SiliconANGLE Extracting the signal from the noise. Sat, 23 May 2015 02:50:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 GlassHouse Systems finds success with Power | #IBMEdge Sat, 23 May 2015 02:50:53 +0000 IBM Mainframe Business Partner GlassHouse Systems, Inc. recently invested in technical training and customer awareness to become a specialist in IBM Power Systems. The effort has paid off for the Toronto-based company in more ways than one.

“Power has been a great platform for us, and we’re seeing a resurgence,” John Callisto, VP of Business Development for GlassHouse Systems, told theCUBE during IBM Edge2015. “If you were to look at the trends in the open system environment five years ago or less, it would show the growth of [Oracle] x86 as a platform and the demise of everything else. If you look at trends today, it’s a different chart. It talks about the growth of Linux and the decline of Windows as an OS. Power allows you to run UNIX for AIX, IBM i, but also Linux. It is probably the most powerful Linux platform that you can have. So when we talk about the growth of Linux, the platform of choice becomes Power.”

Giving customers more ‘bang for the buck’


Callisto said that Power Systems also give customers more “bang for the buck” when it comes to software costs, VM utilization and Hadoop nodes with high-performance computing.

GlassHouse Systems’ customers want security as well as value, which has led to a stronger interest in private Cloud. “They’re looking for something that’s going to be a little more bulletproof, more resilient and is going to give them the peace of mind,” he said. “If they have [Sarbanes-Oxley Act] or HIPAA requirements, they’re going to sleep well knowing where their data is and how well it’s going to be protected.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Edge2015.


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Z Systems, Dream Challenges reinvent healthcare | #IBMEdge Sat, 23 May 2015 00:50:37 +0000 IBMs’ z13 platform has the potential to revolutionize the industry with its ability to combine transaction processing and analytics. We’re not talking a small amount of data. We’re talking analytics on healthcare data, genomic data, and global climate modeling. Big Data with high performance.

“What would take a week to run on Intel takes an hour on the z13,” Donna Dillenberger, IBM fellow at IBM Research, told theCUBE during IBM Edge2015.

 The benefits of high-performance computing


The advancement propels z13 into the high-performance computing space. “We have the fastest microprocessor in the industry,” said Dillenberger. “Coupled with 10 terabytes of memory, you don’t always have to be doing I/O to get to your data. You can do those calculations in the memory space and have a very powerful high-performance computer.”

The challenge, according to Gustavo Stolovitsky, IBM’s program director for Translated Systems Biology and Nanobiotechnology, who also joined theCUBE, is to learn how to extract the Big Data. Stolovitsky believes that healthcare and other industries need “more eyes” on Big Data sets to use it for public good.

IBM’s DREAM Challenge


IBM’s DREAM Challenges open science competition follows this collaborative principle. “We curate big data sets from different sources and make it available for everybody to address the question that we pose,” Stolovitsky explained.

One recent question: “Can an algorithm look at clinical data from a patient affected by ALS and predict its progression?”

“We want to empower the physician to be able to answer these kinds of questions,” said Stolovitsky, who heads DREAM Challenges. “Taking advantage of all the data out there, facilitating an algorithm that does that, is very much necessary in ALS and other diseases.”

“We would like to help people be as healthy as possible,” said Dillenberger. “To help with cancer would be an immense achievement. That is another health challenge that I would like to see progress on.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Edge2015.


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IBM brings new innovation to DS8000 workhorse | #IBMEdge Fri, 22 May 2015 22:50:25 +0000 The IBM System Storage DS8000 series often gets overlooked as new products enter the market at rapid pace, but the high-performing system has more to offer than ever before.

“A huge percentage of the world’s data processing runs through the DS8000,” DS8000 Business Line Executive Jeff Barber said to theCUBE during IBM Edge2015. “The banks and the insurance companies live for it.”

New capabilities for DS8000 and DB2


This quarter, IBM brought new innovation to the DS8000, particularly designed with z/OS in mind. Barber said that IBM is introducing 16 gigabit-per-second interfaces on PhyCon.

