Transistors are getting smaller and smaller. When introduced in 1990, IBM's POWER 1
microprocessor had a mind boggling (at the time) 800,000 transistors per chip. Today, the POWER
6 has approximately 800 million!
Close to a billion transistors are great for the consumer, as they enable new
applications in smaller devices as well as making our PC applications run faster. But this
kind of density presents extraordinary challenges to the engineers and testers responsible
for production and test. For example, how do you test a chip with a billion interoperating
transistors? It is too expensive to build a prototype until there is a good level of
confidence the design is correct. The answer lies in software simulation - not one or two
simulations, but millions of simulations per day generating terabytes of data for the life of the development project.
What do simulations need to run? Well... many things, but at the heart of the system is compute
power. Lots of computing power, hundreds of thousands of nodes running in a grid
with lots of storage. This is the type of environment Tivoli loves! Managing
thousands of nodes with Tivoli Monitoring, managing storage with Tivoli Storage Manager and
TotalStorage Productivity Center and the grid with Tivoli Workload Scheduler LoadLeveler.
ie: a very interesting space for our Tivoli Industry Solution initiative.
Seems like a lot of management but consider the advantages which include: Significantly higher grid
utilization, significantly lower cost of ownership, shorter chip development times... and of
course all this leads to less expensive and more reliable chips for us the consumer!
Playing dodge with 50,000 foot cumulonimbus thunderheads is not really my idea of fun but
that pretty much sums up my flight into Houston today. Texas has had so much rain lately!
There have been a lot of stories published on the weather in Texas but
here is a story(probably one of many) that has gone largely untold.
It was 1:00 AM in the morning when a neighborhood in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was hammered
by 60 MPH wind gusts, severe lightening strikes, and over 4 inches of rain during a one hour
period. Just when the weather was easing up a bit, two loud explosions were heard that
shook one house like an earthquake, terrifying the occupants. A quick search within the
house did not reveal any damage.
Later that night the doorbell rang. An electric company technician, standing in the driving
rain, explained that half of the community was without power and that they suspected that
the problem was in the backyard of this particular house.
As it turns out, the explosions were caused by a tree falling into the utility power pole.
Most power company monitoring systems are unable to pinpoint exactly where problems
originate, but can only narrow it down to a probable area. Good old fashion footwork and
visual inspection of poles is how the source of the problem is often determined. The power
was restored by 6AM but not with out a few more explosions and some very dangerous repairs
in the pouring rain by a crew of four men up on the poles.
There is no shortage of appreciation from me for those utility technicians that are dispatched in
the middle of the night during storms to restore power. We are currently working with energy
and utility companies to improve distribution monitoring systems, exploring how realtime
event monitoring and automation can speed discovery and repair. Intelligent Utility Networks (IUN)
enable ‘on-demand’ access to information on customers, assets and the power transmission and ditribution grid which are used to continuously optimize operations and planning. It is built on an SOA framework and leverages the latest Tivoli technology for end to end monitoring and management.
It seems like you could always count on government, taxes, and banks being closed on national holidays. Well, not anymore...at least for banks anyways...
Although financial institutions have been processing electronic payments for decades, the commercial use of the Internet, since the 1990s, has created a huge volume of electronic payments. Today’s banking customer have also changed dramatically with the commerce prevalent on the Internet.
The conglomeration of payment systems (credit cards, debit cards, stored-value-cards; wire-transfer) and the variety of conduits of transactions (in-store, on-line, ATM, cell-phones, PDAs etc) has created a multitude of new Banking Services, imposing new demands on e-Payment providers.
24x7x365 is the new standard. Bank Holidays? Bank Weekends? Psshh...forget it! Customer purchasing and banking behaviors have necessitated online banking services on a 24x7x365 basis. The concept of a “bank holiday” just doesn’t apply anymore, at least from a customer perspective. Customer satisfaction is now more heavily influenced by the ease-of-use of the online GUI than the personality of a teller. There is a distinct shift in user demographics, attitudes and behaviors. Customers are demanding more transparency into their transactions and expect more responsiveness from their banking queries such as “where is my transaction held up right now?”
Traditionally, financial institutions either developed their own custom applications or bought ready-made, monolithic software packages from vendors, but then spent months and often years customizing them. Each of these packages sometimes provided common functionality but these could not be shared across packages.
Enter SOA! Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is an architectural pattern for the business and IT organizations to deftly adapt to change, collaborate together and develop new solutions rapidly. IBM offers an enterprise payments platform(EPP) that provides financial institutions with a framework to apply SOA to payments processing. By using open architectures and documented models, EPP supports a common definition of data and services thus allowing for phased and component based development and encouraging re-use and consistency across the enterprise.
