in learning more, stop by IBM Booth Z at the Gartner Data Center Conference. IBM is showing their Portable Mobile Data Center for attendees, and you'll have the opportunity to ask IBM Experts at the show your questions about how to increase the efficiency of your data center, and optimitize 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.
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!
Join the IBM Systems & Technology Group at the Gartner Data Center Conference and learn how smarter computing strategies can help you gain insight, manage growth and leverage new technologies. The Gartner Data Center 29th Annual Event takes place at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV on December 6-9, 2010.
Attend and take advantage of these benefits:
Exclusive private meetings with IBM executives
On-site demos and best practice sessions from IBM subject matter experts
Customer Case Study speaking session
A private networking event at a special location
Sessions on Cloud Computing and Virtualization
Visit the IBM Booth Z to see the latest in IBM systems and solutions. Take a tour of the Portable Modular Data Center; a turnkey data center built for any environment for remote, temporary, mobile and raised floor expansion solutions.
Be sure to look for these IBM Speaker Sessions during the event:
- Matt Collins, Vice President, IBM Smarter Business Initiatives "Smarter computing delivers better economics"
- Steve Sams, Vice President, IBM Site and Facilities Services "Blueprint for data center efficiency "
- Kevin Muha, Enterprise Architect and Technology Manager of Storage Services, UPMC "Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center Maximizes Storage Efficiency with IBM"
Please contact your IBM representative for more information and to arrange a meeting at the conference. We want to see our customers in Las Vegas at the show. Follow us on Twitter at @IBMSTG to get real-time conference updates!
Date: November 10th from 2:00 to 5:00 PM Location: The Sunset Room, 137 National Plaza, Third Floor, National Harbor, MD 20745 Sponsors: IBM’s Systems Technology Group (STG), Software Group (SWG), and NISC (National Interest Security Company), new wholly owned GBS subsidiary. Who Should Attend: CIOs, Program Managers, Project Managers, IT Architects, Enterprise Architects, Software Architects, System Architects, Data Center Managers, and System Administrators,
The Agenda for the Technical Exchange Meeting includes these timely topics:
Extreme Processing: John Meyers, Executive IT Architect, will discuss how to replace legacy Sun Systems with Next Generation innovative Modular building blocks for processing and storage. IBM's Power 7 ™ and SONAS™ based solutions are exactly the right fit. IBM was the developer of the first Defense Intelligence Computer and the first disk drive. We know Extreme Processing. Let us demonstrate the best way to architect your next system and how to develop a scalable infrastructure.
Cybersecurity: Dave McQueeny, CTO IBM Federal, will talk about new cutting edge cyber capabilities. STREAMS ™ helps organizations detect millions of access requests and make sense of sophisticated cyber attacks. Using Gaurdium™ database analysis tool you can identify unautho-rized access to database data. These break-through technologies along with IBM Internet Security Services organization allow a complete cyber capability.
Entity Resolution and Data Management: Imagine connecting billions of records across systems giving analysts the data needed to connect the dots regardless of organizational and geo-political boundary, consider insider threat, or tribal disambiguation problem space for example. Dave McQueeny will highlight the IBM capabilities that exist today that will allow organizations to find a particular needle in a stack of needles.
Advanced Real Time analytics: Dave McQueeny will outline how IBM has distinguished itself and is continuing to distinguish itself as the IT company that can help your organization make the jump from transactions to interactions, from perfecting your past to inventing your future, and from having to react to customers' changing needs to being able to anticipate and meet them. Cloud Computing: Dave McQueeny will highlight how using enterprise-caliber cloud integration for public, private and hybrid models can help you take advantage of IBM's cloud service delivery model without compromising security. See cloudburst automatic machine provisioning demonstration including workflow, scheduling, and deployment.
Stop by to meet your IBM Defense Intelligence Team and IBM Business Partners Brocade, Jeskell, Mainline Information Systems, and Sterling Computers. Come engage industry solution experts on industry best practices. Let IBM show you Intelligent Infrastructure and Technology Solutions for a Smarter Planet!
