At the intersection of cognitive workloads and security


Today’s advances in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things have the enterprise rapidly trying to catch up with modern technology, many looking to use existing infrastructures while taking advantage of the cloud. Businesses want real-time insights, cognitive computing and security in a hybrid cloud environment. IBM Corp. is hoping to make gains in the enterprise cloud market a big product push for hybrid cloud, containers and security.

“We absolutely believe infrastructure innovation is critical on this hybrid-cloud journey. And we are focused on three main areas when we think about that integration; [developer] integration, security and cognitive workloads,” said Jamie Thomas (pictured), general manager of systems strategy and development at IBM.

Thomas joined John Furrier (@furrier) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during IBM InterConnect 2017 held in Las Vegas. (* Disclosure below.)

Thomas talked about many tech issues, from hybrid cloud to quantum computing.

The complexity of today’s infrastructure

 As far as infrastructure, IBM’s focus is on developers as key stakeholders and supporting the open community and frameworks they use. Thomas also stated that providing APIs for developers to tap into and support data, as well as workloads, is necessary for flexibly to move data around in the future.

Security is a more complex issue, especially in today’s environment. It is now critical to secure data and systems from outside threats, and it is also vital to protect internal threats, even if privileged access to the systems is available, she explained.

“That’s why with our system’s infrastructure, we have protected from the chip, levels of hardware into software layer,” said Thomas. “Data is the new perimeter of security, so you have to protect the data at rest, in motion and across the lifecycle of the data.”

IBM is also using secure service containers that support the system both at install time and run time while reinforcing the applications and the data appropriately. Thomas explained that all layers of the system need security because it is hard to define the barriers.

Blockchain workloads are the reason IBM is optimizing security. The company has customer use cases using high-security blockchain services. LinuxONE server is driving IBM’s encryption strategy, according to Thomas.

“We have the highest certification in the industry; EAL5+ [Evaluation Assurance Level], and we’re supporting FIPS-120-2 level 4 cryptology [Federal Information Processing Standard],” she said.

To create the solutions for cognitive workloads, IBM is part of the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open technical community based on the POWER architecture. In the digital economy, people expect companies to understand them and react immediately. Thomas believes that expectation is driving this growth in AI, machine learning and deep-learning-type algorithms

“A cognitive workload is what I would call an extremely data hungry workload,” said Thomas, who pointed to many use cases the company is now handling.

During the event, IBM announced the industry’s first universal quantum computing product IBM Q, an initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computers for business and science.

“The announcement is the culmination of decades of research between IBM researchers and researchers around the world to create this system that can hopefully solve problems that are not solvable today with classical computers,” explained Thomas, who believes the industry is in the early stages of “quantum.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM InterConnect 2017. (* Disclosure: SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE is a media partner at InterConnect. Neither IBM nor other conference sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE