Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘virtualization

Live From IBM Pulse 2013: A Day For Partners

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Turbo starts his IBM Pulse 2013 experience with a quick trip down golf, and "Rat Pack", history by playing a round at the renowned Las Vegas National golf course, one of the courses where Tiger Woods won his first PGA tournament victory in 1996. For the record, Turbo held his own, shooting an 84 (but convinced he could have gone lower if the greens had held).

Turbo starts his IBM Pulse 2013 experience with a quick trip down golf, and “Rat Pack”, history by playing a round at the renowned Las Vegas National golf course, one of the courses where Tiger Woods won his first PGA tournament victory in 1996. For the record, Turbo held his own, shooting an 84 (but convinced he could have gone lower if the greens had held).

Good morning, Las Vegas.

You know, I joke about Vegas as my second home, but I really do have to admit, it’s a city that continues to grow on me.

And I’m sure that couldn’t have *anything* to do with the delightful, if dreadfully slow, round of golf I played yesterday at Las Vegas National.

As I mentioned in a post on Friday, this is the very same course (one of three) where Tiger Woods won his first PGA Tour event, the Las Vegas Invitational, back in 1996 (he beat Davis Love III on the first playoff hole to win).

It’s also where Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and others of the infamous “Rat Pack” used to hang out. I was only fifty years late on that front, but nonetheless, I did experience the course in all it’s glory and managed to pull of an 84. Considering Tiger’s 70 in 1996, I figure I was only .77 strokes a hole behind Tiger.

But enough sports analytics, because now all the play is behind me as I get down to work and the matter at hand, IBM Pulse 2013.

Please see my last post for some tips and tricks for navigating this year’s event (oh, did I mention, bring or go buy some comfortable shoes)?

I made my first navigation from the MGM hotel to the Convention Center this morning, and on the way, saw the now annual Burma Shave-like signs reminding us “we’re almost there!”

My favorite: Multitasking is all about doing several things badly all at once (There will be more of those tidbits of wisdom to come in future posts.)

Amen, oh great IBM Tivoli Confucian hallway philosopher!

Of course, this ain’t no Blazing Saddles shindig, so you actually *do* need a stinkin’ badge.

So, I picked mine up and wandered on into the Pulse Business Partner Summit to break a little fast, and chat with some of our partners.

When the lights went down, IBM Tivoli general manager soon hit the stage to “introduce” himself to the gathered wall-to-wall audience.

And it was quite an introduction.  I’ve interviewed Deepak a few times now at IBM events, and even I had no idea of his depth of experience at IBM.

He explained he’s once been a UNIX programmer and helped bring TCP/IP to the mainframe, had worked on the SP2 supercomputer that once upon a time outwitted a Soviet chess superpower, and helped implement a number of key high availability and systems management capabilities into IBM’s mainframe line.

More recently, Deepak was the chief marketing officer for Lenovo before returning to the IBM fold to lead our Business Analytics efforts and oversee the acquisition of SPSS.

Deepak warmed the audience to him with a very funny story about having been representing IBM with its new supercomputer at a conference in frigid Rochester. Apparently, the IBM computer was very plain and vanilla looking, and so the competition started making fun of it.

Deepak and his team decided to run out to Wal-Mart and purchase some Christmas lights, which they promptly wrapped around their supercomputer (turned out IBM had the fastest supercomputer, Christmas lights and all).

IBM Tivoli general manager Deepak Advani opens the Tivoli Business Partner Summit by introducing himself to the Tivoli crowd and explaining the depth and breadth of his background, which began as a UNIX systems programmer and shell script author back in the day. Advani now leads the IBM Tivoli organization worldwide, and will be featured prominently throughout IBM Pulse 2013.

IBM Tivoli general manager Deepak Advani opens the Tivoli Business Partner Summit by introducing himself to the Tivoli crowd and explaining the depth and breadth of his background, which began as a UNIX systems programmer and shell script author back in the day. Advani now leads the IBM Tivoli organization worldwide, and will be featured prominently throughout IBM Pulse 2013.