IBM has announced new offerings that dramatically improve storage
Storage requirements for organizations today are
growing up to 40% per year. Data centers today are being transformed and
challenged by this explosion of data, growing volume of transactions and
increasing concerns about security. A new set of technologies has emerged that
directly addresses storage efficiency challenges. Leveraging these five key
technologies - virtualization, thin provisioning, data deduplication,
compression, and automated tiering - is critical to mitigating storage
OFFER: A new IBM video will introduce these technologies and
show how you can:
XIV - the user experience Customer feedback shows that IBM XIV
delivers absolutely predictable performance, even when supporting unpredictable
workloads. Enterprise Strategy Group concludes that IBM XIV is highly suited for
environments where active day-to-day storage administration and load-balancing
are undesirable or impractical. Read
real-life stories from XIV users.
What's smart about Storage? "One of the fundamental
tenets in IT is to move from complexity to simplicity. We have been able to
achieve that with the XIV system successfully."Clients
talk about their successes.
Check out the hero of the Universal animated hit, Despicable Me, Gru on the left. Gru is the villain of the film, seeking to commit despicable acts, and take over the world (I'm not telling you all the details, here.) I had to see the movie this week because my little niece wanted to see it for her birthday. Of course, the movie is a child's dream. It pokes fun at adults and features three very smart little girls who humanize the main character, Gru, with their winning combination of smarts and childhood innocence. My niece was completely charmed, as are movie goers all over the world. The film is a big box office success.
Watching the film, I had no idea that IBM was involved in the film's behind the scenes technology until I had a look at today's Information Week Magazine blog. Animated movies typically take a long time to complete, some several years. However, Despicable Me took far less time because it was built on a more efficient foundation, a "server farm." In case you haven't heard, a server farm is a collection of computer servers usually maintained by an enterprise to accomplish server needs far beyond the capability of one machine. Properly utilized, server farms can maximize the efficiency of the technology environment, while reducing the energy needed to power the IT environment.
"The traditional way of making these kinds of movies is in a big studio -- a "glass house" -- where the hundreds of people involved collaborate at the same site," says Ed Abrams, vice president of midmarket offerings at IBM. "As far as the technology, we're usually talking about huge, air-conditioned server rooms that take up a lot of room and consume a lot of energy." For this project, Serviware deployed a server farm that took up only four parking spots' worth of space and reduced power usage by about 40%. The VAR used IBM's iDataPlex systems, which Abrams says are noteworthy for their efficient design and flexible configuration. A Rear Door Heat eXchanger, a water-cooled door, eliminated the need for air conditioning.
The film's producer, Chris Meledandri was very pleased with how the IBM technology enabled collaboration from the the creative talent working on the film. "'Despicable Me' represents a breakthrough in the emerging model of
collaborative, geographically distributed digital movie making, which we
are proud to be building from the ground up. By seamlessly bringing
together creative talent from the U.S., France and other locations
around the world via technology, we completed a massive production
undertaking that is often left to larger single-location Hollywood
studios," said Chris Meledandri, Producer of "Despicable Me" and founder
of Illumination Entertainment. "Thanks to the capacity of IBM's
rendering technology and the skills of our artists, we were able to
bring our creative vision to life through the completion of a
wonderfully entertaining film and build the foundation for a large
pipeline of projects in development."
According to Information Week, the way in which the film was produced "is a shining example of what IBM and its technology partners are accomplishing under the Smarter Planet umbrella." IBM Business Partner and Value Added Reseller (VAR) Serviware helped 330 Universal employees and animators from all over the globe to collaborate from different locations to bring the film to children like my little niece. That's pretty cool, when you think about the energy being saved, and the laughter being brought to little kids everywhere. The movie was built in nine months, as opposed to the typical 3 to 5 years. Love that Smarter Systems technology for smarter animation!:)
IBM is announcing ground breaking storage solutions that make storage easier to manage and afford.
Your business information is multiplying rapidly. Managing this
information is becoming increasingly complex, and expensive.
This IBM announcement features the very latest in managing,
storing and retaining your data and how the IBM Storage Strategy will
help drive down the cost of storage acquisition, data retention, and
Join us for an event to help you transform your storage
infrastructure, highlighting IBM solutions that deliver greater storage
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."