Industry Solutions and Tivoli
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ Tags:  smarter planet solutions industry coumputing cloud 3,303 Views
Recently Judy Collins appeared at our local bookshop in Rhinebeck, NY that we frequently visit to promote a children's book. Gosh, how time flies! It was just yesterday that we were wearing out her LPs in the college dorms. One of my favorite Judy Colllins song was 'Both sides Now' which contains the line ' I've looked at clouds from both sides now, from win and lose , and still somehow, it's clouds illusions I recall...' So what are the real benefits of cloud? And what is just an illusion? Here are some cloud musings based on my experience in industry solutions for a smarter planet:
How can cloud be used in development for industry oriented applications?
Cloud computing can be used in development for intense simulations of assembly operations. These are the complex simulations of whole systems, as opposed to a single pump for example. Simulations generally require HPC (high performance computing) that can be cost prohibitive for anyone except the largest enterprises. One example is System Verification Management for the Electronic Design Automation Industry. Systems verification is the testing of integrated circuit hardware and embedded software to identify defects. Coverage verification is a type of systems verification using random testing of a chip design simulated in software. Because software simulations run extremely slowcompared to actual hardware, enough tests can never be run to completely verify a chip design. Therefore critical functions are chosen to be “covered” by simulation testing. Modern chip complexity is driving manufacturers to coverage verification to vet design before it hits the expensive silicon and to speed time to market. In fact, Coverage verification simulations approaching 1 million per day on an High Performance Computing (HPC) environment are now becoming the norm. The HPC environment must be utilized and maintained to the maximum extent possible to achieve quickest time to market and that can be achieved efficiently using cloud computing.
Another example is smart grid. One focus for smart grid is demand management or the ability, during brown outs for example, to dynamically deallocate power to nonessential devices like pool pumps and allocate power to schools, hospitals, or certain appliances in your home. This requires visibility up and down the chain of delivery to determine where and how the power is being used and whether its delivery is as efficient as possible. Dealing with a range of variable and unpredictable outages requires the ability to dynamically allocate the compute resources for the task and we have found cloud to be an efficient way to manage a smart grid.
And what about smarter cities? The city of Wuxi in southeastern China, developed a "cloud services factory" to provide computing resources to local companies. Software developers can access new resources in minutes, and new businesses can hit the ground running. Wuxi now has the potential to provide services to hundreds of small and medpium-sized companies, which represent the future of a city that sees itself as an engine for growth.
Are there economic, cultural or other trends that are driving the adoption of cloud computing?
Today, more than ever, the need to drive down the cost of computing while being fully prepared for variable and peak workloads. In addition, if a cloud can handle a mulit-tenent environment with 15, 50, 500 customers all with dynamic processing on the same infrastructure, and same support (monitoring, backup/restore) cost has to decrease due to economy of scale.
I think that the tough economy has definitely spurred interest in cost cutting measures and efficiency; but, I think the real drivers are the emergence and acceptance of virtualization and Service Oriented Architecture in companies. Companies are becoming more technically astute and see the advantages of subscribing to Web Services, applications, storage and services like SPAM filtering in a cloud. In addition, because many people's workstations are now on their phones, pda's and netbooks, it makes more sense to host the operating systems, applications and data on virtual servers in a cloud.
Another factor driving adoption is the need to stay competitive in today's markets. For most business the ability to deliver more applications and services without adding fixed costs helps improve focus on core business competencies. ie: Improve time to market, Increase Business Flexibility and shift from Fixed to Variable Costs. Also, the ability to monitor costs.
What are some of the perceptions or barriers that need to be overcome for cloud computing to gain the widest possible acceptance?
Perception of the lack of bulletproof Reliability,Performance and Security & Privacy. Performance concerns exist about throughput because computing is off-site. Concern exists that data will be secure from competitors eyes in a public cloud.
It’s clear that a variety of security technologies, processes, procedures, laws, and trust models are required to secure the cloud. There is no silver bullet for securing the cloud but who better than IBM with a full breadth and depth of solutions and services enable organizations to take a business-driven, holistic approach to securing the cloud. IBM capabilities empower organizations to dynamically monitor and quantify security risks, to better understand threats and vulnerabilities in terms of business impact, to better respond to security events with security controls that optimize business results, and to better prioritize and balance their security investments.
How will IT change over the next five years or so, because of the influence of cloud computing?
I think IT technologies will more and more be applied to real world (non-IT) assets as we transform utilities, transport, healthcare, buidlings, and cities to a smarter version. This will be made possible in many instances by the power of cloud computing.