After establishing his background and bona fides, Deepak got down to business, reaffirming the critical importance of IBM’s partners to the Tivoli and broader IBM business, but explaining none of us in the ecosystem could rest on our laurels.

“We must bring more industry and domain expertise” into our technologies, Deepak asserted, “and we must also bring our line of business and IT audiences more closely together.”

This, of course, observing a theme pervasive within IBM since CEO Ginni Rometty took the helm: We must focus more on our line of business executives.

From CMO to CFO, they are increasingly involved in the IT decision-making process, and the back office has moved to the front, requiring a more collaborative “sell” for both constituencies.

Deepak also acknowledged the pain IT organizations felt these last several years, and explained that’s why IBM has worked to try and free them from operational matters with technologies like PureSystems, so that they can spend more time working with their LOB partners on innovation.

Finally, Deepak walked the audience through a number of key core and growth priorities, ranking among them the continued focus on mainframe and storage evolution, the importance of standars, and looking forward to growth areas like endpoint management and cloud computing.

He talked specifically about the notion of the “portability of workloads,” explain how IBM has taken patterns from PureSystems and moving them to the cloud. (A line of questioning I aspire to take up in my interview tomorrow on the Livestream stage with PureSystems’ Nancy Pearson and Jason Gartner.)

He also tiptoed through the world of “dev-ops,” with specific regard to managing the life cycles of applications.

Finally, Deepak explained we can do more to improve the design and usability of our portfolio, and also use analytics (his old job!) to improve and make better operational decisions.

Pulse 2013 is underway…hold on to your console!

The SMB IT Spending Zeitgeist

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In Spiceworks' "State of SMB IT 2H 2012" survey, mobile is moving on up. Tablets continue to grow in SMBs and in the last 6 months, adoption has tipped to over half (53%) of SMBs supporting tablets on their networks.  The number of companies supporting tablets (53%) is on the verge of reaching the 59% of companies who manage smartphones on their networks.  Larger organizations are driving this trend towards more tablets in the workplace.

Click to enlarge. In Spiceworks’ “State of SMB IT 2H 2012″ survey, mobile is moving on up. Tablets continue to grow in SMBs and in the last 6 months, adoption has tipped to over half (53%) of SMBs supporting tablets on their networks. The number of companies supporting tablets (53%) is on the verge of reaching the 59% of
companies who manage smartphones on their networks. Larger organizations are driving this trend towards more tablets in the workplace.

It’s that time of year.  Google has released its 2012 Zeitgeist, telling us what’s on the minds of the world’s searchers.

Facebook, not to be out done, has released the Facebook Year In Review, “a look back at the people, moments and things that created the most buzz in 2012 among the billion people around the world on Facebook.”

Now, go and ask folks what they think about Facebook’s everchanging privacy controls, and we’ll see if the Facebook Year In Review gets soon revised.

But I’m actually more interested in a big report from a small, but growing networking software and social business upstart located right here in Austin, Texas.

Spiceworks connects 2.2 million IT professionals with more than 1,300 technology brands, and offers its IT management software through a novel ad-supported model. In turn, it claims to “help businesses to discover, buy and manage $405 billion worth of technology products and services each year.”

Spiceworks just released its semi-annual “State of SMB IT Report,” a collection of statistics, trends and opinions from small and medium business technology professionals from amongst their community.

This December’s study is the seventh edition, and claims to “keep the pulse on the happenings of small and medium business IT professionals and IT departments.”

First, I’m just happy to discover they still have a pulse.

The National Federation of Independent Business’ “Small Business Optimism Index,” which is reported monthly, indicated in its November report one of the steepest declines in its history. In fact, it has reported a lower index value only seven times since it first conducted its monthly surveys in 1986.

The Index dropped a full 5.6 points in November, bottoming out at 87.5 (In 2000, by juxtaposition, it was well above 100), indicating something was rotten in November. The Index’s own Web statement suggested “it is very clear that a stunning number of [small business] owners…expect worse business conditions in six months,” and that nearly half are certain things will be worse next year than they are now, with a head nod to the looming fiscal cliff talks, the promise of higher healthcare costs, and the “endless onslaught of new regulations.”

