Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘workload optimization

Flying Through Your Data Center

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After my recent visit to the Bahamas, and my first ever flight in a small aircraft, I decided I was going to take up flying.  Well, virtually, anyhow.

My buddy Steve recommended I buy a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator X, along with a remote USB yoke and throttle control, to do some initial simulation and learn some of the basic flying requirements on the safety of my computer.

Click to expand image. The IBM Smarter Computing Workload Simulator is designed to give busy chief information officers a fast and easy way to view areas of potential savings and efficiency through the lens of IBM Smarter Computing systems and technologies. I was able to create this simulation in less than a minute!

I’m all about simulating while I learn the basics of flying.  I figure it’s much safer for me on the ground than in the air!

But simulations are no longer limited simply to learning how to fly.

Sometimes, the best way to demonstrate the benefits of new technology is, actually, through more technology.

Like an online simulator for IT data center ROI, for example.

The kind of tool that allows people to punch in information and variables and receive instant feedback on possible alternatives.

So, enter the new IBM Smarter Computing Workload Simulator.

This new online simulation tool is designed to give busy CIOs a fast and easy to way to view areas of potential savings and efficiency through lens of IBM Smarter Computing systems and technologies.

If you’re not familiar with IBM’s Smarter Computing approach to IT earlier this year, IBM introduced it as a way for organizations to realize greater efficiencies, improved reliability, and better performance, and all at lower costs.

The strategy centers around three fundamental aspects:

  • Leveraging analytics to exploit vast amounts of data for business goals
  • Utilizing optimized systems that are designed for specific tasks
  • Managing as much of the IT as possible with cloud-computing technologies.

The new simulator, then, starts by asking the visitor to select either IBM Power Systems or IBM System z to compare to their own IT infrastructure.

It then asks for the type of industry they’re in, the type of workload to be compared, and the number and types of systems to compare – including those based on Intel Itanium, Intel x86, and/or Sun SPARC.

As the systems are identified, graphical images of servers begin to populate a simulated data center floor.

When the visitor finishes and hits the “Next” button, an alternative data center floor immediately pops up and populates with IBM systems and a breakdown of estimated costs and savings.

Visitors can drill down for charts and analysis on operating and strategic costs of their infrastructures, and the potential costs and savings of the IBM alternative.

For even greater analysis, visitors can click on the IBM System Consolidation and Evaluation Tool at the end of the simulation that provides a more comprehensive and detailed comparison.

IBM will expand the tool, which went live in mid-October, to include support for System x in the first half of 2012.

You can check out the IBM Smarter Computing Workload simulator here.

IBM & University Of Antioquia Partner To Search For Parasite Cure

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If you’ve ever wondered to yourself how you can get involved in and in support of IBM’s “Smarter Planet” initiative, the following provides just the kind of example to foot the bill.

IBM and the University of Antioquia today announced a joint research project that will use computer power from IBM’s World Community Grid, which pools and uses the idle computing power of volunteers’ personal computers around the world to help accelerate scientific research that addresses humanitarian challenges.

IBM and the University of Antioquia partner to use the World Community Grid computing power to search for smarter treatments of a common parasite.

In this particular instance, IBM and the University of Antioquia will be using the World Community Grid computing power to predict potential inhibitors or drugs that have the potential to control Leishmaniasis.

The research project will try to find potential inhibitors of the Leishmaniasis parasite, or explore the application of drugs currently used to treat similar diseases.

Using the computational power of World Community Grid enables the screening of 600,000 potentially useful chemical compounds stored in a public drug database.  The idea is to virtually apply these compounds against 5,300 Leishmania proteins in an effort to identify prospective drug treatments.

Instead of implementing costly and lengthy laboratory trials, or spending dozens of years performing computations on small computers, millions of experiments will be simulated using the software installed in the devices comprising World Community Grid.

“Conducting this same project in a local cluster would take more or less 70 to 100 years. With World Community Grid, it will be completed in a maximum of two years. This is evidence of the data processing capacity of this network dedicated to provide computational resources to try to find a solution to the problems that besiege communities in need around the world, as is the case of Leishmaniasis,” said Carlos Muskus, Coordinator, Molecular and Computational Biology, PECET, and project leader.