An example of a specific opportunity is in the area of storage. As the world becomes smarter and, we are collecting more and more data, and storage requirements are skyrocketing. Today we are approaching a trillion connected sensors that are enabling smarter planet plays such as smarter transportation and smarter healthcare. Being able to farm out the management of the storage devices to experts and pay for what is actually used is already becoming very compelling.
I think 5 years from now we will see much of smarter planet plays being realized and powered by clouds. It will not be clouds illusions we recall but real leverage and value for our industry solutions.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ Tags:  waste energy sustainability smarter buildings water planet 1 Comment 3,641 Views
Last week, after a less than satisfying shower from a hotel showerhead fitted with too many flow restrictors, I watched a breaking story about a water main rupture that sent tens of thousands of gallons across a Bronx neighborhood affecting over 500 homes and businesses. According to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Cas Holloway, there was still no explanation for the break. This is an event that happens too often. Recent advances in linear asset sensor technology can detect pipe deterioration from variances in vibration in the pressurized pipes. Deployment of these wireless sensors coupled with real time monitoring can help us predict and prevent such massive failures.
Today we have a huge opportunity to apply IT and
communication technology to provide deeper insight on how we manage and
maintain energy and water. In the US alone there are
over 5 million buildings that have a combined energy cost of over 200 billion
and account for over 40% of the country’s green house gas emissions. It has
been estimated 30-50% of that energy and water is used inefficiently or wasted.
Focusing solely on alternative energy sources like solar, wind, or geothermal or energy intensive desalination of water as the answer is not only avoiding the root problem but is finding new ways to feed inefficient practices. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for alternative renewable energy or new breakthroughs in water sourcing, but my point is we should first take a deep look at how we waste energy and water to insure we are being as efficient as possible. Today, there is a huge opportunity to eliminate wasteful practices while making our utilities more efficient.
IBM is a good example of many companies today that have been searching relentlessly for efficiency gains. In just the last 2-3 years, IBM was able to discover ways to conserve 523,000 megawatt hours of electricity, enough to power 47,000 average U.S. homes for a year! And we believe we can eliminate as much as 1.1 million megawatt hours of energy consumption by the end of 2012. See press release.
IBM started back in the 90’s with lighting, windows, and
insulation. (for eg: CFLs, efficient
windows, proper sealing and insulation) We
focused on space management, open offices, telecommuting, and teleconferencing
as well as waste management, supply chain management, and e-waste management.
Fast forward back to 2011 and, if you have done the
obvious, where do you go for the next turn of the crank? Enter the world of IBM Smarter Planet. IBM
is deploying its Smarter Building technologies
to drive energy efficiency to the next
level across IBM’s global portfolio of buildings. Though the use of data
monitoring and analytics, we are leveraging “plug-in” analytics to collect
sensor and operating data for analyzing both individual events and system
trends. This information is then used to optimize building energy use. Many
other companies are also working with IBM’s Intelligent Building Management to
see what efficiencies they can gain from the more holistic building
‘whispering’ enabled by insight derived from real time monitoring of building
sensors and advanced analytics.
This represents ‘a new way to think about how we manage buildings’, according to our own site operations team who has been deploying IBM Intelligent building management. As with any transformational journey, one should start by going after the worst practices, the worst performers, and the low cost opportunities (which smart sensors and software can help you identify and prioritize. AOL Energy just published my top ten list of ways we waste energy and water in buildings. Let’s explore a couple of these in depth.
1) Simultaneous heating and cooling. For example, stores that prop their doors
open with the AC on max. This is reportedly even happening in energy challenged Tokyo this summer. Opening doors with the AC on can use as much
as 25 percent more electricity. Software can detect, alert, and report on such
conditions. In New York City this problem is so pervasive
that a law was passed to keep doors shut when the AC is on (which most shops still ignore.) Did you know that revolving doors, like those at IBM HQ and MIT, can save 85% more energy than swing doors ? Ever sit in a windowed office with the sun
streaming in? It can get very hot. Most buildings today have to cool down south
side facing space and heat interior and north side space, simultaneously. Overcooled offices even result in people
having to resort to space heaters to stay warm. Investing in passive solar
design, building orientation, landscaping, window coatings and overhangs can
help but the latest technology of thermal mapping provides greater
visualization of where hot and cold spot actually are (and why) in order to
adjust airflow for more even dissipation.
