IOD '09: Ross Mauri, General Manager of IBM Power Systems

Ross Mauri, general manager for IBM® Power Systems, explains that information management would be nothing if there wasn't good hardware to support good software. From the IOD 2009 Global Conference.

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Scott Laningham (scottla@us.ibm.com), developerWorks Podcast Editor, IBM developerWorks

Scott LaninghamScott Laningham, host of developerWorks podcasts, was previously editor of developerWorks newsletters. Prior to IBM, he was an award-winning reporter and director for news programming featured on Public Radio International, a freelance writer for the American Communications Foundation and CBS Radio, and a songwriter/musician.



09 November 2009

developerWorks: We're at the Information On Demand Global Conference 2009. I'm Scott Laningham with Todd Watson, IBM blogger, and our guest Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM Power Systems. Welcome, Ross.

Mauri: Thank you very much. Glad I could be here today. I'm really enjoying the conference so far.

Ross Mauri shows how good hardware supports the software

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developerWorks: I'll bet you're hungry, we'll try to make this as quick and painless as possible.

Mauri: A little bit, a little bit. [LAUGHTER]

developerWorks: I know Todd is, I can tell by the look on his face. Now, I wanted to ask you: In this big information management story that we're talking to so many execs about in these podcasts, what is your specific role and focus at IBM Power Systems in all this?

Mauri: Well, all good software needs some hardware to run on. And what we like to think is that we've got the best hardware in the world and working with IBM Software Group, that's what my goal is every day, to make sure that clients have an absolutely robust system that scales, that's reliable, and fits into their budgets and helps them save cost. So it's about supporting all that information, all that data, all the analytics that have to get run against it, and having the hardware that's just kind of there and runs and just never fails.

developerWorks: So if you were eavesdropping in a conversation between a satisfied customer and maybe a perspective customer, someone that's asking them "Should I be looking to IBM to help me?" That's how you'd want them to describe the results of your interaction with them.

Mauri: Oh, I think if I ever heard them say, "You know, those Power Systems servers, they're robust, they run great, they never fail, they've saved us money, the virtualization is just outstanding, they scale to whatever our workload demands are." That would make my day.

developerWorks: I'd be in, how about you Todd?

Guest: Ross Mauri

Ross A. Mauri leads IBM's Power Systems business, which addresses nearly one-half of all spending on servers worldwide and supports the AIX, i, and Linux® operating environments on the Power Architecture®. Mauri is a member of the IBM corporate Performance Team and serves on the board of governors of the IBM Academy of Technology.

Watson: Amen. Well, actually, a little-known secret. I started my career working on a customer support publication for AIX®. So, I'm a long-time fan and I'm really interested in the synergy between DB2® and the Power Systems platform. Could you tell us a little bit about what's going on there?

Mauri: Yes, well, this week we're announcing a DB2 pureScale and that's been a multi-year collaboration between research and the IBM development labs in both Software Group and Systems Group to come out with this really truly scalable distributed database. It's built on proven technology that IBM innovated over 20 years ago in the mainframe. We took a lot of our techniques, some of the code, and lots of the people that worked on it and we put them to work on this new project.

And I'm really excited to be working on it, because for me, it's one of those things that as an IBMer, the innovation is there, we're going to beat the competition hands down. I know that, this is one of those great collaborative things, I can feel it.

And again, for me, running an open systems platform, I like to have synergy with some of our software and this is just one of those things, that there's an exclusive on Power Systems.

Watson: Cool. So we've also heard a lot at this conference today especially about trying to get more out of the investments you have, trying to make more out of those systems. Can you talk just a little bit about what we're doing in virtualization because it comes up time and again both in developerWorks and in other areas of the business and we're interested to hear more about that.

Mauri: I think a lot of people are focused on virtualization because they view it as a way to get more out of their investment in their servers, it's a way for them to save costs because if they can put more workloads on their current servers, they don't have to buy new ones.

But I really think the underlying magic that they don't realize at first, that they get later, is the flexibility that virtualization gives you. So not only is it good at saving costs and being very efficient with your hardware usage, but it gives you great flexibility in terms of moving workloads around, letting them expand and contract based on the time of the year or time of the day. And to me, that's the real value, but customers usually get that as a second order effect.

Watson: OK. Great.

developerWorks: So what about this conference. You know, we've been asking everybody about their views on the value of it and maybe a key take-away that they hope people get. What about you from your perspective?

Mauri: Well, I'm getting all kinds of new information, things that I didn't know about, that's what I really like. I mean, the experts are here, right, the IBM executives are here. You get to meet with a lot of people that you don't normally get to interact with, whether not just face to face, even collaboratively because I didn't know they existed.

So I've gotten to meet some new folks here and get some new information and I hope that's what most clients are getting. They're getting some great new information that they can go back and apply to their businesses.

Watson: Great. Wonderful.

developerWorks: Well, thanks so much Ross. Thanks for spending some time with us.

Mauri: Great. Glad I could stop by today. Now, you guys can go eat.

Watson: Likewise, enjoy.

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