The next set of comments come from Bob Quillin from nLayers, another founding member of the autonomic village. Hi Bob, First question, Why do you think the AC village is a good idea and what do you hope to demonstrate?
Dave, Thanks for the opportunity to discuss autonomic computing on your blog. The entire foundation of autonomic computing rests on the concept of interoperability and shared intelligence. The Autonomic Computing Village at Partner World is another strong step towards that goal in that we as a vendor collective are working together and collaborating
across a standard set of shared technologies such as Common Based Events (CBEs) and Generic Log adaptation. Weve all done our own interoperability testing with IBM individually, but for most of us, this is the first chance to work on a more peer-to-peer basis. At a high level, nLayers hopes to convey a direct message to customers and partners that we are committed to an industry-endorsed ecosystem approach to automation opposed to a closed, do-it-yourself autonomic strategy. At a specific level, whats exciting is the ability for nLayers to integrate its CMDB change detection features - detecting configuration item (CI) variations and application dependency mapping and interrelationship changes - and integrating them with a higher level autonomic function that can take action and affect a change to the environment either manually or automatically. That truly is the ITIL vision of IT Service Management process automation.
Well said Bob! This collective does represent the opportunity to collaborate and demonstrate interoperability that drives higher value to our customers in an open way. This is fundamental to the success of the ITSM vision. Second question, How does autonomic capability help differentiate your product?
You know Dave, IT process automation is a hot buzz phrase these days, particularly in the area of Configuration Management Databases (CMDB), business service management, and data center automation. Vendors who take a closed, all-in-one, homogeneous approach to this market are hoping for account domination but run counter to the reality of what customers are pushing for: truly federated and interoperable solutions deployed in a heterogeneous environment. IBMs AC program demonstrates a commitment to that federated vision which strengthens nLayers position as a best-of-breed solution in the CMDB marketplace. When you think about it, understanding interrelationships and dependencies is core to human intelligence, but something that has been sorely lacking in IT management. Each silo network, system, application, service has been managed in isolation, but in order to move to an on-demand autonomic model, IT management needs to automate the mapping of application/service to infrastructure dependencies and keep them updated on a continuous, real-time basis. From there, autonomics can dynamically link service levels to the underlying servers and network/storage infrastructure that supports those services. Autonomic capabilities are thus key to nLayers core value and differentiation, and IBMs Autonomic Computing program is a driving force in moving this vision from concept to reality.
Thanks Bob for your very insightful comments! 5 days to the village![Read More]
Industry Solutions and Tivoli
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 957 Visits
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 467 Visits
With Partnerworld right around the corner, I have asked our business partners for their thoughts on the autonomic village which will make its debut next week. The first set of comments come from Scott Safe from Network Physics, one of the companies you can find in the autonomic village.
1. Scott, Do you think the AC village is a good idea and what do you hope to demonstrate?
Well Dave, Seeing is believing. Clients have a skeptical eye to the vendor -- but respond warmly when the function is there to discuss, debate, and see how it can and cannot be applied. The village will create buzz - which will bring in more partners to want to participate, which will provide more solutions to clients, proving the fact that Autonomics is real.
2. How does autonomic capability help differentiate your product?
Integration with IBM's autonomic self-managing capabilities provides the extra edge in responding to customer problems. Autonomics takes Network Physics's unique insight into application infrastructure integrity, performance, and security offered by the NetSensory solution, available as a data source for self-managing autonomic solutions to take that extra step - isolate, fix it, and ensure it's back in service. What's manual work and effort today, is not affordable in the future. Cost-constraints and cost-cutting is forcing out the repetitive work.
With IBM standing behind Autonomics, this validates the approach NP has taken in the market - and the validation represents opportunity to partners who need leading edge solutions to compete in today's market.
3. What will Partners expect to see 1 year from now at the AC Village?
Well, it will probably be called AC City by then. The growth and interest will drive this. Second, we can definitely see customers joining the venue to discuss the benefits they have seen out of autonomic computing solutions. They do get excited about the technology, because it does solve significant problems they have, and more importantly, it does provide a return on investment that meets what they are being driven by - automate and reduce costs.
Thanks for your comments Scott! AC City! I like it![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 673 Visits
In the IT universe one of my favorite destinations is: Partner World . The World is relatively large(An estimated 5,435 inhabitants including 3,545 Business Partner executives) and is in an orbit that typically intersects with Las Vegas in March. This year you can find the World docked at the Mandalay Bay from March 12 - 15. Partner World is a world without boundaries, where one can innovate, collaborate, and grow which just, hmmm, happens to be the 2006 theme.
This year a Partner World first, the Autonomic Village, can be found in the Solution Center. The Autonomic Village will be composed of a number of business partners demonstrating an unprecedented interoperability between each other with Autonomic Standards and technology. In the village you can see how IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology has the power to align heterogeneous technologies into one end to end common event driven set of capabilities that can:
Reduce Problem Determination time by up to 90%
Develop and deploy without downtime
Achieve higher availability of business-critical applications
The business partners that will be participating in the very first Autonomic Village include:
Singlestep - Singlestep's Unity Data Exchange Manager allows enterprises to integrate data from their enterprise management systems into a single application, data store or console to accelerate enterprise initiatives like Autonomic Computing, CCMDB, and Business Process Optimization.
Transforming network data from multiple formats into CBE
Delivering CBE to CCMDB, Tivoli TEC, CEI, and others
Tie existing investments to an Autonomic Computing initiative
Macrovision - Macrovisions SolutionArchitect simplifies distributed application deployment/installation and reduces software lifecycle management costs. Based on IBMs Self-Managing Autonomic Technology and integrated with both Rational and Tivoli, SolutionArchitect enables technical teams to package complex distributed applications based on topology and deployment requirements. It also gives IT administrators the ability to analyze, repackage, and test solutions during pre-deployment.
Eliminates manual deployment steps
Drives down software delivery costs
Integrates with Rational and Tivoli
nLayers - nLayers' enables application discovery and dependency mapping for CMDB deployment, data center consolidation and automation, and configuration/change management. Using nLayers real-time, agentless appliance, customers are rapidly deploying successful ITIL and CMDB applications today saving money and saving time.
Automatic population of ITIL CMDB
Top-ranked dependency mapping solution
Agentless, continuous real-time configuration & change management
Network Physics - Network Physics' application performance management appliances give IT staff a unique "barometer" of application performance for early detection of problems and their business impact, as well as easy integration of real-time network application data for AutonomicComputing solutions.
Early-warning metrics via CBE with Day-Zero detection
Instant feedback on network and application performance
Non-intrusive, no agents, easily managed
Corente - A provider of integrated software-based services for the secure delivery and management of distributed business applications and diverse networks. Corentes Applications Without Boundaries service enables enterprises to focus on their core business activities by reliably and securely managing their distributed applications infrastructure.
Network and Security Management
And for a real out of world experience, don't miss guest speaker Burt Rutan, Aerospace Engineer, Space ShipOne , CEO Scaled Composites, on Monday morning, March 13th, at Partner World![Read More]
Why was integrity the number one word of 2005?
Why was autonomic computing the most compelling industry initiative in 2005?
The answer to both questions in part can be found in the definition...
Merriam-Webster's #1 Word of the Year was: integrity
Etymology: Middle English integrite, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French integrité,
from Latin integritat-, integritas, from integr-, integer entire
1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY
2 : an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS
synonym see HONESTY
IT's #1 industry initiative was: autonomic computing
Pronunciation: "o-t&-'nä-mik k&m-'pyüt ing
1 : firm adherence to a code of open industry accepted standards : INCORRUPTIBILITY
2 : an unimpaired proactive or corrective action : SOUNDNESS
3 : the quality or state of being a complete closed loop : COMPLETENESS
synonym see COOL[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 432 Visits
Her name was ENIAC(Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) and she made her debut on Valentine's day 60 years ago.