It is even difficult to take advantage of those first cool autumn days
in these beautiful glass buildings with windows that don’t open! We
have created virtual ‘green houses’ that heat up from the sun even when it is
cool outside and thus need AC because there is no mechanism in place to bring
in the outside air. IBM implemented 16 free air cooling projects, which utilize
the temperature of the outside air rather than chiller systems to cool water,
saving more than 16,000 MWh of electricity use. Ok, now that we have shut the doors and
windows (or virtually ‘opened’ windows on a cool day) let’s look at some more hidden and pervasive reasons
for simultaneous heating and cooling that can be detected and prevented by
IBM’s Intelligent Building Management.
These include dampers left open or out of adjustment, sensors out of
adjustment, units inadvertently left in override, independent uncoordinated
thermostats, discharge set points not properly adjusted for seasonal shifts, or
just incorrectly maintained equipment. Real time monitoring for these
conditions and applying rule based management systems have already resulted in significant efficiency gains in one of our biggest energy using plants. And we expect the maintenance bill to
also drop by the same percentage which is an added bonus.
2) Heating, cooling, and lighting unoccupied or
underutilized space. Motion detection,
timers, carbon dioxide monitoring, RFID, and security scanners are technologies
that can be leveraged more intelligently to match lighting and temperature with
the actual presence and concentration of humans. HVAC and lighting systems are
often found running beyond the scheduled operating hours like when someone manually
overrides set points or adjusts the schedule and doesn't restore it back to the
normal operating schedule. Set points are not always adjusted as the mission of
the building changes. Software that can perform near real time analytical forecasting
of use can help manage proactively instead of reactively and drive real
savings. This includes improving your
ratio of people to space.
3) Lighting. Many
spaces have all the lights on during the day even when the sunlight is more
than sufficient for the task. Ambient
lighting by harvesting daylight should be tied to the task of each particular workplace
and dynamically adjusted with control systems. Look for areas where you can
decrease lighting without compromising performance and consider task specific
lighting instead of lighting up an entire room or space. It is interesting to
note that today there is nearly 400 times as much artificial lighting in buildings than there was a century ago—and research is showing that the
standards of even ten (10) years ago put more light than we need in offices.
4) Water. Sprinklers that use ‘dumb’ timers turn on while it is raining or when the sun is directly overhead and the evaporation rate is at a high point of the day. Potable water is used for flushing toilets and watering landscapes. Most people think of water and energy as separate but in fact they are inextricably linked. The California Energy Commission has documented that 19% of the state’s electric energy load is related to the pumping, treatment and distribution of drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater. On the other hand hydroelectric power, a major source of California's electricity, provides substantially less than 19% percent of the state’s electricity. So the state’s 400 hydro electric plants (14,000 MW) are insufficient to transport water to and from the state’s cities and buildings. Not even a wash! Again we need to take a closer look at how we are using water. Studies show that we easily waste as much as 50% of the water in buildings. Water efficiency programs can vastly reduce the use of energy to pump, treat, and pressurize water and increasing water efficiency can forestall the need for energy required for intensive new water supply development.
Rain water (naturally distilled, evaporated, and condensed) is mostly lost on buildings and their impervious parking lots. This wash-off transports fertilizer, oil, and other contaminants into our waterways. ( IBM is helping San Jose, California, monitor 30,000 storm drains that empty into 136 miles of creeks and streams.) Solutions such as pervious parking pavers and rain water collection systems are economical and a great environmental choice. In the past year IBM has built a rainwater collection system in North Carolina which generates non-potable water to be used in the facility. With the annual rainfall in Raleigh averaging around 41 inches, a 160,000 square foot roof area can collect approximately 3.5 million gallons per year which can then be used for landscaping and toilet flushing. In Burlington Vermont, IBM was able to cut the purified water bill in half with a water management initiative that includes a data-rich system for managing all of the water used in the plant. Recycling gray water for landscaping and flushing should also be part of the plan.
I have provided just a few examples of where do start leveraging technology to drive more efficient delivery and use of our precious resources. The need for efficiency is clear. By 2025, buildings will be the #1 consumer of energy. Up to 50% of energy and water in buildings are often wasted. Real estate is the 2nd largest expense on the income statement. The good news is the benefits from improving building efficiency are real. Energy usage can be reduced by up to 40% and the associated maintenance cost by 10-30%. Studies have shown that more efficient, smarter buildings have higher occupancy rates and higher productivity. The majorities of today’s workforce not only appreciates but are willing to contribute to energy and water efficiency programs. We can change by managing our buildings in a smarter way. Many of the ideas can be implemented at a very low cost with an excellent payback and return on investment. The great news is we are capturing all of these lessons and implementing them in a set of preconfigured rules in our IBM Intelligent Building Management that is now externally available. This solution takes a holistic approach always considering the interactions among all system components.
