POWER7 announcement and new Rational dev tools

Smarter apps for a smarter planet: Span the entire application life cycle

IBM® Rational®'s Don Yantzi, Susan Yoskin, and Linda Cole detail the performance-enhancing convergeance of the new POWER7™ hardware and the POWER®-optimized versions of a range of familiar, proven IBM software.


Scott Laningham (scottla@us.ibm.com), 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.

10 February 2010

developerWorks: This is a developerWorks podcast. I'm Scott Laningham. This week, IBM announced new POWER7 systems designed to manage the most demanding emerging applications ranging from smart electrical grids to real-time analytics for financial markets. Clearly, a big piece in the [A] Smarter Planet story that IBM is working to forward.

Listen to this podcast.

Discover how to POWER your planet.

(Editor: To discover what new resources are available this week in developerWorks and My developerWorks, jump to the end of this interview.)

Now I'm joined by Susan Yoskin, Linda Cole, and Don Yantzi of IBM Rational, who are here to talk about the new POWER7 systems launch that happened earlier this week. Welcome to the podcast, guys.

Yantzi: Thanks, Scott.

Yoskin: Thanks, Scott.

Cole: Thanks.

developerWorks: Don, I wonder if you could help us with a quick overview statement on just what was announced this week.

Yantzi: Sure, Scott. Yesterday's announcement was all around POWER7 and the POWER7 launch. POWER7's the next generation of the POWER processor. And so the new POWER processor was announced, as well as some new POWER systems models.

At the low end, we had POWER 750 Express model and it has four sockets with six or eight cores per socket, so you can get up to 32 cores on that model. It's also the first energy-certified RISC system out there. Equally important, it's also the highest-performing, most energy-efficient four-socket system on the planet.

Along with that, there's also a POWER 770 and a POWER 780 model and on the 780 model you can get up to 64 cores. That's the hardware side. And there was a lot more to it, point meters, additional resources for that.

But equally important and very exciting about this was not just a POWER hardware announcement; it was also a POWER and software announcement. And within IBM software, we announced quite a few solutions that take advantage of the advancements in POWER7, things like DB2® pureScale, Lotus® Domino®, Tivoli® Systems Director, WebSphere® Application Server, and a whole new solution from Rational Application Development.

developerWorks: And so what does all this mean for middleware, Don, and Rational in particular? What are the big changes that you're seeing here?

Yantzi: Well, obviously one of the key things here is the new hardware announcements can mean improved runtime performance and throughput for applications. If we look at what Rational announced yesterday, we announced a couple things.

We announced new development tools. Rational Developer for Power Systems Software. And this is an integrated development environment for companies, organizations developing applications on the POWER systems, be it IBM i operating system or the AIX® operating system.

We also announced Rational Team Concert for Power Systems Software. So a lot of your listeners will be very familiar with all the capabilities and great features in Rational Team Concert. What we've done is we've extended that to developers developing applications for IBM i and AIX.

developerWorks: Now speaking of developers, let's talk about what that means for developers. Why should they be paying attention to all this?

Yantzi: The announcements made yesterday around Rational Developer for Power Systems Software, it's the first time Rational has had an integrated development environment addressing the POWER systems market. In the past, we've had development tools for the IBM i platform, we've had things like Rational Application Developer for doing Java™ development, but we've never had a complete development environment that could address all of the development workloads on POWER.

The other key thing here is this isn't just an IDE statement, this is a solution for POWER comprising the integrated development environment, application life-cycle management, as well as our IBM compilers, which are highly optimized for the POWER systems architecture.

developerWorks: Clearly, the Smarter Planet vision, this has a major role in that, as you've been speaking about. And Susan, I'm wondering if you could talk a bit about Rational's particular role in forwarding the Smarter Planet vision.

Yoskin: Sure. Thanks, Scott. What we like to say at Rational is that a Smarter Planet starts with smarter applications. We're finding that the effective integration of applications is an increasingly critical success factor to the Smarter Planet. So with Rational tools, we're able to help our customers create smarter applications by providing a framework that spans the entire application life cycle from idea to implementation.

So if you look at what we announced yesterday, the Rational family of tools for POWER and the additional Rational portfolio of products that we have, we're able to provide a complete set of tools with best practices and methodologies that will help span the entire software life cycle.

So with the announcement of POWER7 yesterday and the Rational tools for POWER, we're able to provide a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.

developerWorks: Fantastic. Now, Linda, I know you were going to share some developer-specific resources and information that are out there now for developers to check out, right?

Cole: Thanks, Scott. Exactly. We've tried to make it easy for developers to find all the information that they need about our Rational family of products for POWER. So we've got a site, ibm.com/software/rational/announce/power. So there's a web page all about the announcements for POWER that have all the links that you need to find materials about the products that we're announcing.

If you go to that web page and you look on the right-hand side under the spotlight [under Key Resources], you'll see that there's a link there to our IBM Rational Cafes. And if you haven't been at our cafes, they're our community site and a great way for talking to developers about our products. To learn more about the Rational Developer for Power and the Rational Team Concert for Power, go to the RPG cafe. You'll also find Rational Developer for Power Distance Learning link at that cafe. If you go to the EGL cafe, you'll also find distance learning courses for EGL in 2010. And if you go to our C++ or our COBOL cafe, you can find the links to the open beta for the C++ and COBOL development tools for AIX.

The other thing that you can find at our announcement site is the link to trial downloads [for Rational Developer | for Rational Team Concert]. So you can get access to any of our products for 60-day trial directly from this announcement page.

We also of something called the Rational Solutions for Power Systems Sandbox. And the sandbox is a place we've tried to make it quick and easy and fun for you to try out our tools. You get connected to a live session on one of our IBM systems and you get to follow a scripted set of hands-on exercise to let you try out many of the products in the Rational for POWER family.

developerWorks: Very good. And also we should mention Innovate 2010, the Premier Rational Conference that will be taking place in Orlando, Florida, June 6-10. Sign up for the Enterprise Modernization track to learn more about all of this. Susan Yoskin, Linda Cole, and Don Yantzi from IBM Rational, thank you all.

Yantzi: Thanks, Scott.

Yoskin: Thank you.

developerWorks: Read more about POWER7 and hear more of our podcasts at ibm.com/developerWorks, IBM's technical resource for software developers with tools, code, and education on IBM products and open standards technology. I'm Scott Laningham. Talk to you next time.

What's new in the developerWorks community?

developerWorks: We'll talk more about that in a minute with this week's guests, but first let's go to developerWorks newsletter's editor, John Swanson, for a look at what's new on the homepage this week. John.

Swanson: Thanks, Scott. This week on developerWorks the top feature focus on an Apache Incubator project:

And that's it. Thanks, Scott.

developerWorks: Thanks, John.



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