“This disease urgently calls for new and effective treatments, given that the number of infected patients has climbed to more than two million people in 97 countries.”

What In The World Is The World Community Grid?

World Community Grid is a network of more than two million individual computers, providing donated computer power during the time in which their computers are idle,  creating the world’s largest and fastest computing grid to benefit of humankind. World Community Grid is based on IT innovation, combined with scientific and visionary research, plus volunteer, collective and nonprofit actions to create a smarter planet.

Individuals can donate their computers’ time to these projects by registering at www.worldcommunitygrid.org, and installing a secure, free software program in their personal computers running Linux, Microsoft Windows or Mac OS.

Computers request data from the World Community Grid server when they are idle, or between key strokes during non compute-intensive jobs.  In this way, they can help complete the protein computations required to perform the Leishmaniasis research in Colombia.

Sponsored by IBM, World Community Grid has offered researchers worldwide the equivalent of millions of dollars’ worth of free computational power to enable medical, nutritional, energy and environmental research.

548,310 Users And Counting

At present, more than 548,310 users and 1,729,127 devices are part of IBM’s World Community Grid in 88 countries, including Colombia.  World Community Grid’s server runs Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) software, maintained at Berkeley University and supported by the National Science Foundation.

Projects undertaken by the World Community Grid, which have yielded dozens of peer-reviewed scientific research papers, include efforts to cure muscular dystrophy and cancer, as well as to develop cheaper and more efficient solar cells. Other projects include Fight AIDS@Home with Scripps Research Institute, which found two compounds that may lead to new treatments of drug-resistant HIV strains.

The Nutritious Rice for the World project completed 12 million computational transactions in 11,000 computing hours, in an effort to achieve healthier, more disease and weather-resistant rice strains.  And the Genome Comparison project run by Fiocruz has organized and standardized the way scientists understand the role of gene sequences in maintaining health or causing illness.

Go here to learn more about IBM’s corporate citizenship initiatives.

New Big Iron: Introducing The zEnterprise 114

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IBM introduced some new big iron earlier today.

The new server is the IBM zEnterprise 114 mainframe server and is geared towards mid-sized organizations looking to enjoy the benefits of a mainframe as the foundation for their data centers.

This box costs 25% less and offers up to 25% more performance than its predecessor, the System z10 BC server.

Clients utilizing this new server can consolidate workloads from 40 x86 processors running Oracle on to a new z114 with just three processors running Linux…that’s 40 down to 3.

Over a three year period, total costs for hardware, software, and support on the new z114 as compared to consolidated servers can be up to 80% less with similar savings on floor space and energy.

Workload Optimized, Scalable And Secure By Design

The z114 was also built with scalability in mind.  Clients can start with smaller configurations and access additional capacity built into the server as needed without increasing the data center footprint or systems management complexity and cost.

The z114 is powered by up to 14 of the industry’s most sophisticated microprocessors, of which up to 10 can be configured as specialty engines.  These specialty engines, the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP), the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP), and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL), are designed to integrate new Java, XML, and Linux applications and technologies with existing workloads, as well to optimize system resources and reduce costs on the mainframe.

By way of example, using a fully configured machine running Linux for System z, clients can create and maintain a Linux virtual server in the z114 for as little as $500 per year.

The z114 also offers up to an 18% performance improvement for processing traditional System z workloads over its predecessor the z10 BC, and up to an additional 25% improvement for microprocessor intensive workloads using compiler enhancements.

The z114 runs all the latest zEnterprise operating systems including the new z/OS V 1.13  announced today.  This new version adds new software deployment and disk management capabilities.

It also offers enhanced autonomics and early error detection features as well as the latest encryption and compliance features extending the mainframe’s industry leading security capabilities.

Additional compliance and encryption features, the result of a multi-year effort from IBM Research, further enhance security with cryptography built into the DNA of System z, by designing hardware with processor and coprocessor based encryption capabilities.

Where It Fits

At a starting price of under $75,000 — IBM’s lowest ever price for a mainframe server — the zEnterprise 114 is an especially attractive option for emerging markets experiencing rapid growth in new services for banking, retail, mobile devices, government services and other areas.