Chicken Little, the SMB sky is falling!

Clouds, Virtualization, And Tablets Are Driving The SMB IT Spending Bus

But fear not, the SMB adoption of new technology is riding to the small business rescue, or so suggests the Spiceworks SMB IT study.

The headlines? Though IT budgets are on the rise in the SMB, hiring new staff is at a standstill. But for those still standing, in the last six months, SMBs adopted tablets and cloud services in fast-growing numbers.

Here are the four key findings:

  • Tablet adoption keeps its momentum and nears smartphone levels. Hardware maintains the lion’s share of IT spend in the SMB.
  • Adoption of cloud services spikes; desktop virtualization shows strong potential. (Can you say “Go long on VMWare??”)
  • IT budgets reached their highest point in the last three years, while hiring freezes are up.
  • BYOD is still a hot topic, though IT pros are split on the issue.

Diving down a bit, on the subject of tablets, 53 percent of SMBs now support tablets on their network, making them almost as popular as smartphones at 59 percent.

Cloud services are now used by 62 percent of SMBs, up from 48 percent in the first half of 2012.

With respect to IT budgets, they’re on the rise, averaging $162K, up from $152K in 1H 2012. But only 26 percent plan on hiring IT staff in the second half.

And on BYOD, whlie 14 percent fully embrace the trend, 32 percent say it works well for some devices, but not for others. Digging deeper, I discovered that smartphones led with 81 percent BYOD support, while tablets only garnered 62 percent.

And somewhat ironically, there’s more support for BYOD in much smaller organizations (defined here as less than 20 employees) than larger ones (50 percent in those above 250 employees).

I would encourage you to go here and register to download the full report, but the top line is this: If you’re an IT vendor looking for budget flush at the end of 2012, desktops, laptops, and servers are certainly low-hanging fruit, with tablets bringing on the most growth.

And on the software front, be on the lookout for disaster recovery and storage solutions (an IT mainstay through downturns), cloud-based solutions, and virtualization software.

Whatever you do make, just make sure you make those new purchases with “Gangnam Style” — and if you have no idea of what I’m referring to, see above with regards to the 2012 Google Zeitgeist!

New And Smarter Systems

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Among its many features, the new POWER7+ microprocessor offers an expanded 2.5x L3 cache memory, greater security with faster file encryption for the IBM AIX operating system, and memory compression that results in no increased energy usage over previous generation POWER7 chips.

While President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney were out in the desert eating burritos, visiting dams, and doing debate prep, we at Big Blue were preparing for our own significant announcement, one that just by happenstance emerged on the big debate day.

But it’s one to pay attention to, as it bolsters IBM’s smarter computing initiative and paves the way for companies to establish a more aggressive posture in what we call “cognitive computing.”

First, the broad headline: We’ve bolstered our smarter computing initiative by introducing new Power systems, storage, and mainframe technologies.

Specifically, we’ve infused the Power systems family with the new POWER 7+ processor (see the process in the image to the left), which provides greater security and fast business analytics, capacity on demand, and significantly improved performance.

We’ve introduced massive new storage devices through the new high-end DS8870 storage systems that are three times faster than the previous models.

And recognizing the need for organizations to be more “data ready,” we’ve introduced the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator V3, which provides lightning fast analytics capabilities running on the recently introduced IBM zEnterprise EC12 mainframe.

The smarter computing initiative is aimed at solving the varied and intensifying challenges organizations are facing, from security vulnerabilities to managing ballooning data volumes that are expanding through social and mobile technologies.

You can learn more about IBM’s smarter computing initiative and these newly introduced technologies here. 

The Big Iron Cloud

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It’s Tuesday, August 28, 2012, and I’m having flashbacks to early the week of August 30, 2005.

Gulf Coast, I’ve got my fingers crossed for ya.

Seven years ago this week, I was flying up to NYC to cover IBM’s involvement in providing technology support for the U.S. Open.

When I left that Monday morning, all was well, but by the time I arrived at JFK, the levees had broken.