This is only a start and there is much to be done. Collaborative innovation can help us to transform smarter, quicker, and more effectively. Working together to make this happen is key.
This morning I walked along a stone wall circling a hill as far as I could see. To my right was an expanse of green fields, bordered by forests that framed the horizon. The path I took this morning was well traveled. It was, in fact, along an aisle of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Many famous scientists, dignitaries, and world leaders have walked these halls of local field stone and uninterrupted glass.
Architected by Eero Saarinen over a half century ago, this iconic structure is still the vibrant epicenter of the world’s largest industrial research organization. Throughout the last five decades, this building has facilitated famous achievements and longstanding worldwide patent leadership. Saarinen believed that some of our best thinking is done with nature as our inspiration. His design embraces the forested landscape and natural stone with bold and sweeping lines that infer the endless possibilities of the human mind. I settled into one of his womb chairs in the library looking across a floating stone table into the green pasture to capture my thoughts for this article on paper.
The TJ Watson Research Center is located in Yorktown Heights, New York. It has played a lead pioneering role in the evolution of IBM, but, like its location, maintains some distance from the day-to-day operational units. Its shepherding, however, is felt around the world with extended research facilities that have embraced the growing global nature of our business.
The building and much of its furnishing, including the chair I am sitting on, have remained relatively intact for the last five decades, which is significant given the transformation of the IBM corporation since this building’s capstone was put in place on April 25th, 1961.
That transformation has affected everything within and without the structure itself while the foundational beliefs of IBM, like the very foundation of this building, remain intact.
The building houses a vast collection of tools and laboratories for close to six hundred PhD’s who work here. A formidable supply of electrical power as well as over 15,000 different chemicals and toxic gases are available. There is also an on-site nitrogen-generation plant, a helium-delivery system, an oxygen system, and a wastewater-treatment plant.
How does a building, designed before the IBM 360 system, keep up with the demands of bleeding edge science? I took a trip into the almost Harry Potter-like world of this building to find out.
Between the numbered corridors and hidden behind almost-invisible locked doors, another surprise awaited – the utility cores that efficiently provide water and gases to the building’s many laboratories. This core is a long and narrow alley with all manner of conduits and supply feeds. Who could possibly work in such a space? Apparently there is a wizard called ‘the plumber’ who has been tinkering in these spaces for longer than anyone in the building can remember.
Behind the back of the building, I went through an accordion-style access gate and down a set of steel steps into multiple large rooms that were filled with massive equipment. The vibrations, temperature, and sounds of these rooms let you know you are in the heart of the building.
It’s hard to appreciate boilers, chillers, condensers, fuel tanks, and electric stations until you stand next to (or under) them. Back in the days of punched cards and magnetic core memory, the chillers in this building were powered by steam and massive amounts of air exhaust were drawn out of the building by belt fans. The speed of the fans was adjusted by using different belts, each of which was changed by hand. Waste was pulled from the building from large skips on a daily basis.
Today the science and tools, which IBM is using for smarter planet offerings, are also transforming buildings like this that we live and work in. Manual controls and gauges have largely been replaced with digital switches and smart sensors. Energy management, sustainability, grey water applications, and carbon foot printing have supplanted prior practices that were based on the idea of unlimited resource. Recycling at this site has reduced waste to the point that only one container for two weeks is all that’s needed.
It takes good architectural “bones” to accommodate such change with only minor surgery. Today boilers are run far more efficiently and chiller towers are able to operate 3000 hours a year on free-air cooling. Research staff are working to further increase the efficiency of free-air usage by using the BlueGene supercomputer for weather prediction, while solar experiments are conducted on the building grounds. Facility engineers have developed and acquired software to run every aspect of the building inside control rooms that resemble computer-driven command centers.
IBM’s new smarter building solution leverages the experience gained from managing buildings like this one. Coupled with the IBM software stack, building management business partners, and global services, IBM is well poised to continue this advance for the next 100 years. Operations, space, and energy management are combining into one holistic, highly automated system. Building data feeds are being aggregated, filtered, and correlated to produce work orders and actions based on policies and rules that are programmed into the system. Data from the buildings is being captured in databases for analytics and mash-ups for different role-based dashboards.
Smarter buildings will be holistically managed and optimized to integrate well with other buildings, and with smarter systems like smart grid and smart water. They leverage technology and processes to create a safer, more productive, operationally efficient building that is also environmentally responsible for the planet.