“That will be supported in zHPF,” he said. “We’ve also introduced new capabilities for DB2. You’re going to be able to get 60 percent improvement in megabytes-per-second transfer and a 60 percent reduction in latency. The OLPTs benefit and the analytic queries benefit a great deal, so it’s a boon to our customers on the high end.”

Barber would like to see more customers use the DS8000 in innovative ways for maximum performance with significant cost savings. “Use the DS8000 as the back end to your scale-out Cloud-scale storage farm,” he said. “Sooner or later the price of near-line SaaS is going to be too much, and tape will always undercut it. Think about how you can move data off the spinning disk, onto tape, and you’ll undercut your competitors. The winners are going to get tape; the losers won’t.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Edge2015.


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Rumor: Google is making a move for the Internet of Things Fri, 22 May 2015 21:30:00 +0000 The next entrant into the world of embedded operating systems could emerge as none other than Google, according to multiple reports ahead of its annual developer conference next week. In the likelihood that the rumors prove true, that would represent a radical evolution of its current mobile strategy, if not a particularly surprising one.

The dominance of Android in the smartphone and tablet segments makes for a perfect launchpad into the broader connected universe, an opportunity so massive that it would be surprising if the search giant didn’t make a move, especially now that the competition is going down the same route. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. introduced its own embedded platform only a few days ago, following a similar launch from Canonical Ltd. earlier this year.

Brillo, as Google’s new project is currently referred to, appears more similar to the latter in the sense that the differentiation will come mainly from interoperability with existing devices. That is, the search giant will offer an easy way to interface with Android devices, a strong reason for manufacturers to choose its platform over less-established alternatives.

But of course, that is not to say the road to dominance is already paved for Brillo. Far from it, Google will have to fend off not only emerging players such as Canonical and Huawei but also ARM Holdings plc, which boasts an even bigger advantage than Android in the form of almost complete control over the embedded processor market, with its architecture powering the bulk of the connected universe.

That’s a far cry from the handful of widely-used gizmos that the search giant obtained through its acquisition of Nest Labs Inc. last year that the British chip designer is trying to exploit with an operating system called mbed unveiled a few months after the deal went through. The ability to have a single platform across every ARM-based device makes for a potentially an even more compelling value proposition than what Google is likely to offer with Brillo.

But it’s impossible to determine exactly how the project will shape up against the competition until the official launch, which is expected to take place during its big event next week. Nest is reportedly deeply involved in the development of Brillo, which makes it more than likely that the division will take the opportunity to showcase the first integrations to attendees of the conference as a way to spur interest in the development community.
Photo via Morguefile

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What you missed in Cloud: OpenStack evolution Fri, 22 May 2015 21:12:31 +0000 The race to cloud dominance took a detour to Vancouver this week for the sixth bi-annual OpenStack Summit, where vendors from around the ecosystem showed off their latest wares to try and woo the enterprise technology buyers in attendance. The spotlight was divided among three main groups led by the guests of honor: the distributors.

Drawing a crowd

Mirantis Inc., the self-proclaimed leader of the pack thanks to more customers running in production than any of its rivals, kicked off the event with the debut of a new certification program aimed at encouraging partners to support for its version of OpenStack. The plan worked, with several major vendors having announced their participation in the program immediately upon launch.

That aggressive effort to expand interoperability with third party technologies is meant to help Mirantis set itself apart from competitors such as Bright Computing Inc., which became the newest distributor in the OpenStack ecosystem on the very morning of the certification program’s debut. The platform combines the cloud platform with its homegrown management automation software, the same integrated approach that Red Hat Inc. is going for.

More than one breed of distributor

The Linux powerhouse followed up the news from Mirantis and Bright with the introduction of a new cloud bundle that couples its own version of OpenStack, which packs a flavor of the operating system built-in, with management and development capabilities. The combined package promises to provide a unified platform for running multi-tenant applications across on- and off-premise infrastructure.