These organizations are faced with ever-increasing torrents of data and want smarter computing systems that help them operate efficiently, better understand customer behavior and needs, optimize decisions in real time and reduce risk.  

IBM also introduced new features that allow the zEnterprise System to integrate and manage workloads on additional platforms.  New today is support for select System x blades within the zEnterprise System.   These select System x blades can run Linux x86 applications unchanged, and in the future will be able to run Windows applications.

New Financing Options

IBM Global Financing offers attractive financing options for existing IBM clients looking to upgrade to a z114 as well as clients currently using select HP and Oracle servers.

For current System z clients, IBM Global Financing (IGF) can buy back older systems for cash and upgrade customers to the z114 on a Fair Market Value (FMV) lease, which offers a predictable monthly payment.

IGF will remove and recycle these older systems in compliance with environmental laws and regulations and pay clients the fair market value of  HP and Oracle-Sun servers.   IGF is also offering a 6 month deferral of any hardware, software, services or any combination for clients who wish to upgrade now, but pay later.

IGF is also offering a 0% financing for 12 months on any IBM Software, including IBM middleware for the z114 such as Tivoli, WebSphere, Rational, Lotus and Analytics products.

For additional information please check out this video or visit the IBM Systems website.

New Z, Smarter Data Center

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Today’s a big day.

It’s my birthday.  No gifts, please.

But it’s also the day IBM has announced the birth of the new zEnterprise mainframe, complete with a system design overhaul, that allows workloads on mainframe, POWER7, and System x servers to share resources and be managed as a single, virtualized system.

All that for my birthday!  Woo hoo!  Can I put one of those suckers in my home office? (Then I could really live up to my nickname.)

All birthday hilarity aside, this new system represents a major investment and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on the part of IBM employees, particularly up in our Poughkeepsie plant.

There, IBM added a new, 56,000-square-foot, $30 million production floor to manufacture the new zEnterprise. 

And overall, it represents some U.S. $1.5 billion in R&D investment and a three-year, 24-hour development cycle that spanned three continents and involved more than 5,000 IBMers working a total of 31 million hours.

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IBM employees Einar Norman, (left) Plattekill, N.Y. and Richard Lane, Rosendale, N.Y., prepare IBM’s new zEnterprise System Mainframe for shipment in the company’s Poughkeepsie, N.Y. plant.

Following are a few speeds and feeds and a whole bunch of details about the new system (Hang on to your raised floor railings, bay-bey!):

  • Industry first: IBM mainframe governance and management benefits extended to select POWER7, System x environments
  • New technology boosts complex analytics performance up to 10X, delivering insight from business data in minutes versus hours
  • zEnterprise is the most powerful, scalable mainframe server ever –- up to 60% faster than System z10 for new workloads
  • Most energy efficient mainframe — more than 100,000 virtualized servers can be managed as a single system;  60% more capacity than z10 while using same amount of energy

The new systems design combines IBM’s new zEnterprise mainframe server with new technology — the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension and the IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager — that enable it to manage workloads running across System z, and select POWER7 and System x servers. 

As a result, customers can integrate the management of zEnterprise System resources as a single system and extend mainframe qualities, such as governance and manageability, to workloads running on select IBM POWER7 and System x blade servers.

With the ability to manage workloads across systems as one, the zEnterprise System can drive up to 40% lower acquisition costs and reduce cost of ownership by 55%.

IBM designed the zEnterprise System to address an important issue for corporate data centers — the jumble of disparate technologies added over time to run specific applications and which operate in silos, sometimes unable to communicate with each other in real time and requiring separate staff and software tools to manage.

This long-standing challenge for customers is aggravated  by dramatic increases in cost and complexity amid a rising tide of sophisticated, data-intensive workloads.

IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension

The IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension allows supports purpose IBM POWER7 and System x BladeCenter systems as well as blades optimized for specific workloads, such as analytics and managing Web infrastructure.

IBM blade servers inside the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension — which can be managed like mainframe resources — integrate with System z and can run tens of thousands of off-the-shelf applications. 

Later this year, IBM will deliver the zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension with support for IBM POWER7 blades running AIX, IBM’s UNIX operating system.  IBM is also introducing the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer to accelerate the performance of complex analytic workloads at a lower cost per transaction. 