EPP provides a mechanism for financial institutions to renovate payment rules and process flows in a progressive manner to SOA. The beauty and promise of SOA is that it virtualizes hardware/software artifacts by trivializing the boundaries created by the different environments that host Service components. Tivoli Software provides management solutions for the EPP to be viable in actual production environments. For example: Security management gains paramount importance as newer distributed technologies such as SOA get deployed over insecure public networks. Tivoli Identity Manager, Tivoli Access Manager, Tivoli Federated Identity Manager, Tivoli Security Operational Manager and Tivoli Compliance Insight Manager are a set of products that support the needs of EPP’s SOA payment infrastructure.
One of the key characteristics of SOA based solutions is that it is an application abstraction that hides the complexities of different methods and technologies from the business users. However, those complexities do not disappear. Beneath EPP is the underpinning of a large ecosystem of middleware, physical and application resources that need to be properly installed, configured and managed. Tivoli Software offers a suite of products for monitoring SOA and ESB solutions at the various layers of abstraction found in SOA. The IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager suite has flavors that cater to the Service level(ITCAM for SOA), the J2EE level(ITCAM for J2EE or ITCAM for WebSphere). The transaction level monitoring is handled by ITCAM for Response Time Tracking while the IBM Tivoli Monitoring product manages the low-level infrastructure resources.
So enjoy the 4th! Your bank will be hard at work for you, managed and secured by Tivoli.[Read More
Ever wonder what happened to the Armored car? I remember watching movies like 'Armored Car Robbery' originally released this month, 57 years ago, and seeing them as a kid, wondering how thick the walls were and what it would take to puncture a tire... These days most of the big money is moved around between banks electronically...and all over the world. Dozens of systems and formats are used by different types of financial institutions and enterprises to transfer payments. And of course all of this has to be done quickly and securely, much better in fact than the armored car of the past. There are new demands for changes to electronic payment processing due to new Internet e-business systems, new messaging standards, formats, regulatory changes, and ever changing software. Using an SOA architecture, like the Enterprise Payments Platform financial institutions can keep up with these changes, while at the same time ensuring the high level of security and compliance required for these systems.
Maybe I'll see one of those armored cars again one day...next time I go to the museum.[Read More]
SAFE(IBM's Solution Architecture for Energy) provides a SOA based foundation for those industry specific applications that are the lifeblood of every utility company. When you consider these apps, it becomes obvious why they are so key and thus the importance of the SAFE ecosystem. Examples include: Customer Information System(CIS)which is, according to IDC
, 'Paramount to Improving Revenue Assurance for Utilities'; Geographic Information System (GIS)which provides the critical capability to capture, store, analyze and manage data and utility attributes which are spatially referenced to the earth; and Enterprise Assest Management (EAM) which provides for the optimal management of the physical assets of a utility to maximize value. These are just a few examples.[Read More
Persistent power grid failures, an aging workforce, the instability of oil prices, and the severity of changes in weather conditions have significantly raised the urgency of the issues of energy generation and management — for governments, corporations and the public overall.
In IBM’s view, the work extends beyond any single company, industry or even country. It will require innovation and collaboration on many fronts. The goal: sustainable energy use that can build economies while protecting the planet. The challenge: rethink and redesign the systems that bring power to the people.
This week in the valley of the Sun and Sparks (newly crowned) a number of energy providers, energy analysts and energy consultants met with us to discuss challenges, requirements, and the evolution of the industry.
Converging market forces have increased the need for greater network reliability, efficiency, flexibility and observability; and, they have increased the need for better enterprise integration and information transparency. To address these needs, energy and utility companies have begun to examine strategies that move from mostly centralized infrastructures to those that will accomodate distributed and renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind, solar, and water.
Distributed energy will need to be managed more like a computer network infrastructure,a smart grid that can take advantage of an end-to-end topology where monitoring and management will take place close to points of use and providing a platform for closed loop automation.
The IBM Intelligent Utility Network (IUN) is IBM’s instantiation of what utilities refer to as the Smart Grid, providing solutions to enable new business models and approaches to business operations. IUN provides a roadmap and data model for the processes, technology and business partners to deliver informed decision making through an IP-enabled continuous sensing network which connects all parts of the utility (T&D equipment, control systems, applications, employees and more). Key to the IUN roadmap is IBM’s embrace of open source defacto and emerging standards built on a systems oriented architecture that will allow the kind of flexibility future challenges will demand.
IBM has developed a way for utilities to strategically organize, build upon and operate their assets for maximum efficiency and flexibility - a framework design known as SAFE - Solution Architecture For Energy & Utilities(SAFE). SAFE is an extension of IBM’s business integration reference for SOA. It embraces all the functional areas necessary for an energy and utility company to integrate its systems in today's environment.
Safe also provides the perfect platform for us to connect our industry leading management products from Tivoli including Maximo, Netcool, Consul, Security, and the IBM Service Desk. We have just completed our first pass architecture for Tivoli on SAFE and are engaging in some very innovative (and exciting) POCs with customers that should drive new ways to deliver...er.. power to the people...right on!
Like many others, my personal collection of electronic devices is rapidly growing which is a good thing, as long as there is electricity!