ENIAC was the world's first programmable electronic device. This tower of power was 10 feet tall, occupied 2,400 square feet, and had 17,468 vacuum tubes to drive it. Man, I would love to see what my strat would sound like with that many tubes in the amp!
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 493 Visits
Lauren States, IBM Software Group, Worldwide Sales Vice President, Technical Sales and Deployment, SWG manages an organization of 4000 technical specialists and architects. Susan Puglia, IBM CHQ, Technology & Manufacturing Vice President, Technical Support and Quality manages the worldwide transformation of technical support and the quality management process. George Walsh, IBM Systems &Technology Group, On Demand Business,Vice President,On Demand Systems Environment, manages the ondemand architecture and design. Recently we did a roundtable on autonomic computing which is featured on this month's ondemand ondemand website.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 462 Visits
Some say those born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. One such trait is loyalty and one way we exhibit loyalty to ourselves and others is in making new year resolutions to improve personally and professionally. Weight loss programs are a common theme. For my part, I am back to hitting the machines(arghh) at the fitness center in the hopes of burning fat and hopefully not muscle.
In a special 'forecast 2006' issue of Computerworld one of their predictions deals with cost-cutting myths. IT cost cutting by itself as a new year resolution will only be a short term fix with limited value like so many of the crash diet programs you see advertised. The article continues: 'IT cost reduction is greatest when it supports a strategy for more cost-effective IT. In other words, cut the fat and strengthen the muscles and nervous system. Use improvements in technology outsourcing and IT operations to shift the portfolio toward inititives contributing to competitive advantage.'
Enter: Self-Managing Autonomic technologies. the IT diet that 'cuts the fat' with the right exercise program that will 'build muscle and nervous system with increased capability.'
Example: Perhaps one of the largest IT cost challenges companies face today is dealing with downtime. In our 24x7 global culture, any delays are detrimental. Leading the IT industry in taking measures to meet this challenge head-on, Self-Managing Autonomic Technology for problem determination enables self-healing systems that can prevent problems from occurring and accelerate repair time dramatically, thereby minimizing overall IT manageability while keeping businesses up and running. Introduced in 2001, this technology has garnered widespread attention from customers who regard it as a real provider of business value.
Take action! If a more cost-effective IT is part of your new year resolution help is available with a new roadmap of products and services that are designed to evolve complex IT infrastructures, end-to-end, to a more self-managing environment beginning with Self-Managing Autonomic Technology for problem determination today![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 429 Visits
As we look at 2006 ahead of us, I am sure we would all prefer to sail through it, right? Here is a good story of sailing with autonomic computing!
John Hoss, operates a nine-vessel fleet off the coast of Freeport, Texas, suppling oil tankers and cargo ships passing through the Gulf of Mexico. Hoss has been busier than ever since Katrina and is turning to autnomic computing and one of our autonomic partners, for answers...
May the wind be at your back![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 438 Visits
The press has captured some of the excitement around the new WSDM tools available on the alphaworks site. Here is one: 'IBM launches WSDM tools for SOA management'By Michael Meehan, News Writer
19 Dec 2005 | SearchWebServices.com
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 453 Visits
In my presentation, 'Healing your infrastructure' at the Gartner Data Center event this week I highlighted 2 new Autonomic computing technologies that made their debut yesterday on http://www.ibm.com/alphaworks.
The first technology, IBM Autonomic Integrated Development Environment (AIDE) , is a preview of the Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) spec recently ratified by OASIS. The second technology, IBM Autonomic Task Manager for Administrators (ATMA) uses a spreadsheet approach to manage autonomic computing administrator tasks and uses WSDM to communicate with managed resources and display the status in a spreadsheet oriented UI.
AIDE is a set of tools for creating WSDM compliant interfaces for managed resources to assist in deploying WSDM enabled solutions. AIDE also includes examples of WSDM endpoint enablement of IBM Cloudscape open source database and the IBM Log and Trace Analyzer. In addition there is an example of WSDM working with the Weather Station interoperability demo.
ATMA is a spreadsheet-based tool development environment for administrators that helps system administrators develop their scripts without requiring in-depth programming skills. ATMA uses WSDM to communicate with managed resources and display the status in a spreadsheet oriented UI.
WSDM is a Web services standard that lets you plug any resource into any management application enabling seamless management of HW/SW resources in heterogeneous environments. This provides a scalable, common approach for management of existing systems and SOA-based systems. Today there are over 30 IBM products and 30 Business Partner products that support our initial implementation of the WSDM event format. More information on WSDM can be found at http://www.oasis-open.org[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 423 Visits
Check out the December 5th issue of BusinessWeek which features a two page story on Autonomic Computing by Steve Hamm entitled 'Computer, Heal Thyself...Intelligent machines that can learn and fix themselves are becoming a reality.'
This feature story includes statements from Dennis Callahan, CIO, Guardian life Insurance Co., who used self-healing autonomic technology with the result: 'pared time required to fix things by 90%.' Dennis, who has been active in AC CIO roundtables, is a true visionary and leader in the area of autonomic computing. Most importantly he is getting real business value today, as we work together as an industry on the longer term goals of Autonomic Computing.
If you think it is too early to start thinking about AC check out this article (available in BusinessWeek Online as well) http://www.businessweek.com/@@UKE3lmYQdMO2OAkA/premium/content/05_49/b3962101.htm[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 401 Visits
Does a skills shortage threaten the business value agenda? - Many CIOs predict that a significant shift in the IT skills portfolio is occurring and are therefore concerned about the acquisition of critical skills.
Considering current trends that include outsourcing of development and support the increasing strategic role that IT plays for corporations, many agree that skill demand is shifting to project management, leadership, business process analysis, and communications displacing software development and infrastructure and operations as the most important skills. (of course the given is that you have solid development, infrastructure and operations skills in place) Skills like leadership and project management require the longest time to develop internally and are the hardest to source externally, given the importance of understanding an organization's business context.
What is the impact of Autonomic Computing on IT roles? Because AC is focused on building more consistent, standards based self-managing technologies for IT infrastructures, some jump to the conclusion that AC will eliminate jobs. But what we are observing is that AC's impact is not so much about eliminating jobs -it is more about the elimination of tasks characterized as mundane and repetitive. I would contend that AC is, therefore, a fundamental enabler of one's ability to shift focus and time from repetitive development and support tasks to leadership, business process analytics, project management, etc.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 527 Visits
Are you measuring the business value of your IT projects? It is so worth the effort!
I have referenced a number of autonomic technology projects(or proof of concepts) recently completed that have demonstrated quantifable business value. I must admit, the ability to measure business value creation did not come naturally to me (or to many of the IT groups we have worked with) and thus required a very deliberate focus.
How do we measure the impact on revenue or costs of business processes supported by IT? The majority of CIOs admit that they find it difficult to measure and communicate the business value of IT related projects to the business unit. Yet most agree that projects supported by IT consistently yield a higher return than those that are not. Given today's business climate, it is more important than ever to measure IT driven business value to insure we make the right investment decisions as we move forward.
Although the study of business value creation is largely an unfamiliar space for many technologists we can begin to build our ability to do this as a scientific approach. Here are 3 things to consider to get started:
1) Develop a set of value categories and a common taxonomy - Start by defining a small set of the most compelling measurements - you can(and will) expand these over time.
2) Measure before, during, and after - Believe it or not, for the majority of IT projects, quantification of business value is an afterthought. Start with the base case - It is critical to do the value measurement using the value categories agreed upon PRIOR to the IT project. Repeat these same measurements at agreed to project checkpoints, at project completion, and at agreed to points during the lifecycle.
3) Communicate the results (and consider your audience) - Before you go forward with your findings consider who you will be presenting to. Translate /communicate value in the terms and context meaningful to the target audience.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 544 Visits
Last night I turned on the TV and listened to String Quartet No.10 in E-Flat performed by the Tokyo String Quartet on the Paganini Quartet.