The very science and research that the TJ Watson Research Center was designed to inspire and faithfully deliver over the last 50 years is now being leveraged to make this building smarter. In turn, the smarter this building becomes, the better job it will do facilitating the pioneering work which is conducted that has been a hallmark of the IBM Corporation.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ Tags:  planet buildings utilities cities health smarter care 4,268 Views
You have all seen the marketing ads: smarter health care, smarter traffic, smarter cities… On the one hand it's a cool marketing campaign, but it also speaks to desperately needed solutions in our world that has so many challenges. Personal expenditures on health care push millions below the poverty line each year. 1 in 5 people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water. Congested roadways in the US alone are responsbile for 4.2 billion lost hours of productivity and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel. But hold on, buildings, if uncorrected, will, by 2025, use more energy than any other category of "consumer!"
The work my black belt team of architects does, plays a key role in these Smarter plays. We have software frameworks for each smarter planet solution that provide architectural and
standards based guidance. These frameworks provide for a consistent, scalable , and repeatable
approach. Frameworks like Health
Integration Framework for smarter health care, or Solution Architecture for Energy
what does smarter really mean and how is
now have the ability to measure, sense and monitor the condition of almost
everything. In this last decade, we have rapidly reached a tipping point, if you
will, of the proliferation of technology needed to do this and at the right
performance and price point. Have you have
heard the commercial' "it is , do you know where your children are? "
Well now it is 2010 and If you don’t know where they are , get a
There is now a billion transistors for every human being on the planet. Sensors are being embedded everywhere—across entire ecosystems—supply-chains, health care networks, cities… even in livestock and natural systems like rivers. There are 30 billion RFID tags already embedded into our world , and 85% of new automobiles now contain event data records.
So what does smarter really mean?
leverages this instrumentation, these sensors, integrates, correlates, and
enriches it, and makes intelligent use of it. Smarter enables an industry's line of business to sense &
respond to opportunities and risks in ‘real time.’ Smarter is a result of business process
management, event processing & business optimization capabilities…So you
can see why I might say
is not just about managing IT anymore, it is about managing the world and we
have the technology to do it. Probing, Monitoring, event enrichment, asset
management, storage, secure access, dashboard views…these are the key . Oh yeah, and you need to scale to millions of end points and 10’s of millions of events and make sense of it in a timely
Let's talk about Smarter Buildings. (Something you will hear more about this week at the global Pulse event in Las Vegas.)
In this case a chiller in one of the buildings on campus fails. The building management system sends a notification to Omnibus, Impact enriches the event with asset, location, contact information from Maximo and initiates a work order in Maximo. Based on the severity is also generates an urgent email to the Facilities Manager with the work order that has automatically been created. The Fac Mgr uses his personalized dashboard containing KPIs and work orders, checking to see if the chiller was due for preventive maintenance, and then assigns to a technician to fix. The technician received the work order, performs the work and records labor costs, material costs etc. which are reflected in the asset lifecycle costs. The Chiller is now operational.
Ok, cool, but let's talk about this GHG problem from buildings, as they become the largest energy consumer on the planet. Let me again give an example. We have actually deployed chillers in IBM linked to hourly weather forecasting algorithms and samplings in order to leverage temperature and humidity change to lower operating costs and use of natural resources. And yes, in some cases we can even shut down chillers (as opposed to 24x7 operation.) This can be applied to many instances where we box in people and equipment , lock the windows, and run the boilers and chillers and hvacs, regardless of what mother nature is doing on the other side of that glass. We have the technology, it is just a matter of applying it. Fortunately there is a strong set of business partners and ibm technology that is available.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ Tags:  smarter real-time monitoring d.c. planet crash 1 Comment 5,431 Views
Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board asked all rail operators to inspect and evaluate their control systems and install technology that could prevent the type of problem that caused fatalities in Washington, D.C. The NTSB stated that what the D.C. system essentially lacked was a real time monitoring system capable of correlating events with control of the asset or rail cars.
This is a huge focus for our team and a key enabler for numerous smarter planet initiatives. Maximo for Transportation is a complete solution for managing all transportation asset types, including locomotives and rail vehicles adding capabilities over Maximo Asset Management.
Leveraging Netcool technology for real-time monitoring and the rapidly accelerating pervasive instrumentation and interconnection of the world’s infrastructure, we are delivering entirely new ways for businesses to organize, operate and differentiate.
While the NTSB is still investigating, it seems apparent that the D.C. system simply failed to detect the presence of a stopped train and did not issue a command to slow which is quite basic functionality of many of our solutions. San Francisco, Miami, Philadelphia, are among the many other systems that rely on such automated systems and in need of immediate review.[Read More]