Next year, IBM plans to announce additional general purpose blades for the IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension including select IBM System x-based blades running Linux.  Additional workload optimized blades are planned to include IBM DataPower for improving website and network performance.

IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager

New IBM Systems Software called Unified Resource Manager is first-of-its-kind firmware — software that controls how the hardware functions — that integrates multiple platform resources as a single virtualized system and provides unified management for zEnterprise. 

More than 100,000 virtualized servers can be managed as a single system on a fully-configured cluster of zEnterprise Systems.

The zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager is the key to using mainframe quality of service attributes, including security and reliability, to benefit workloads running on select Power and System x BladeCenter systems. 

For example, the Unified Resource Manager can identify system bottlenecks or failures among disparate systems. If a failure occurs on a System x blade server, the Unified Resource Manager can instantaneously move the affected application to another System x blade to keep it running. 

At the same time, the Unified Resource Manager automatically sends an electronic message to IBM to initiate a service call. The Unified Resource Manager can also help prioritize compute workloads  in line with changing business priorities. 

Additionally, the zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager improves network security across applications spanning the complete zEnterprise system, including workloads on IBM POWER7 and System x blades.  This helps reduce complexity and the need for additional encryption and firewall security software within the zEnterprise environment. 

The New zEnterprise 196

From a performance standpoint, the zEnterprise System is the most powerful IBM system ever. The core server in the zEnterprise System — called zEnterprise 196 — contains 96 of the world’s fastest, most powerful microprocessors running at 5.2Ghz, capable of executing more than 50 billion instructions per second. 

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IBM technician Asia Dent, Poughkeepsie, tests two multi-chip modules that will each power one of IBM’s new zEnterprise System mainframes. Each ceramic module forms the central processing unit of the new computer and packs 96 of the world’s fastest microprocessors (5.2 Ghz) together to give the new mainframe 60% faster performance than its predecessor, while using the same amount of electricity. Each module is capable of executing 50 billion instructions per second.

This new IBM microprocessor technology has new software to optimize performance of data-heavy workloads, including up to a 60% improvement in data intensive and Java workloads. Increased levels of system performance in turn increases software performance, which can reduce software license costs. 

The new system offers 60% more capacity than its predecessor, the System z10, and uses about the same amount of electricity.  For clients selecting Linux on System z, a single virtualized server can be created and deployed for less than $1 per day.  It costs 74% less to run comparative Oracle workloads on the zEnterprise 196 compared to x86 systems.

Energy efficiencies were achieved through advances in microprocessor design, 45nm silicon technology, more efficient power conversion and distribution, as well as advanced sensors and cooling control firmware that monitors and makes adjustments based on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity levels and even air density.

A water cooling option is also available for the z196 that can reduce energy use by up to 12%.  In a normal data center environment, water cooling reduces the required system air flow by more than 20%, while removing more than 70% of the system air heat load. 

This can be particularly beneficial for data centers with hot spots, or limited power and cooling capacity. Water cooling on the z196 is designed to connect directly to typical data center chilled water systems and does not require an external water conditioning unit.

The new z196 builds on the IBM System z industry leading security features.  IBM System z servers are the only commercial system to achieve Evaluation Assurance Level 5 security classification.

The z196 can be configured to include up to 80 specialty engines to further reduce costs and increase performance including the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP) for integrating Java workloads with core business applications, the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) designed to help free-up computing capacity and lower IT costs, and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) to optimize Linux workloads running on the mainframe.

Smart Analytics Optimizer

IBM is also announcing the new IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer — created by IBM Research — an accelerator for analytic workloads integrated to the new mainframe through the BladeCenter Extension. 

With the hybrid features of the new zEnterprise system and the Smart Analytics Optimizer customers can analyze data to anticipate emerging business trends, capture new opportunities and avoid risks up to 10 times faster.

Using zEnterprise with DB2 10 for z/OS (currently in beta), Cognos Business Intelligence and SPSS Predictive Analytics, clients will have a single platform for unprecedented insight across their most critical core information resulting in increased productivity.

New IBM Software

The unique value of zEnterprise System is the synergy among the range of IBM hardware and software.  New software has been optimized for the zEnterprise and finely tuned to work cross platform when used in conjunction with the new Blade Center Extension. 