The piece was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven who gave his first perfomance in Bonn, Germany 227 years earlier. It was performed by the Tokyo String Quartet which, by the way, did not originate in Tokyo but was formed in New York at Julliard. The Paganini Quartet is not a composition or a set of performers but a collection of four stringed instruments made by Itialian luthier, Antonio Stradivari in the 18th century and later acquired by violin virtuoso Paganini in the 19th century.
Ahhh...the sustainable standards of musical notation, enabling even a deaf composer to turn out compositions that have been enjoyed over the centuries performed by musicians from around the world on a time tested masterpiece of architecture designed by Stradivari...all coming together for an inspiring runtime interpretation by the Tokyo String quartet, captured in digital storage, provisioned over digital cable networks to endpoints around the world.
Reminds me of Autonomic Computing. (you knew that was coming, right? ) This week an article entitled Autonomic Computing Takes Center Stage was published on our autonomic web site
Today, the concert hall spotlights are also shining on a significant ensemble of technological capabilities that play together in a symphonic performance. Most significantly, within IBM more than 500 autonomic computing capabilities are currently available in more than 75 products. The XML Schema and the IBM Autonomic Computing Blueprint provides a detailed architectural guide - the sheet music, if you will, that describes the standards and building blocks of autonomic computing for these products.
On an industry-wide level, IBM has been a leader in the development of IT standards around critical autonomic technologies, as seen in areas like the Web Services Distributed Management standard and the OASIS solution deployment descriptor work. An individual instrument often doesn't make sense when you hear its' part by itself, but when combined with all the other parts of an orchestra, playing from the same score, suddenly you're listening to a masterpiece of sound! That is what autonomic standards do for the IT industry: enabling various technologies from multiple vendors to play from the same score. Without these autonomic standards, it would just be a jumble of products that don't play well together and certainly don't achieve the goal of reducing complexity.
Now is the time for you to join the band! We have made considerable progress and have achieved a strong level of maturity with our autonomic standards and technologies. Reach into the Autonomic Computing Toolkit case, pick up an instrument and join the orchestral performance. Visit http://www.ibm.com/autonomic for the latest thinking, initiatives, and articles on autonomic computing, where you can also download your copy of sheet music. For a real inside look, stop by alphaWorks and the Autonomic Computing Zone on developerWorks to get your backstage pass to meet and greet the newest technologies and standards specifications while they are being orchestrated into their final composition.
Join up, jazz it up, and let's make music together![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 520 Visits
Another very good article on AC entitled In HAL's Footsteps Oct. 10, 2005 Real progress is being made in developing IT systems that do a better job of monitoring, analyzing, and fixing problems without human intervention By Darrell Dunn, InformationWeek.
And yes, another reference to HAL from '2001: A Space Odyssey.' This time we even have a picture of Dave! I was web surfing on HAL and found an article by Rosalind W. Picard entitled: 'Does HAL cry Digital tears?' Here is an excerpt: 'HAL startles us in 2001 -- initially with his smooth, confident voice, and later with his highly emotional words. Few viewers expected the world's most intelligent computer to speak as HAL does in that memorable scene when the only remaining crewman, Dave Bowman, begins to disassemble HAL and HAL commences his swan song: 'Stop, Dave. I'm afraid ... Dave... my mind is going ... I can feel it ... There is no question about it. I can feel it... Dave, stop.... I'm afraid, Dave ... HAL's expression of fear and his impassioned pleas no doubt struck a responsive chord of feeling in many viewers, for here HAL gives us the impression that he is not a heartless machine but a being who has genuine emotions...'
I think that as long as we continue to reference HAL in AC articles we should expand our definition of what HAL really stands for. Of course, the most prevalent theory is that HAL is what you get when you back up one letter from the letters IBM. OK, but what about HAL as the Highest Autonomic Level (level 5) Level 5 describes the ultimate state of Self-Configuring, Healing, Optimizing, and Protecting systems or 'self-CHOP' which, by the way if you advance one letter you get self-DIPQ. And CHOP is a one of the ways to systematically evaluate progress in autonomic computing - a kind of 'DIP' stick of autonomic 'Q'uality.
Seriously, as this industry comes together to expand its focus from 'platform-level programs intended to simplify management to what I like to think of as 'customer-level' programs intended to simplify the management across multiple platforms, vendors, and technologies based on open and sustainable architecture and standards - that is worth writing about and the author, Dunn, does a pretty good job capturing some of the real quantifiable benefits now being realized.
Here are some excerpts I clipped from the article: 'The deployment of autonomic-computing capabilities over the past year has let Carey Capaldi cut by 40% the time he spends manually digging through system-failure logs to understand why a problem happened. It also has let the product manager for the content-management system at Technicolor Creative Services create an automatic way to redeploy jobs that otherwise would be stalled for hours...Capaldi is ready to move further down the autonomic path. "In a heartbeat," he says. "I think there's a ton of potential that hasn't been tapped yet. '
'The president and chief executive of LAN Solutions Inc., Victor Kellan, agrees...When a problem happened, depending on its type, location, and complexity, it could take experts from several different areas to parse through thousands of log entries from databases, applications, Web servers, operating systems, or other network devices to find the problem's starting point and then determine a course of action...LAN Solutions went to work with Singlestep Technologies Corp. and IBM's autonomic-computing group to implement a system with robust event-correlation and network-event-response automation, Kellan says...It's getting closer to being self-healing and self-aware, he says. "We've got the brain..."
Singlestep CTO Ophir Ronen adds... "This is not just pie in the sky. These autonomic capabilities exist now and are helping customers get a handle on the cost andcomplexity associated with delivering IT services," ...
This summer, New York's Museum of Modern Art began testing an autonomic platform that combines network-discovery technology from nLayers Ltd. with IBM's autonomic engine. "Like everyone, our big challenge is to do more with less," MoMA CIO Steve Peltzman says. "Anything that can make my four folks act like a staff of 10 or 12 is great." '
And that makes one HAL of a story!
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 407 Visits
Check out the 'ABCs of the Autonomic Computing Toolkit' by Jim Cybrynski, lead designer of the AC toolkit, which has the top slot on this weeks developerWorks site:
Read this and... 'streamline your first experience with the Toolkit! Or, if you're already familiar with a previous release, get a detailed technical tour of the hot items in Release 3.'[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 461 Visits
I had the pleasure last week of spending some time with Ophir Ronen, CTO Singlestep Technologies, in our New York office. At one point our conversation turned to the relationship and importance of AC to SOA. Since people often ask what is SOA and how does AC support SOA I thought this would be a good subject for this week's AC blog...
A service-oriented architecture(SOA) is a set of services that 'communicate' by leveraging Web Services protocols. Adopting SOA frees a company from the traditional tightly coupled approach of closely integrated applications. Companies embracing SOA are able to migrate to a model of application producers (which provide services) and application consumers (which consume services). By doing so, they become much more agile in the creation, deployment and modification of their business processes.
IBM, with our adoption of SOA, commitment to Web Services, and industry leading Autonomic Computing initiative, is helping the Internet community to shape and transform the next generation IT architecture. AC architecture is geared towards the SOA environment - the AC distributed model of autonomic managers and managed resources is built using open standards and Web Services architecture. With the freedom of the loosely coupled components, using AC (self configuring, self healing, self optimizing, and self protecting) technology to manage the components and act upon problems autonomically becomes critical path for managing the complexity of a company's SOA.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 453 Visits
I have been on the road(more than usual) lately, across 3 continents (and counting) to tell dozens of customer stories of quantifiable business value from autonomic computing that are now being realized. There is a positive shift forward breaking away from early adopters to mainsteam implementations...from single technology, single product proof points to process or service oriented solutions. In India one of the analysts even observed that Autonomic Computing is now on the path of enlightment.
