Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Live @ Pulse 2012: Steve Mills Keynote: Running Linux Like A Scalded Dog

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Welcome to the Day Two Pulse Keynote summary, whereby I try to consolidate a gazillion thoughts, stories, and case studies into a coherent narrative.

First, know we had to turn off all our digital gadgets so that “iLuminate” could come onstage and dance with their lighted costumes. Their performance was amazing, but I don’t have any pictures to share so you’ll just have to trust me or go watch them on YouTube here:

Tivoli veep Scott Hebner came back onstage after the dancing was over to explain that today we were going to share our client’s success stories and that “we must achievee sharper insight into a seemingly endless infrastructure.”

Today was moving day, as it were, where we start to learn all about implementation and roadmaps to success, Hebner promised.

Really?  I thought it was the day of the night that Maroon 5 took the stage!

Hebner went on to assure the Pulse audience that “we spend as much time as we can how to support our customers, as we do actually building the technologies.”

He then explained the critical importance, capabilities, and skills of our business partners through a pretty standard but relevant BP interview video, before going on to congratulate all the IBM Tivoli Business Partner award winners for 2012.

Before Hebner turned the stage over, he mentioned one last key point, that IBM has long been committed to open standards, a commitment that continues with cloud computing and IBM’s co-founding of the “Cloud Standards Customer Council (see www.cloud-council.org), which already has over 300 active members in the form of companies like Boeing, Kroger, and others.

Customer-driven cloud standards, not vendor driven.

Hebner then introduced IBM senior VP and group executive, software and systems, Steve Mills, who “has three decades of helping our clients solve their business problems.”

IBM Software senior VP and group exec, Steve Mills, throws down the gauntlet at Pulse 2012, explaining that "Linux runs like a scalded dog" on System z and that more IT organizations need to make more decisions based on economic realities.

Mill’s keynote today was impassioned, as much didactic lecture as informative overview.  Mills explained he was going to give a perspective on information technology that “centered on economics,” clearly perturbed at the continuing politics in many IT organizations that lead to bad decisions driven by turf rather than data.

To prove his point, Mills used the IBM story as one that he could relate “the art of the possible,” one of consolidation and efficiency that focused on best outcomes and achievements, not internal politics.

He put up a slide (see sidebar below) that explained how smarter planet solutions are increasing the demands placed on IT.  For example, data centers have doubled their energy use in the past five years, and there’s an 18% increase in data center energy costs projected.  The costs of the IT assets themselves, Mills pointed out, are only a small and marginal component of IT’s overall costs.  Labor, energy, and other costs are a much more substantial component of the costs, so IT has to work much smarter, and in a much more automated fashion, to keep the costs reasonable.

Smarter planet solutions have increased demands on IT, with 50% year-over-year growth in the digital universe and internet-connected devices growing 42% year-over-year.

Sprawl drives costs, Mills explained. “We know this from IBM, talking to thousands of businesses around the world.”

But, he went on, “we eat our own cooking,” and that IBM consolidation efforts to date had saved over $100M and counting, and that the TCO comparison for distributed workloads versus those on z Systems is a substantial savings on virtualized Linux via z.

“Linux runs like a scalded dog on the mainframe,” Mills asserted, the quote of Pulse 2012 thus far.  Mills elaborated on IBM’s investments in System z: “If the work can be consolidated onto Z, we do it.  System z plays a critical role in IBM’s journey. Migrations to System z have delivered almost 60% of the project’s total cumulative savings to date.”

But too many organizations don’t look at putting the right workloads in the right places and systems.

With much of IBM’s own IT workload consolidation, “We can give better service faster in IBM relative to the applications they run” Mills detailed.  For example, IBM reduced server provisioning from 5 days to 1 hour. Configuration, operations, management, and monitoring labor was reduced by 50%.

In the collaboration realm, IBM now has more than 300M meeting minutes in the cloud per day and supports >85% of IBM’s overall web conferencing needs (which are, trust me, extensive. We IBMers mostly don’t live in offices anymore — we live in emeetings from our home and mobile offices!)

His message was clear: Focus your IT investments based on the reality of your business, not territory or political alignments.

As always, Steve concluded with some key customer examples. Nationwide Insurance saved $15M cost savings over three years using Linux on Systems z.  Now, they have 85-90% server utilization and an 80% reduction in environmental costs.

Technische Unviersitat Munchen replaced 150+ servers with two IBM Power servers, saving 85%, and energy consumption reduced by 80%.

Carter’s Inc., a leading children’s apparel company in the U.S., now accelerates data backup by 83% and achieves a 23:1 data compression ratio when it virtualizes its data storage environment. This has reduced data backup time from 12 hours to 2 hours.

Then, Steve Mills did something he doesn’t often, and that was to open the kimono.

In fact, yesterday during our interview with Steve, I asked him what, if anything, had changed since he had taken helm of the IBM Systems group (along with his existing Software responsibilities).

His response was revealing: Nothing had changed. Work integrating our systems and software for optimizing workload would continue as it had, if not accelerate.

The following slide reveals some of the details.  Based on these comments, I would expect more news on this front very soon.  : )

I wouldn't want to read *too* much into this, but it looks like to me, IBM's coming out with some new and integrated systems, and soon. Just so long as they continue to run that "scalded dog Linux!"

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Written by turbotodd

March 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm

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