New Tivoli integrated service management for zEnterprise software helps provide visibility, control, and automation for applications, business services, infrastructure, and data resources.  And the new Tivoli security manager for zEnterprise software will allow clients to report and analyze security events associated with Linux on System z and include these reports in the mainframe reporting and analysis, as well as easily enroll and manage federated user access for zEnterprise and Linux on System z.

The new IBM Rational Developer for System z multi-platform environment for building, testing and deploying zEnterprise applications now offers a new Rational Developer for System z Unit Test feature.

This feature improves zEnterprise development productivity by off-loading mainframe application development and testing to a workstation, which frees the mainframe to run high-value core business applications.

New compilers also announced today help customers update applications designed to work on older systems to take advantage of the zEnterprise architecture.  The new IBM Rational C++ compiler, for example, can boost overall application performance by as much as 60%, when combined with new zEnterprise systems.

The new CICS deployment assistance for z/OS provides comprehensive reporting and improved change management facilities for CICS, helping further reduce ongoing IT infrastructure costs. 

IBM Information Management System (IMS) 11, which drives a high percentage of today’s transaction intensive workloads, extends its ability to easily interconnect with other applications using extended web services and connectivity for SOA. 

IMS runs 50 billion transactions every day on System z with real-time operational access from any application or platform.

The new Lotus collaborative tools on Linux on System z combine the productivity boost of collaboration with enterprise grade processor speed, scalability, and reliability to help people inside and outside an organization connect and collaborate faster and more reliably — accelerating business processes and driving growth.  

New versions of IBM Lotus Quickr and IBM Lotus Sametime join other products in the IBM Lotus software portfolio in empowering globally distributed and mobile employees with highly scalable communications and collaboration capabilities.

IBM is also announcing a new z/OS Distributed Data Backup feature for its flagship DS8000 storage system that can help lower data protection and disaster recovery costs by consolidating cross platform disaster recovery environments on to the z196.  Clients can now back up vital data from multi-platform workloads over high performance connections with the unmatched reliability and security of the mainframe.

Visit here to learn more about the new zEnterprise.

Written by turbotodd

July 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm

POWER Overload

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IBM announced today a slew of new servers, services, and software to help minimize the rising costs and complexities of operating modern data centers.

These new offerings are intended to help IBM clients around the globe reap the benefits of IBM’s three-year, $3 billion (U.S.) investment in POWER7 systems that are primed to handle new workloads and perform powerful, real-time business analytics.

The announcement includes new blade servers (see image below) built on IBM’s POWER7 workload-optimized systems’ design and new systems software design to reduce time to workload deployment.  They also include new services to help remotely implement the systems (and in turn reduce deployment costs by 25%).

In the announcement, IBM also announced that the POWER7 technology achieved record performance for a range of workloads.the same 64-bit POWER® technology at work in some of the world’s most critical data centers in government, research, finance and high-tech industries, among others.

The IBM BladeCenter PS700

The IBM BladeCenter PS700 takes advantage of the workload optimization features of POWER7 technology.

There are many facets and contours to this announcement, so to get the full read I would recommend you check out this press announcement and then follow the links to the information that will be most useful to you.

But make no mistake as to the headline here: More computing capacity at a lower price point designed to optimize your workloads faster in the pursuit of more actionable business insights.

Written by turbotodd

April 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm

New Mainframe Products

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While Google introduces their new Chrome OS (which I’m hearing will be widely available in one year?  Did I mishear that?), IBM announced 10 new products today to help companies using IBM System z mainframe technology.

The new software products help companies lower their application management costs by optimizing their System z mainframes to handle more workloads (vis a vis server consolidation).

One of the unique capabilities of mainframes are they can host many application services on one system, which has helped System z achieve one of the industry’s lowest application costs per user.

Minimal application costs are muy importante for companies which rely on multiple applications to run their business.

The new products include IMS 11, several new products from WebSphere, as well as IBM Problem Determination tools and Rational development tools.

You can visit the IBM Mainframe Web site to learn more.

 

http://www.ibm.com/mainframe

Written by turbotodd

November 19, 2009 at 7:20 pm

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