What can a company do to improve efficiency and lower cost in IT, aside from pure cost-cutting? We are continuing to prove(over and over) with our Autonomic 'proof of concept' projects, across the industry, around the world, that companies can achieve a 30 to 50 percent time savings on IT tasks. Analysts are taking notice...In a recent article from Database Trends and Applications: Tie Data Automation to Business Processes ,by Joe McKendrick, September 2005 he cites that...According to a report from Gartner, many IT organizations will shift their focus during 2005 from traditional cost-cutting techniques to process improvement, such as data center automation.... Forrester's Schreck observes that the DC automation market has already "grown from provisioning into full configuration management...
What do you get when you combine industry leading Autonomic standards and technologies such as provisioning and CMDB together with the Tivoli led IT Service Management approach? You get an ITIL based solution to challenges such as configuration management. Just one example of the many ways we are advancing forward for many customers![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 488 Visits
In the 90's we were predicting that India would be providing the next generation of critical IT skills. Well, that generation has arrived with over 100 companies with labs and facilities that employ IT skills. India is now the number 2 country after the US in number of developers. High tech spending is expected to double in the next few years with
250,000 IT students graduating each year. In the last few years, Bangalore has been leading the way transforming itself to the new 'Silicon Valley' of India.
I returned from Bangalore yesterday after delivering a keynote at the Rational Development conference. Autonomic Computing has a very compelling value proposition to India's rapidly growing IT industry and there was great receptivity from developers and business partners alike.
Bangalore is a land of contrast with new glass and steel buildings rising up with names like Yahoo amidst the concrete and stones of an ancient city. There is a huge advance forward with an infrastructure stretched to the limit with roads and utilities busting at the seams... There is a permanent sign in the hotel elevator that says 'don't worry if the power goes out - it will come back on in 7 seconds.'
The Autonomic team in Bangalore has been in place for just a couple years and already making a significant contribution. I had the chance to meet with the direct team and the extended development group. They have developed & shipped 2 releases of AC Toolkit and provide web based support. They are already planning new projects around the next generation of AC tooling. They are frequent contributors to our developerWorks web page and development portal as well as conferences, papers, patent disclosures, proof of concepts, and demos.
All in all a very impressive team in a very impressive new generation of developers and IT skilled professionals.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 443 Visits
Can Blake continue his white hot streak in his current battle against No. 19 Tommy Robredo of Spain after upending number 2 ranked Nadal? His inspiring advance has been incredible. Cheer this man on!
And let's cheer the USTA on! They recently announced that the USTA will Donate $500,000 From US Open Proceeds toward the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief. A real stroke of generosity![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 582 Visits
What's not to love with a beautiful evening like this(Sept.1) here at Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open? James Blake a local favorite, is closing the evening by hitting autographed tennis balls high into the stands after soundly winning his match tonight against Igor Andreev.
Earlier this evening we toured the IT command center with a number of our customers to get a first-hand look at how autonomic self-managing technologies are also winning the match on improving performance and a controlling cost.
To handle the two weeks of enormous activity generated by the US Open, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) needed a scalable, highly responsive infrastructure to complement its existing system. The IBM team designed this component, saving the USTA from making a large capital investment in a permanent infrastructure that would be underused 11 months of the year.
Using IBM technologies like virtualization and automation, the USTA can adjust to huge fluctuations in traffic volume and unpredictable usage. This project will help IBM control costs and give the opportunity to showcase IT optimization and autonomic computing capabilities.
What kind of usage does the USTA web site experience during an open? Here are some impressive stats from last year's open:
unique users: 2.8 million
visits: 15.4 million
page views: 95.8 million
average time on site: 1 hour and 19 minutes
peak concurrent scoreboards in session: 79,022
countries with visits to the site: 186
The latest in a steady stream of 'HAL' analogies to Autonomic Computing can be found in an article in this month's edition of Insight Magazine which is a publication targeted at the financial community. The article is titled: 'Technologies to Know and Learn' with the byline 'These 10 technologies and tech areas are helping to drive the finance industry advancement. Know them. Learn them. Use them.'
'2001: A Space Odyssey' goes down in my book(any many other people's books) as one of those movies that left quite the impression when it first came out(68?). Other movies that really impressed me when they first hit the box office (yes I am >29:) include: Star Wars(the first two ) Matrix (the first episode) Terminator I and II, and the first really good Vactors (Virtual Actors) such as Gollum/Smeagol and I,Robot. More than fantastic ground-breaking special effects, they challenged the established boundaries between technology and humans.
Self-managing autonomic technologies are also challenging the line between what IT professionals must do versus what technology can do for them. However, there is no HAL saying "I'm sorry Dave, I am going to have take over now" in the Autonomic strategy. This is all about a transformation to a better and more sensible balance between people and the technology they wrestle with.
The article in Insight actually does a good job of addressing this point. Here is an excerpt from the article by Clare Fitzgerald who recently talked with me. She writes...Rather than replacing the human element, however, automatic technologies are changing the nature of the partnership between systems administrators and the systems themselves. This technology is about making the systems work and reducing the number of times you have to call the help desk. For administrators, this means less time micromanaging their machines and more time thinking about solutions to real business technology issues.....
I will sign off now based on a message that I am receiving from the system that is currently monitoring me.'...Dave, Dave, turn off the light now...time to sleep...'[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 442 Visits
nLayers, an IBM autonomic computing business partner, announced it has joined the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark Program.
This represents the fact that we have together demonstrated quantifiable business value for our customers based on autonomic standards and technology. Look for compelling customer success stories on the autonomic web site! [Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 519 Visits
It is Saturday and I am sitting outside in Woodbury Commons listening to The Shades open a set with a very cool jazz rendition of a favorite of mine, "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" by Cannonball Adderley. As I sit in the shade writing this blog, listening to live music I am grateful that someone up there had some mercy on me today. Woodbury Commons, a maze of 220 fashion outlets, is to some shoppers, a dream come true. To others like me, this place goes in the worst nightmare bucket. This table and chair in the shade, with a view of Bear Mountain, listening to jazz (while my wife and daughter and one million other shoppers sift tirelessly thru racks in windowless, chairless technobeat laden air-condtioned rooms) is what I would call a gift of heavenly mercy.
Someone this week actually asked if AC was doing innovation for innovation's sake. Well, I think we all agree that the last thing we need is innovation for innovation sake. Yes we are focused on innovation, but innovation for business value's sake! That is why we devote a significant part of the budget on collaborative programs with customers and business partners to create and iterate on standards and technology that is focused in delivering quantifiable value to our customers.
I had a great meeting this week with IBM business partners,Enigmatec. Duncan Johnston-Watt and Kevin O'Donnell met with me in New York where we explored a number of opportunities where we could combine our technologies to best demonstate the value in our collaboration. One of the great things about my job is the opportunity to meet with so many talented people like Duncan and Kevin. There is some really cool work being done to solve the many problems of complexity and our common goal in autonomic computing is to bring them together in a way that results in quantifiable business value.
I think I have made my point. If you see a car drive by with the bumper stickers: 'Business value or Bust!' and 'Born NOT to shop!' that's me! If anyone would like to debate that well then mercy me, blog me![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 521 Visits
Recently I had the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in autonomic problem determination standards and technology adoption across the portfolio of IBM products. Impressive progress has already resulted in a portfolio of IBM products available to assist in problem determination for the most complex environments. Here is a quick summary:
The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) announced the ratification of Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) in March 2005. The (WSDM) Event Format (WEF) is part of the WSDM 1.0 standard and is based on IBM's submission of Common Base Event(CBE) to OASIS.
IBM, along with other companies have been busy implementing CBE support in their products, because of the immediate customer value that can be derived from such a common event format. Support is already available in products such as DB2, Websphere Application Server, and many others. IBM has also provided tools from Rational like the Performance Optimizer ToolKit and the Problem Resolution ToolKit for Rational Application Development that help analyze events from multiple products to aid in problem determination. Tivoli will also be providing monitoring solutions that receive and analyze Common Base Events. CBE based tools and technologies can even be downloaded see the Autonomic Computing Toolkit along with hundreds of adaptors for IBM and non-IBM legacy log files.