Here’s hoping NOLA built that $14 billion levee rebuild well!

Back here on the technology front, there’s some big news from Big Blue today, this time in the mainframe world.

IBM’s new zEnterprise EC12 mainframe computer, the result of a three-year, $1 billion R&D investment by IBM that includes new security and analytics technology to boost cloud computing performance, extending the mainframe’s leadership as the enterprise system for critical data.

IBM announced a new mainframe server, the zEnterprise EC12, one built around nearly 50 years of enterprise computing experience and which will help IBM customers take their analytics capabilities to the next level.

The IBM zEC12 offers 25 percent more performance per core, with over 100 configurable cores and 50 percent more total capacity than its predecessor.

This new system is the result of an investment of over $1 billion in IBM research and development by IBM, including in Poughkeepsie, NY and 17 other IBM labs around the world, and in partnership with some of IBM’s top clients.

Secure Transactions

This new mainframe is also one of the most secure enterprise systems ever, including built-in security features designed to meet the security and compliance requirements of a range of industries. It’s the only commercial server to achieve Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 5+ security classification.

The zEC12’s state-of-the-art crytopgraphic co-processor called “Crypto Express4S” that provides privacy for transactions and sensitive data, and can be configured to provide support for high quality digital signatures (used with applications for Smart passports, national ID cards, and online legal proceedings).

Driving Business Insights

The zEC12 also advances performance for analytics, inceasing the performance of analytic workloads by 30 percent compared to its IBM predecessor.

And support for the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator that incorporates the Netezza data warehouse appliance into zEC12 enables clients to run complex business and operational analytics on the same platform.

Big Iron Cloud

The mainframe’s virtualization capabilities also make it well suited to supporting private cloud environments, where clients can consolidate thousands of distributed systems on to Linux on zEC12, lowering their IT operating costs associated with energy use, floor space, and even software licensing.

If you go here, you can learn more about the IBM zEC12 and can also contact an IBM rep or Business Partner to see how this bigger and better iron might be able to bolster your business results.

Addressing The IT Labor Challenge

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Back in April, I blogged here about the new IBM PureSystems line of servers that have been in the works for some years and backed by $2 billion in investment by IBM.

Here we are a few short months later, and we’re seeing some substantial uptake of this new line, including in growth markets.

Just a few updates:

  • Over 700 IBM Business Partners have now adopted IBM PureSystems, and 1,300 of those have completed training on the new lines
  • 160+ solutions and “patterns” of expertise have been developed both by IBM and our partners across 20 industries
  • New financing options now all for organizations to defer the first payment for IBM PureSystems for 30 days

Organizations around the world are increasingly looking for ways to reduce IT complexity and overcome the growing worldwide skills shortage. Today, approximately three-quarters of global employers cite a lack of experience, skills or knowledge as the primary reason for the difficulty filling IT positions.

Egads!

Because of this, organizations are searching for new ways of computing that don’t require the additional commitment of significant resources or employee training to set up and maintain.

And voila, IBM PureSystems.

PureSystems meets this demand by providing patterns of expertise –- a new technology model that builds on the experience of thousands of IBM clients and radically streamlines the set-up and management of hardware and software resources.

Global Clients Embrace IBM PureSystems  

Since launching in April, clients around the world are using IBM PureSystems to reduce IT cost and complexity. For example:

  • BPTP, a leading Indian real estate company, selected IBM PureSystems to streamline its IT infrastructure to improve the overall home buying experience for its customers. Established in 2003, BPTP has experienced rapid growth over the last decade. Sustaining and building upon this growth required BPTP to find a better computing and storage solution. To meet these challenges, it selected IBM PureSystems for all of its processing and storage requirements.
  • PCCW, a leading information technology outsourcing company based in Hong Kong, has selected IBM PureSystems as the foundation for its new Enterprise Solutions Superstore — an online environment for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). As a result, they are now able to offer customers applications on the cloud using a Software-as-a-Service model.
  • ValeCard, a multi-industry conglomerate based in Brazil, has achieved 40 percent growth annually over the past three-years. Facing rapid expansion of its business, ValeCard turned to IBM PureSystems to manage thousands of transaction records from contracts with large companies and government entities. Additionally, ValeCard is using IBM PureSystems to help it meet an increasing set of new regulations and standards for data availability.