To top it off, Red Hat also released a file system to complement the platform, but it wasn’t the only Linux distributor that made headlines at OpenStack Summit. Arch-rival Canonical Ltd. also managed to create some waves in the ecosystem on the back of a new support service that offers to provide organizations with help setting up and maintaining the storage component of their implementations.

A different kind of service

Cloud providers also got their share of the spotlight at OpenStack Summit, with much of it going to IBM, which launched its hosted implementation into general availability to address the growing number of hybrid applications that companies are writing for the cloud platform. The company promises to support such workloads with comparable security as behind the firewall, the same pitch that Appcito Inc. is touting for its own service.

The startup launched its Cloud Application Front-End the day after IBM’s announcement with the promise of removing the hassle involved in trying to manually secure an OpenStack cluster. To that end, the toolkit provides load balancing capabilities, application-level protection mechanisms and analytic functionality to help administrators keep an eye on the activity in the environment.
Photo by Kenny Louie via Flickr

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Femgineer founder offers advice for blogging, branding | #IBMEdge Fri, 22 May 2015 20:50:50 +0000 Serial entrepreneur and software engineer Poornima Vijayashanker started her current project, Femgineer, as a blog and gradually built it into an education company that offers online courses in product development, entrepreneurship, and leadership. A blogger since 2006, Vijayashanker told theCUBE during IBM Edge2015 that being an early adopter helped her build a brand and an audience.

“It helped me decide what to focus on and pull the audience into the companies that I build or advise,” she said.

Building your brand


Vijayashanker offers a few tips to help would-be bloggers stand out when they happen to work for a large company:

  • Find common themes. “You don’t necessarily have to talk about IBM’s new cutting-edge flash technology, for example. Instead, you can focus on your expertise in flash or Cloud storage without getting into details.”
  • Focus on general problems. “Getting teams together, keeping them motivated, shipping products, appealing to customers … these are all general themes, but you might have some specific experiences that you can share with your readers.”
  • Start small. “When I started, I was probably writing one post a month. Over time, you start to develop a position as a thought leader, and people reach out to you. Even internally within your company, people will recognize the work that you’re doing, and you might not always get that if you’re just heads down.”

For Vijayashanker’s take on women in tech and the state of Silicon Valley, watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Edge2015.


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Predict and prevent catastrophes with risk analytics | #IBMVision Fri, 22 May 2015 19:50:49 +0000 Risk analytics is gaining importance, even in industries other than financial services and insurance.

“Wherever there is a regulation, there is going to be a need for risk management,” Mina Wallace, VP of Risk Analytics for IBM told theCUBE during IBM Vision. “And there is regulation across most industries.”

Building solutions that enable technology to help


That said, financial services faces especially stringent regulation. “What financial services is being asked to do by the regulators now is to protect clients from some catastrophic failure,” said Wallace. “Regulators have swooped in and made demands upon organizations, which is driving us to build solutions that enable technology to help.”

Where risk management is used to focus on physical events, in today’s climate, it aims to find blind spots. “That’s why I’m excited about what Watson Analytics can do,” said Neil Dodgson, IBM’s WW Head, Client Solutions Group-Risk Analytics, who also joined theCUBE. “In 2008 we experienced a smoking, dormant volcano. But there were lots of indicators leading up to what was happening in the financial markets. You would hope that Watson could pick up on conditions would lead to that financial crisis and potentially help us avoid it.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Vision 2015.


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Nvidia Gameworks rep fires back at AMD: “[GameWorks] does not impair performance on competing hardware” Fri, 22 May 2015 19:30:58 +0000 The public battle of words between AMD and Nvidia rages on after the recent accusations that Nvidia intentionally tweaked code tank the performance of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on AMD cards.

Earlier this week, AMD’s chief gaming scientist, Richard Huddy, claimed that Nvidia’s HairWorks code “completely sabotaged our performance … it’s wrecked our performance, almost as if it was put in to achieve that goal.”