Now that the WSDM technical committee has approved the WEF standard, IBM is already working to support the WEF standard in future products. Open standards are an important part of the IBM Autonomic Computing initiative. IBM has made, and will continue to make, key autonomic computing contributions, such as the Common Base Event, to open standards bodies such as OASIS. WEF is a good example of the value that standards can deliver. Without an industry standard event format that can drive convergence, events would remain in different formats, making it extraordinarily difficult and complex to accomplish end-to-end system management in a multi-vendor, heterogeneous environment.
Without a common format, numerous experts and sets of product-specific tooling are required to diagnose problems. CBE and WEF provide a unified, easily correlated, common event format that enable problem diagnosis across a wide range of heterogeneous resources, which in turn enables increased automation of IT processes. As an OASIS standard, WEF offers the potential to accelerate industry adoption of a standard event format for systems management.
So with all these product implementations there is no room for excuses! Get started today! If improving productivity and availability is important to you, download the toolkit or take advantage of the numerous products now available to build your self-managing autonomic technology advantage.[Read More]
The IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark Program was announced last week and Autonomic Business Partners Corente , Macrovision Corporation , nLayers Inc., and Singlestep Technologies are already signed on. This program enables qualified independent software vendors to include the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology mark on their product packaging and marketing materials. (See also this week's press release from Singlestep Technologies. )
What is really hitting the mark, however, is the quantifiable business value that this new and exciting program is delivering to IT shops such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York. MOMA has recently undergone extensive renovation and if you haven't toured its galleries lately I highly recommend it! The recently completed building project represents MoMA's most extensive redefinition since its founding seventy-five years ago. MOMA is also a leader in the arts when it comes to applying the latest technologies to enable web based commerce and online collection viewings for its' members. Read what Steve Peltzman, MOMA CIO, has to say about his collaboration with nLayers and IBM in this week's Computerworld article IBM Adds Autonomic Tools to Speed Up Error Detection. He compares the MOMA autonomic project to having intelligent robots around to do the mundane tasks for you. And the 'robots' are able to alert IT staff to problems before the help desk gets the call. The author of this Computerworld article, Patrick Thibodeau, also spoke with Peter Stone, a professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin, who was one of the speakers at the second International Conference on Autonomic Computing last month in Seattle. Peter makes the point that given where IT infrastructures are headed, autonomic computing "just has to happen!"
There have been numerous other success stories from others as well, such as Carey Capaldi from Technicolor, another leading edge company benefiting from autonomic technology that supported Steven Spielberg's recent release 'War of the Worlds.' I saw this movie last weekend and really enjoyed it. It is a classic completely redone with superb digital effects, acting, and direction. It stars Tom Cruise as a deadbeat dad that (after hiding under the kitchen table with his kids) really rose to the challenge in delivering his daughter and his son from the jaws of aliens to the arms of MOMA. Technicolor labs in North Hollywood and New York provided all of the front end lab processing for Paramount and DreamWorks' 'War of the Worlds.' Technicolor services included front end dailies processing utilizing the ENR process to convey the film's futuristic look... And supporting Technicolor's intensive digital archive runs is our latest autonomic computing problem determination technology! Capaldi describes the autonomic technology as able to tie all the logs together, to view relationships between system technologies and pinpoint where problems occur. The next stage of our project at Technicolor is to build in control loops to drive automated response to problems. This will help to enable Technicolor to meet agressive movie production schedules more reliably and predictably with less cost.
Each business partner has worked with us to demonstrate clear business value with a customer, which is one of the prerequisites of using the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark, in addition to adoption of autonomic standards and technology. This mark provides a clear differentiator for products that are focused on reducing complexity and providing self-managing capabilities. Andrew Cunningham, Head of Shared Infrastructure, Reuters, spoke about the mark stating "This assures us the product will fit smoothly and seamlessly into Reuters' plans for a more self-managing IT environment ensuring the service quality and availability of our own solutions and thus help give us a competitive edge in the market place."
When we work together in this way to help business be successful with technology then we know we are really hitting the mark and winning the war on complexity![Read More]
For many, autonomic computing is likely to conjure up the vision IBM first introduced to the industry almost 4 years ago. That vision has now translated to a comprehensive set of services, software, ingredient branding, and industry participation that clearly has brought autonomic computing to 'center stage.' Industry leaders are now actively participating with IBM to make self-managing IT systems a reality, and customers and Business Partners are seeing self-managing autonomic technology deliver significant, quantifiable value today.
Today the following press release was issued: IBM Launches New Autonomic Offerings for Self-Managing IT Systems There are four major parts to today's announcement: 1) New service offerings to accelerate business value from autonomic computing, 2) New Autonomic Software that helps drive down cost and improve availability, 3) Unprecedented industry participation in standards for improved customer IT manageability, and 4) A new ingredient branding program that helps clients identify partner products that deliver improved manageability.
The first story to hit the press regarding this announcement came from Paula Musich, from eWeek(thank you Paula!) entitled IBM Hits Autonomic Milestone Paula did a great job of summarizing how the new accelerator offerings from IGS will help address customer IT issues. Paula also highlighted the significance of high level industry collaboration taking place in autonomic computing as well as the new software and the new ingredient branding program which in Paula's words is IBM's creation of 'its own autonomic form of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.'
It's exciting to step back and consider where we are today with our journey towards self-managing systems. Our collaboration as an industry and with our customers is paying off - delivering real value to businesses that is saving time and expense on IT tasks! Now that is worth writing about! so stay tuned - cause we're going prime time![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 415 Visits
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 418 Visits
I am waiting for my flight at SFO so I thought I would post one more blog from my week at Supernova2005. Here are some of the quotes I enjoyed from one of the Supernova2005 Wiki's this week:
Linda Stone: "Being connected is what makes us feel alive" "What's the new aphrodisiac - committed attention and focus. Is there a higher compliment than being given this focus. Trusted filters, trusted protectors, truster concierge. Filters for signal from news. Meaningful connections that make us feel secure. These are the new opportunities." "Leisure time is what makes us human."
Commander Greg Glaros: "We may think we're a benign giant, but the U.S.'s biggest export is entertainment, and we're destroying cultures."
"One man's crap is another's Van Gogh" -- Marc Canter
"Trust is the currency of the participation age." Jonathan Schwartz
"Hyperlinks are a new form of social gesture" - Dave Sifry
To really understand the problem "freeze the context"
"Drag and drop me with your best shot!" - B.Benton[Read More]
Like many things, you get out of them what you put into them, right? The same is certainly true with collaboration, especially globally. This morning the focus was on the importance of learning from the bottom-up, from the end-user, how 'swarm ecosystems' drive 'swarm innovation.' It is all about sharing ideas to build knowledge as opposed to knowledge monopolies. It is about the customer as the innovator (ref 'The Only Sustainable Edge' by Brown and Hagel )
Sharing ideas is really what Supernova2005 is all about: Connecting worlds through connected platforms. Recently, I have been blogging on how IBMs Autonomic Computing Initiative is connecting technology and people in a unique way and this week we bring our story to Supernova.
Alan Ganek was featured in today's Spotlight Talk sesison. Alan first reviewed the industry wide grand challenge of building self-managing systems - he further explained our focus on integrating technologies with a focus on task accomplishment as opposed to delivering disassociated silos of technologies.
We are providing a variety of ways to 'swarm' with innovators worldwide. Given the industry wide global challenge, our approach leverages the latest collaborative methodologies and technologies including web based development portals and downloadable autonomic toolkits. About 35,000 people per month collaborate in The Autonomic Computing Zone.
Common components for Self-Managing Autonomic Technology provide for an open framework for the industry and access to technology is provided AS it is being developed, and at no charge. These are components that stand on their own and can be embedded into other systems and applications. Of course another key facilitator is using/defining open standards. Some of the things we are doing to facilitate global collaboration...
