Data security

Crafting cool technology, made with IBM

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My favorite part of summer camp was never athletics (though I won a tennis award for most improved) and never drama (though they always found some part for me) and certainly never the overnight (though sleeping on the ground under the stars always sounds cool). My favorite part of camp was hands down arts and crafts.

Candle making, pottery, woodworking, photography — whatever it was, I was in. In fact, I was probably one of the few kids who was ecstatic when it rained. Because, guess what, that meant even more arts and crafts.

In high school I created an amazing wood nut bowl shaped like a cashew (which is still gorgeous and is actually still in use). I used a colorful papier-mâché monster that I crafted from chicken wire as part of my college application. To this day I always try to have something creative going on — most recently it was crazy knit scarves and quilts made out of old T-shirts.

One of the most important parts of crafting is understanding the foundation and the tools behind what it is you are trying to create. What’s the best way to sand the wood? How do you use the glass cutter without cracking the glass? How do you solder the junction to form a perfect seal?

The key here is the foundation. It is imperative to understand the underlying structure behind the work in order to be successful and to design new works.

And that reminds me of what we are seeing in IT today. We are in the digital revolution — whether it’s mobile, analytics, hybrid cloud, or even cognitive computing that enhances, scales, and accelerates human expertise. These new technologies are truly game changers. You absolutely need to pursue these new technologies to increase your competitive advantage — or be left behind.

These are the types of technologies, applications, workloads, mobile and web apps that are redefining what we do every day. There are sensors all around us that are input into the Internet of Things. They are reinvigorating the travel experience. Reinventing the financial industry. Curing cancer.

It’s definitely an exciting time. Just imagine — there are over 1000 TB of data generated on just you over your lifetime. And an awful lot that can be done with that 1000 TB.

But what I’d like to make sure is also a part of this revolutionary thinking – is the understanding of the systems behind these technologies. Let us not forget what is under the covers of every new and groundbreaking mobile app — or hybrid cloud — or cognitive system.

And that’s where infrastructure comes in.

Configurations that include IBM z Systems and IBM Power Systems. IBM Storage that is needed for all the data and information. Middleware that connects everything together. And the integration of this computing, storage, and networking into a software-defined infrastructure.

Even though it’s these awesome new digital technologies that sometimes get all the headlines, the underlying foundation is worth taking notice of. The requirements have not changed. They are non-functional requirements that we’ve always loved and needed. Like performance. Availability. Security. They’re still here and better than ever.

So the next time you see it, say something.

• What do you think is behind that cool new hybrid cloud at your bank? An IBM mainframe containing systems of record.
• What do you think is behind that awesome Watson system mapping genomes? An open Power Systems configuration.
• What do you think is behind all that amazing analytics capability handling all that sensor data? IBM Storage of all sorts.

What do you think is behind the digital future? Infrastructure from IBM.

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