But Nvidia GameWorks spokesperson Brian Burke denied any foul play, saying that Nvidia is not to blame for AMD’s performance problems.

“GameWorks improves the visual quality of games running on GeForce for our customers. It does not impair performance on competing hardware,” Burke told PC Perspective. “Demanding source code access to all our cool technology is an attempt to deflect their performance issues. Giving away your IP, your source code, is uncommon for anyone in the industry, including middleware providers and game developers. Most of the time we optimize games based on binary builds, not source code.”

“I would assume that AMD could have done the same thing”


Burke added, “The bottom line is AMD’s tessellation performance is not very good and there is not a lot NVIDIA can/should do about it. … I believe it is a resource issue. NVIDIA spent a lot of artist and engineering resources to help make Witcher 3 better. I would assume that AMD could have done the same thing because our agreements with developers don’t prevent them from working with other IHVs. (See also, Project Cars).”

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Eurogamer tested The Witcher 3 on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs, comparing frame rates on each with HairWorks turned on and off. Their tests found that while the performance for both cards was lower with HairWorks on, the AMD card suffered from drastically reduced frame rates compared to Nvidia. Both were roughly equivalent with HairWorks turned off.

AMD has yet to comment on Burke’s burn, but we are eagerly awaiting the unfolding drama with popcorn ready. So far, Poland-based Witcher developer CD Projekt RED is wisely staying as far from this conflict as it can.

Image credit: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
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HANA Plus Power equals big results with NTT data | #IBMEdge Fri, 22 May 2015 18:50:40 +0000 NTT Data, the system integration arm for NTT Group, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, began collaborating with SAP and IBM to validate the performance of IBM’s Power Systems for the SAP HANA Platform.

According to Jauder Ho during an interview with theCUBE, VP of Cloud Services for NTT Data, “SAP owns the governance of this initiative and NTT has been very involved in the testing, development, and optimization with the support of IBM.”

The power of fast data


Ho said that metrics show “anywhere from 40 to 100 times speedup just by deploying HANA on Power as opposed to a traditional appliance type model or x86 on Oracle. And that’s only the beginning.”

SAP is a valuable partner for NTT Data, considered the sixth largest system integrator in the world. “We have 2,700 customers worldwide running on SAP,” said Ho. “For us it’s a key investment, as we want to be able to help customers run better, faster, stronger across the board. It is our belief that HANA on Power would be that key differentiator, both on premises and in Cloud.”

For a company that wants to move up the stack, NTT Data has more than enough resources. “We have 220 data centers,” said Ho. “We are one of the few companies that owns ships that lay cable across the Atlantic and Pacific. Another metric says we carry about 40 percent of the world’s backup. We’re able to take a lot of the pain out of IT operations so they can focus on their key business propositions.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Edge2015.


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IBM’s investment in analytics pays off | #IBMVision Fri, 22 May 2015 18:21:44 +0000 After the more than 2,000 attendees retreated for dinner at the end of IBM Vision 2015, day one, IBM’s status as an analytics powerhouse became more than evident. As theCUBE cohost Dave Vellante pointed out, the company bought Cognos in 2007 for nearly $5B, followed by SPSS ($1.2B), Open Pages, Clarity, Algorithmics, and Varicent, among other companies.

IBM’s analytics business revenue is approaching $20 billion and its investments have led to a more broad use of data across its customer base. “With IBM’s vision of using Cloud and Watson Analytics as an overlay layer and delivering the power of analytics to the desktop of the person, I couldn’t help but wonder, is this excel for big data?” asks theCUBE cohost Jeff Frick.

IBM’s plan to inject a “Twitter firehose” into structured data was widely discussed. “I’d like to talk to customers to find out how they are using that data,” said Vellante. “It’s early in the development, but the power of Twitter is undeniable, and I think it’s going to play a bigger role in these businesses.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Vision 2015.


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