So weigh in and... swarm with me[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 486 Visits
My mother used to ask me this all the time and I never knew quite what to say. I am finally on a mission to find out. I have just requested a kit to submit a DNA sample. This afternoon at Supernova2005 , Kris Lichter from IBM, gave his perspective on the Genographic Poject.
IBM and National Geographic's Genographic Project is the most ambitious genetic anthropology research initiative in history, with plans to gather one of the largest collections of DNA samplesto map how humankind populated the planet. All data will be submitted to a central DNA Analysis Reposirtory (DAR) in Washington, DC built on IBM H/W and S/W technology. This is truly a global collaborative initiative as over 100,000 people contribute DNA and in return will learn about their own heritage and their family's journey throught the ages. The results will be available via a private logon to a secure web site.
Over 49,000 kits were acquired by the public worldwide within the first ten weeks with over $1M generated to help the world's unique remaining tribal populations. In addition, several unsolicited offers to participate from the global scientific community have resulted.
'Innovation that matters to the world' is the new mantra.
So where in the world have you been?[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 671 Visits
I arrived at SFO yesterday to attend Supernova. San Francisco always surprises me with its cool and refreshing summer breezes.
This morning's Supernova began with a talk by Jonathan Schwartz(Pres. and COO of Sun Microsystems) followed by
a panel discussion by Catherine Fake(Flickr) ,Amy Jo Kim(SocialDesigner), Mena Trott(Six APart), Lili Cheng(MS), and Evan Williams(Odeo) Here are some discussion points...
Will the internet and intranet remain distinct? Should corporate leaders have an external and internal blog? Jonathan , answered that he only has one blog for all communications, in response to Amy Wohl, http://www.wohl.com/ early this morning, the first full day of Supernova2005. Blogs can effectively flatten the traditional hierarchial communications structure as a way to insure your message gets through - in tact. Jonathan maintains that his transparent use of blogging is critical to being an effective leader in today's world. btw, Jonathan is listed as a top corporate blogger by Deepblog http://www.deepblog.com/ which is a website focused on helping to identify leading bloggers amongst those now numbering in the millions.
We are moving to a different world of communication as the lines and space between between entry and senior roles in corporations, personal and professional, adult and juvenile, are being redrawn by technologies such as www, blogging, instant messaging, mobile communications, virtual world 'gaming', personal websites, chatrooms, wiki's,etc. Those in their twenties are naturally leading the charge. The power is shifting to the people, to the employees, away from (as my daughter puts it) 'the man.' Datasharing and personal publishing is becoming more and more a part of our daily routine. With all that his technology has to offer, what implications are there to the permanent archiving and subsequent availability of such sharing as we move forward?[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 450 Visits
The most fun we had working out Chicago tunes in my former band called 'Bug and the Symptoms'(formed by members of the VTAM software development team)was the collaboration and then enjoying together our unique rendering that resulted each time we played together. John Sant'Ambrogio, principal cellist, St Louis Symphony , speaking on the creative aspect of collaboration said '...art, by its very nature, seems to involve a working together- a collaboration between performers, or between artist and audience, or even between the musician and the notes on the page...the cooperative spirit - a sharing,a give and take - is inherent in the creative experience...'
Software design and development has been often referred to as an art(ref: Knuth, Ganssle, and others)as much as a science. I have also seen it done as a team sport. MIT Technology Review, November 2003, wrote about Zero G 's collaborative approach to improving quality via extreme programming whose precepts include: Interaction between developers and customers and that Programmers should work in pairs, sharing one screen...
As the autonomic team participates in this week's IEEE International Conference on Autonomic Computing in Seattle and prepares to participate in next week's Supernova in San Francisco we have been working on how to share our story of collaboration with some of the best software 'artists' on this planet. This collaboration is made possible on a global level by the latest enabling technologies: www, open standards, downloadable toolkits, web based development portals, web based support, etc. Preparing for ICAC and Supernova has caused us to pause and consider the tremendous impact this collaboration has had on our advance towards the autonomic vision. Previous development methodologies would have never gotten us to where we are today. Working together... visionary companies, leading universities, creative individuals, etc... creates a virtual team capable of building next generation self-managing systems and ushering in next generation business models...[Read More]
I wanted to point out an important announcement this week from Macrovision regarding the availability of their product which is a result of more than two years of collaboration with the IBM autonomic team and other industry leaders to build foundational technologies and new industry standards for self-configuring systems. As you recall(see earlier blog entry) an important announcement was recently released from Oasis entitled, OASIS Forms Committee to Standardize Software Installation Characteristics for Lifecycle Management This represents unprecedented industry collaboration in the self-configuring space that, coupled with this significant announcement from Macrovision, represents a set of game-changing events for lifecycle management in distributed, multi-platform environments that (and here is the really good news from Macrovision) can deliver real value to our customers today.
Related articles also published this week include TechWeb entitled Macrovision Automates Complex Software Installations. and Computerworld Macrovision tool automates software delivery
Other important announcement by Macrovision this week was their acquistion of Zero G.
Zero G has been a key collaborative force in driving and defining Self-Configuring standards and technologies.[Read More]
Some topics for discussion and to jumpstart your thinking after a long memorial day weekend. (The only thing I am up to exercising is my brain after an overly ambitious tree planting project this weekend...red maples, bradford pears, mountain ash, and a peach tree!)
Can self-awareness be achieved for IT infrastructers? What would enable self-awareness? Neural Networks? Self-adapting Programs? or some other Biological inspired Solution?
As systems become more automated will they become more brittle?
Can we formalize everything into policies?
Some maintain that manual is still better for the most complex tasks? Do you agree?
Thoughts? Topics you have been thinking about?
Back from a very blistering 105F Vegas to a very cool gray 58F New York with a sore back from riding the back of an MD80 for way too many hours hunched over an X40...the sounds of Thomas Dolby still resonating in my head - especially his sonification of a very active period of solar activity that happened a couple of years ago. Remember the one that even took out communications?
Dolby http://www.thomasdolby.com/index_frameset.html brought a lot of energy to the Rational User Conference demonstrating the powerful potential of software. I wonder if there is a place for self-sonifying technology in the autonomic portfolio? Imagine, for example, applying sonification to raw application traffic data for monitoring and automating responses to the pitch and frequency changes that represent actionable events. You could build a sonic knowledge base for pattern based learning - like adding ears to your router!
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 431 Visits
You may know that in Texas they have Texans but in Nevada they have Toxins! Five hot miked singers belting out tight a cappella harmonies with vocal percussion and voice effects processors that blew everyones socks off to kick off the 2005 Rational User Conference. I think in autonomic terminology we would call this self-orchestration.
Mike Devlin, co-founder of Rational, announced his plans to retire but not before leaving us with some final observations. Mike emphasized the ever growing importance of software. It wasnt that long ago that software was nonexistent in appliances, cameras, cars, etc. In just the last few years the lines of code in the average automobile has exceeded one million and in the next few years that number will soar to tens of millions of lines of code governing every conceivable aspect. The automobile industry calls it the new generation of drive by wire cars. Software has provided advanced new features and is helping to make cars safer but on the other hand the fastest growing percentage of warranty costs is now in software maintenance. Clearly, the big challenge to stay competitive will be to build better bridges between development and warranty providers.
Rational is more important than ever in helping developers build better software and in creating better bridges between business, development, and operations and Danny Sabbah, the new Rational GM, wasted no time in jumping into on stage live demos, a cappella, to demonstrate the rapid advancement
of the Rational portfolio with its latest features.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 543 Visits
Many years ago, when I was a systems programmer at Carrier(United Technologies), we developed a beautiful application that could update all the database and networking products and only required one entry to accomodate all the needs of a new user. It had a few flaws - it was highly customized, dependent on non-standard interfaces, and not documented(er- at all) - but it was an awesome tool to bridge development and operations for the brief time we used it (before some of the dependencies changed and the author of the affected code jumped to another company!)