IBM’s Partners Drive PureSystems Adoption 

For IBM Business Partners, PureSystems creates a new opportunity to help clients solve the complexity of enterprise IT.

From resellers to distributors and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), more than 700 Business Partners are supporting IBM PureSystems.

PureSystems currently run tens of thousands of existing ISV applications across four operating environments including Windows, Linux, AIX, and IBM System i.

Additionally, Business Partners have created more than 160 new solutions and applications that are optimized to run on PureSystems. These patterns of expertise, which span 20 industries, can be accessed through the IBM PureSystems Centre.

They include leading solutions from some of the world’s largest ISVs, including ERP systems and applications for the banking, marketing, healthcare and energy industries.

Numerous partners are also installing PureSystems in their own datacenters. For example Computer Gross, a managed service provider in Italy, and OneTree Solutions, an ISV from Luxembourg are both using the cloud capabilities of IBM PureSystems as a way to more easily meet the needs of their customers.

PureSystems Training, Certification, & Validation

To help address the new opportunity that PureSystems presents, IBM is also providing training, marketing, certifications and technical validation support to business partners.

For instance, dozens of IBM Innovation Centers in cities such as Bangalore, Dublin, Johannesburg and Shanghai are helping Business Partners develop and test their applications using IBM PureSystems. Business Partners can also bring their clients to IBM Innovation Centers to see PureSystems technology at work.

In addition, more 1,300 business partners — ISVs, managed service providers, resellers, system integrators and distributors — have been showing their support and interest in PureSystems by attending Business Partner Day and training events in 27 cities around the world.

PureSystems cloud capabilities are also drawing interest, with 500 developers using the PureSystems Cloud Trial to create applications through IBM’s SmartCloud that are ready to run on IBM’s new expert integrated systems.

IBM Financing For PureSystems

To help credit-qualified clients easily acquire IBM PureSystems, IBM Global Financing is making available a range of financing options.

As a result, clients will be able to avoid paying cash up-front, while lowering their total cost of ownership.

This is the first time that clients can lease the entire value of the system, including hardware and software.

Credit-qualified clients that elect financing can see immediate benefits with PureSystems while deferring their first payment for 90 days. Additionally, IBM Global Asset Recovery Services can buy back servers, including those made by HP and Oracle, for clients migrating to IBM PureSystems.

There are two models of the PureSystems family available — PureFlex System and PureApplication System.

PureFlex System enables organizations to more efficiently create and manage an infrastructure, while PureApplication System allows organizations to quickly deploy and reduce the cost and complexity of managing applications.

Both have already shipped to leading clients in 5 continents.

You can learn more about IBM PureSystems in the Expert Integrated Systems blog here.

IBM’s New Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

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I wrote in a post just the other day about the opportunity for companies looking to build their enterprise mobile strategies, mentioning some 75 percent of respondents in our CIO study asserted that mobility is a top priority for their business strategy.

But I also mentioned the challenges, like the continued emergence of new platforms and OSes and devices, concerns about security and privacy of sensitive corporate information, and other related concerns.

Today, IBM made another announcement that will help more companies embrace the opportunity mobility presents, but also enjoy the fruits of IBM’s massive investments in virtualization technology as well.

This new set of flexible workplace solutions are intended to enable clients to create a simple, cost-effective environment that allows employees to use any device to access workplace applications anytime and anyplace.

IBM SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure solutions are designed to help clients get ahead of the rising trend toward employees bringing their own electronic devices to work.  It allows organizations to manage desktops centrally while small or large numbers of users can access desk top applications from any location or device, including personal computers, tablets, smart phones, laptops and thin clients.

The solutions were created to help clients escape the constraints of physical computing — simplifying desktop management, tightening security, and enhancing overall employee productivity.