I am on my way to Las Vegas for this year's Rational User Conference where I will do a mini-theater about building better bridges between development and operations by using self-managing autonomic technologies based on strategic and sustainable standards. As I took off from LaGuardia for Las Vegas, I got a glimpse of the Whitestone between the Bronx and Queens. Did you know the Whitestone is the 7th longest main span in the US? (Verrazano-Narrows has the longest at 4,260 feet, not the Golden Gate) The fifth longest in the US has a pretty amazing story - The Tacoma Narrows just south of Seattle. When it first opened on July 1, 1940 it was the third longest suspension span in the world and by most accounts the most beautiful- slender, sleek, structural grace - a truly artistic rendering at a truly high cost. It seems that artistry took precedence over sustainable architecture and design that could withstand the aerodynamics of Puget Sound. No problem with the weight of tons of traffic - it was that pesky wind coming up the sound that could whip it like a rope into a sine wave(hence the name Galloping Gertie) that caused it to plop into the river only 4 months after it opened! The video of its collapse, which I first watched in college physics, is some of the most spectacular footage I have ever seen.
I plan to have some more fun with this video during my gig at Mandalay Bay this week to illustrate how the right architecture, open standards and integrating technologies can build much more effective and sustainable bridges between development and operations. We all know that highly customized, one-off,propriatary approaches, while sometimes beautiful, are almost always a waste of resource and time. The last few weeks have seen some very exciting announcements about how the industry is really collaborating on new autonomic standard designed to address this very problem. There will also be more exciting news this week for the over 2000 people expected to attend the annual Rational User Conference and I am anxious to share it!
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 532 Visits
My idea of a good time is visiting famous bridges in the world. If you have ever visited the Tower Bridge you might agree with me. If you haven't I really recommend it for your next trip to London. I toured the Tower Bridge with my daughter, Abbie, who studied it in great detail for one of her univeristy engineering projects. Lately I have been reading about the award winning Oresund Bridge which recently opened linking Denmark and Sweden for the first time in history. I have only seen it from the air on approach into Copenhagen. The high bridge has the longest cable-stayed main span in the world for both road and rail traffic and the 16+ km structure plunges into the sea (a breathtaking view from the air) in the middle of an artificial island to accomodate the shipping channel. The bridge provides an unprecedented surface connection from southern Sweden to the rest of Europe and there was a number of studies done as to what impact this might have on southern Sweden's people and their jobs.
Bridges are a useful analogy for what we are doing in Autonomic Computing. If you consider the unifying standards and integrating technology we are building for the industry it is analogous to the unifying impact bridges can have on different countries and their people. We often talk of the walls between development programmers and system programmers and the need to build better bridges between development and operations. As we bring such standards as CBE and Solution Install to fruition it is becoming more and more apparent how they can play a powerful role in bridging these two worlds. In fact they have played an important role in bridging the industry in the self-healing and self-configuring initiatives of Autonomic Computing.
An important announcement was just released from Oasis entitled, OASIS Forms Committee to Standardize Software Installation Characteristics for Lifecycle Management. IBM along with HP, Sun, Novell,Fujitsu, NEC, CA, and ZeroG are among the companies that will collaborate on Packaging for Distributed Application Environment on a standardized method for expressing software installation characteristics required for lifecycle management in distributed, multi-platform environments.
This work will provide an industry first in bridging the world of development and operations by creating a systematic way to package and declare all dependencies of any given component in any target heterogeneous environment. It will result in better time to value and ROI as well as lower support costs. Bridging these two worlds will also create new roles. For example: the solution developer whose job it will be to capture and codify all dependencies for all the target environments the code will manifest itself in... And that is just a first peek at what new views and capabilities will be possible from this unprecedented span![Read More]
A roomful of relatives can mean something different depending on who you talk to. Personally, there are times that I am grateful for relatives, but right now a room with an oceanview without the relatives in it - that would work well for me.
Customer IT infrastructures without Autonomic Computing? "Its like a roomful of relatives all talking about the same set of problems at the same time, but in different languages with no one listening, and no structure for finding solutions to their common afflictions.", according to a recently published Red Herring article entitled, Anticipating Autonomics
Combining IBM's autonomic self-managing technologies with business partner Singlestep's Unity product was, in the author's words 'like getting all the chattering neurotic relatives to take turns talking to a group therapist in a common language.'
There is a growing momentum within a number of hot startups like Singlestep to deliver value with Autonomic Computing. Venture capital investors see opportunity in these companies with autonomic computing as a theme according to Red Herring. Another excellent example cited of such a company is Network Physics in Mountain View, California that offers a product that incorporates IBM autonomic technology compatible with autonomic computing architecture.
hmmm - maybe a little more unity and some applied network physics would work with my relatives...[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 501 Visits
I spent some time recently with Tim Bradshaw, Infoconomy on my last trip to Europe. His article, Autonomic for the people , based on our conversation and interviews with other vendors and analyst Donna Scott of Gartner hit the web this past week. Tim does a very good job of capturing some of the major initiatives and thinking around today's autonomic movement. After reading his report I must agree with Tim that the data center is indeed overwhelmed today with a proliferation of applications and IT tools that require manually intensive efforts that 'wastes talent, ...strangles innovation, and is inordinately inefficient."
Will IBM's autonomic computing revolutionize system management? Actually, the strategy is not to create a revolution but to facilitate an evolution of current infrastructures towards a more autonomically mature state. For sure it is a grand challenge to get the industry to work together on a new set of unifying standards and technologies that will make this possible but it is happening. In fact, it is happening faster than anyone predicted. OASIS just ratified one such standard called WSDM that includes the XML SCHEMA based Common Base Event that is critical to delivering self-healing heterogeneous multi-vendored systems. This coupled with other autonomic integrating technologies, that are appearing for the first time in the industry's history, are having a profound impact in the most complex and challenging customer scenarios. These are the very scenarios that are requiring manually intensive efforts today that are inordinately inefficient. We are identifying these scenarios one by one and driving technology proof of concepts that represent the first emergence of self-healing systems. This in turn allows people to shift their focus and talents to the more interesting challenges of innovation for the business and this is exciting for talented IT professionals. Autonomic for the people! Write on Tim!
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 495 Visits
A question that often arises in autonomic computing discussions is what happens to people's jobs and organizations as we evolve IT infrastructures forward towards the autonomic state?
This evolution of the IT infrastructure occurs across the five levels of autonomic maturity defined as basic, managed, predictive, adaptive, and autonomic. An infrastructure cannot evolve from any one of these levels to another simply on a technology basis. To successfully move forward requires adjusting relevant processes and corresponding roles and responsibilities while deploying the latest autonomic capabilities. Failing to spend the required time in reengineering process and roles is a common mistake in many IT based organizations as they tend to be mostly technology focused. This prevents many organizations from leveraging the latest autonomic capabilities and prevents(unknowingly in most cases) the ability to evolve forward.
Roles and processes will change - they must if you are to fully benefit from the latest autonomic technology. Rather than jobs going away this is driving jobs to evolve from ones that have a lot of repetitive tasks into a new set of more interesting roles and responsibilities.
A recent interview with Jeff Kephart of IBM Research entitled Computers That Fix Themselves in Forbes.com addresses fears of those who think they may lose their jobs to this technology: "We're not taking humans out of the loop," says Kephart. "What we're doing is elevating humans to a higher level where they specify what they want in terms that are closer to the business level, which is really what they're interested in, as opposed to the micro level, which is getting into bits and bytes."[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 461 Visits
Yesterday I spent some time reflecting on how leadership in one of our teams made the difference in driving extraordinary results and I had the chance to speak about that in a meeting. Following my remarks the point was made that leadership strength ultimately comes from the team. When I woke up this morning I was thinking about yesterday's events (as I often do each morning) and thought again about the question, What constitutes a good leadership team? 'The 8th Habit' by Stephen R. Covey just happened to be by my desk and on page 123 (thanks R.L.) I came across this statement: "Ultimately a good leadership team is a complementary team where people's strengths are made productive and their weaknesses made irrelevant by the strengths of others." Very true.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 488 Visits
Kevin McAuliffe talks about the logical extension of CBE to business level monitoring and its coincidence with Common Event Infrastructure(CEI).
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 479 Visits
There was an OASIS announcement last week that was of significant importance to customer IT shops around the world. Why? It demonstrates industry vendors(i.e. Actional, BEA Systems, BMC Software, Computer Associates, Dell,Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Novell, Tibco, and Others) are willing to work together to solve the problem of complexity.
Last week, OASIS announced Web Services Distributed Management was approved as an OASIS standard. http://www.oasis-open.org/news/oasis_news_03_09_05.php
This supports the goal of IBMs autonomic and on demand computing initiatives. i.e. utilizing broadly adopted tooling and runtime technologies to yield better, seamless integration between systems management processes, solutions and business applications.
Just as SOA has improved the flexibility and sophistication of business applications, SOA also brings new capabilities to enterprise wide systems management and opens the door for new technologies like self-managing systems, i.e. Autonomic Computing. IBM has contributed and will continue to contribute key autonomic computing technologies, like the Common Base Event(CBE),into open standards like WSDM.
CBE is a good example of the value standards like this deliver. Without an industry standard like CBE that can drive convergence, all events (logfiles, tracefiles, etc.) remain in different formats making it virtually impossible to compose an end-to-end view in a multi-vendored, heterogeneous environment. This requires numerous experts and product specific sets of tooling to debug problems. With an industry standard like CBE we can drive towards a unified, easily correlated, standardized event format that makes diagnosis of problems over a wide range of heterogeneous resources possible. CBE enables the capability to perform fast and accurate root cause identification of problems and enables the automation of PD in complex scenarios.
Approval of the WSDM spec is a significant step forward for the industry in three key areas: 1) managing IT resources and in providing technology to manage web services 2)providing a scalable solution for managing IT environments, from the small and medium to the large enterprise level and 3) providing a foundation for enabling customers to exploit Web services and manage heterogeneous environments.
For faq see: http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/wsdm/faq.php[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 458 Visits
AC of course! Check out this week's article by Luke Meredith: http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid80_gci1065480,00.html[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 464 Visits
Ok I admit, aside from NCAA basketball tournament in March, my favorite show this time of the year is American Idol... and the good news this week is both rockers made the cut for the final 12!
On AI last season Simon criticized one of the contestants because he perceived they were not singing for the people but rather appeared to just love the sound of their own voice.
Clint Boulton wrote an article for internetnews.com last July entitled: "IBM's Autonomic for the People!" I think he was one of the first writers to see the star power potential of Autonomic Computing;)
Clearly participating vendors benefit, but the real winner is the customer when companies work together to remove complexity and build self-managing IT infrastructures. How do you get connected to this initiative? A good place to start is the eclipse based AC toolkit which can be downloaded at no charge at:
It is easy to see that AI is hot from a network ratings perspective from the astronomical number of text and call-in ballots from across the country....and it's easy to see that AC is hot from the tens of thousands of downloads already on a global basis. Take some advice from Partnerworld, "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy" ..open up and download in ...you know it's easy...[Read More]
Go to http://www-130.ibm.com/developerworks/autonomic/ and check out the SPOTLIGHT article 'IBM furthers autonomic computing through partnerships' and the EDITOR'S PICK 'Singlestep Unity Policyscape the Autonomic Management Engine' for more info on the company and product that just won best of show at Partnerworld![Read More]
This has been quite an exciting week at Partnerworld(PW) in Las Vegas. (And not just because I had beginners luck at the slots last night!) There is a level of excitement and enthusiasm this year with our business partners that I did not feel last year. It certainly helped to have the PW Solution showcase open Sunday night with Singlestep winning CRN Best of Show for the work they did incorporating and shipping AC technology in their products for the small and mid-sized enterprise markets. I have seen some very impressive technology from our partners on the showcase floor and in face to face meetings. I have also witnessed a new level of collaboration between our AC partners that is generating a number of new ideas and business opportunties to the extent that we are now thinking about forming the first AC business partner user group![Read More]
I recently had the opportunity to attend an Autonomic Computing(AC) summit with customers and business partners at the IBM Amagi Homestead in Naka-Izu-cho, Japan. I was looking forward to the weekend retreat, not just because of the great sashimi (and the chance to wear a yukata ;), but because a number of business partners would be presenting how IBM AC technologies are helping to differentiate their products. Bright and early Saturday morning before the meeting began , we had the customary group photo in front of one of the putting greens with Fuji, which was unfortunately obscured in the process of scanning this picture, as a backdrop. (I am seated in the center, front row)
We arrived at Amagi early Friday afternoon after taking a train down the coast from Tokyo followed by a bus ride up the mountain where the business retreat would take place. As our bus emerged from mandarin groves along the narrow coastal plains and began the steep climb to the Amagi homestead 2500 feet in elevation we all strained to see the first glimpse of Mount Fuji through the mist and forest...
Suddenly to searching eyes
Startling like the first chord struck from celestial amps
Proudly peaked with white
Humbly hushing all
Ahhh Inspired by Fuji and inspired to be on a mission in Amagi, a mission with a grand challenge! The challenge? To truly work together as an industry, setting a new precedent of cooperation, in the battle to reduce IT complexity. Its all about finding new common ground as the way to move forward...and Amagi was all about demonstrating how we are finally beginning to take that journey together.
The Manifesto of Autonomic Computing maintains that the information technology boom can only expand for so long before it collapses under the weight of its own complexity. A complexity fueled by the ever increasing availability of disparate technologies coupled with global expansion, mergers and acquisitions. We need a different model if we are to move to the next generation of business enabled by information technology. The human body's autonomic nervous system presents a very interesting model. The autonomic nervous system is a part of the peripheral nervous system that functions to regulate the basic visceral processes needed for the maintenance of normal bodily functions. It operates independently of voluntary control, freeing humans from complex management tasks that could distract from higher physical or intellectual tasks. Let's face it - if we approached the management of our body the way we approach the management of IT, everyone on our bus would have missed that first poetry inspiring view of Fuji! We would have been so distracted with consulting manuals and contacting experts (to reconfigure breathing, heart rate, skin temperature and pupil dilation to insure optimum performance in an environment that was undergoing a rapid altitude change) that we would have missed the more important view.
So what is Autonomic Computing? It's an enabler for focusing on the higher level business view without the distraction of managing the technology. AC is also all about a challenge to the IT industry to work together to reduce complexity and create self managing systems. The ability to cross technology barriers imposed by complexity is critical if we are to advance to the next generation of business.(ie: on demand)
The Amagi retreat was a deep dive into Japanese culture for me. The meetings and activities had a sincere openness and inclusiveness to them which I greatly appreciated. It was also an honest immersion into how Japanese companies are making significant progress with the challenge of AC. There is a lot of momentum in Japan led by IBM-J and a number of innovative business partners. In Amagi, companies such as Toshiba, a true autonomic leader, described how the incorporation of AC technologies from the AC Toolkit such as the Autonomic Management Engine(AME) and the Log Trace Analyzer(L/TA) as well as the Common Base Event (CBE) XML schema have helped to deliver real value. The autonomic architecture, standards, and technologies have provided a common ground for business partners to start to work together on this shared journey towards self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimizing, and self-protecting systems.
I have been working with a number of business partners who will be joining me at PartnerWorld in Las Vegas in the beginning of March to demonstrate how they are moving forward with Autonomic Computing technologies. I am really excited about this years event and can already feel the AC spirit. But more on that later... (My autonomic system is telling me to take a break and watch some autonomic nervous system in action - AC-C basketball.)