The IBM offerings support the widest range of industry hardware, software and virtualization platforms across various industries, including health care, education, financial services and retail, as well as the public sector, local, state and federal government agencies.

For example, the 2,000-student Gilmer County, Texas Independent School District is using the offering to provide a more flexible workplace for teachers and administrators.

School District Technology Director Rusty Ivey had this to say about this new virtualization solution: “The IBM virtual desktop solution with Virtual Bridges VERDE on System x allows us to lower desktop management costs, while improving data security and disaster recovery.  VDI improves the productivity of our teachers and administrative staff, as well as lab users by providing instant access to the latest operating systems and applications anytime and anywhere, using their choice of electronic devices.”

The IBM SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure solutions come fully-tested across hardware, software and services to help streamline IT administration and help take the guess workout out of the transition to a virtual desktop environment.  The offerings were created in collaboration with leading solutions providers such as Citrix, Virtual Bridges and VMware.

The IBM System x powered solutions are immediately available worldwide in configurations to match a client’s individual desktop management requirements.  You can learn more about this new solution in the video below.

Simplifying The IT Experience: Introducing IBM PureSystems

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I mentioned the coming announcement about our new expert integrated systems in my last post, and lo and behold, the details arrived overnight.

The new family of systems that come with built-in expertise based on IBM’s decades of experience running IT operations from tens of thousands of clients in 170 countries will be called, simply, “PureSystems.”

This effort is the result of $2 billion in research and development, along with acquisitions, over four years, and represents an unprecedented move by IBM to integrate all IT elements, physical and virtual.

This effort is also about a new offering.  This new systems family offers IBM customers an alternative to today’s enterprise computing model, where multiple and disparate systems require huge resources in set-up and ongoing maintenance.

The current economics and models have far too many focused too much on the small stuff. Companies worldwide spend an average of 70 percent or more of IT budgets on simple operations and maintenance, which leaves them precious little time to invest in innovation.

Furthermore, two-thirds of corporate IT projects are delivered over budget and behind schedule, according to a recent study by IBM.  That same said study also found that only one in five corporate IT departments are able to spend the majority of their IT budget on innovation.

The infographic details many of those IT headaches and challenges facing so many today.

The prime challenge facing companies worldwide is the need to spend 70 percent or more of IT budgets on simple operations and maintenance, leaving little to invest in innovation. Two-thirds of corporate IT projects are delivered over budget and behind schedule, according to a recent study by IBM which also found that only one in five corporate IT departments are able to spend the majority of their IT budget on innovation!

Introducing IBM PureSystems

In today’s unveiling of the new PureSystems family, IBM is revealing three major advances that point to this new era of computing technology designed to allow businesses to lower these costs and headaches:

  • “Scale-In” System Design: With PureSystems, IBM is introducing a new concept in system design that integrates the server, storage, and networking into a highly automated, simple-to-manage machine. Scale-in design provides for increased density – PureSystems can handle twice as many applications compared to some IBM systems, doubling the computing power per square foot of data center space.
  • Patterns of Expertise:  For the first time, IBM is embedding technology and industry expertise through first-of-a-kind software that allows the systems to automatically handle basic, time-consuming tasks such as configuration, upgrades, and application requirements.
  • Cloud Ready integration: Out of the box, all PureSystems family members are built for the cloud, enabling corporations to quickly create private, self-service cloud offerings that can scale up and down automatically.

“With its new scale-in design and built-in expertise, PureSystems represents an important advance in the evolution of computing,” said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, software and systems, IBM.

“By tightening the connections between hardware and software, and adding incomparable software know-how, PureSystems is designed to help clients to free up time and money to focus on innovation that many businesses cannot address due to ever rising costs and staffing needs in the traditional data center.”

PureSystems Pricing and Availability

The first two models of the PureSystems family – PureFlex System and PureApplication System — start shipping to customers this quarter. PureSystems support POWER processors and Intel processors.

For more information visit the IBM expert integrated systems blog and be sure to follow the #puresystems Twitter hashtag to follow the emerging conversation around this breakthrough new approach to IT.

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