Power demand is forecast to
increase by 50% in the next 20 years while 50% of our power industry workers are forecast to
retire in the next 10. While US utilities are planning hundreds of new plants (incl 33 new nuclear)
and thousands of miles of new transmission line, there is no line outside of the utility
recruitment doors of pole climber wannabees and power plant operators. It seems people these days are looking more for indoor office jobs and less for outside utility work.
The effects are already being felt in a number of cities with power hook-up delays, cut-backs on maintenance, and slower post-storm power restorations.
Enter IUN - the Intelligent Utility Network. IUN consists of: a Utility Data / Information Strategy, an Information Architecture & Roadmap, and an Infrastructure that will enable ‘on-demand’ monitoring and access the T&D grid as it relates to the utilities customers and assets. This will enable a utility to continuously automate and optimize operations as well as planning. The end goal is improved service, reliability, & utilization, which should help to address the problems we are faced with today and in the future.
This week I am headed To Phoenix to meet with a number of utilities to discuss the current state and challenges of this industry and explore how the application of Tivoli and IUN can help. and of course I will be blogging about my findings.
Getting from my house to JFK can really be a traffic nightmare. So last month when I finally boarded the plane, stowed my carry-on, turned off the cell, and buckled my seatbelt, I closed my eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. That is when the pilot announced that a part needed to be replaced in the cockpit and the part was not available at JFK and the plan was to wait for it to be delivered by another inbound aircraft. About the only thing I could be grateful for, at that moment, was the Sudoko book my wife just gave me.
In the Aerospace and Defense industry, the management of the 'aircraft lifecycle' presents a unique challenge to aircraft operators and maintenance organizations as aircraft configurations are complex and dynamic.
We are working to address this challenge (and spend less time waiting on airplanes for maintenance). This solution is based on a Service Oriented Architecture which enables loosely coupled business services that are provided in an interoperable and technology agnostic manner. The architecture focuses on bringing all key components together to eliminate “silos” of data and work processes.
To connect all these services together, we have created a group of Connectivity Services that are SOA based to allow collaboration between enterprise asset management products (like IBM Tivoli Maximo 6.2) and Partner products (such as SAP.) We are also adding Tivoli management tools to this architecture like: ITCAM(Tivoli Composite (SOA) Application Manager),and TAM (Tivoli Access Manager.)
What does this all this mean to the airlines and to their customers? Let me give you an example. Using process modeling and SOA based execution capabilities to automate the repair process, an aircraft sitting at the gate will be allowed to continue on its next leg rather than being pulled out of service to make the repair. This solution should result in a two thirds reduction in the time it takes to do the repair which translates into big cost savings for the airlines industry and fewer delays for passengers (like you and I.;)
It is more than an alternative to the 'gripe sheet!' It includes:
A Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) working environment - that capitalized on IBM R&D, infrastructure and capability
It is greater then a single point solution - it links the clients global business operation with suppliers operations on the one hand and the customer on the other.
It aligns critical systems with information and makes them work faster and smarter across all channels and lines of business.
Utilizes client infrastructure to support the simultaneous development of products, process and supply chain
It provides a means to rapidly on-board new client business
It can potentially reduce integration project development and maintenance costs in their end products by 30% or more
Let's start with the aerospace industry. Here is a humorous look at the opportunity to automate error sensing and maintenance in aircraft.
Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripesheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. Themechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, andthen pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Here are someactual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas' pilots (marked witha P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenanceengineers.Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor.
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit.S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Dead bugs on windshield.S: Live bugs on back-order.
P: Autopilot in a latitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minutedescent.S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Target radar hums.S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.S: Suspect you're right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny. S: Aircraft warned to: straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
I just love it when everything falls into place, don't you? The planets are in alignment. We have a black belt team of architects in place, and we are on a new industry solution mission! This has motivated me to start a new blog focused on Industry Solutions and the critical role Tivoli plays for the industry... So why Tivoli and why now? How can software that has traditionally managed IT, be not only relevant, but essential to Industry based solutions? In case you have not been watching Tivoli lately, there are a number of galatically important events that have prominently positioned Planet Tivoli for this new role. They include the following:
Tivoli's successful evolution to IBM service management (ISM) which elevates Tivoli from IT management to the management of critical business applications
Tivoli's successful acquistions of key industry management software like Micromuse, MRO, Consul, and Vallent which really make the connection to industry-specific management
Tivoli's alignment with industry standards and the ISM open platform and ecosystem as an enabler to build out industry solutions from numerous technologies
And last but certainly not least, the evolution of SOA based industry frameworks that require a holistic and systematic approach to management.
I will be outlining which industry plays we are starting with and exactly how Tivoli will play a role in each play. so... watch this 'space!' We are in orbit![Read More
What a journey we have been on since Alan Ganek took the mantle of leadership of the Autonomic Computing mission in 2001! - in fact I often find myself telling people I left my job a long time ago and am currently on a mission to change the way we work in the IT industry! Of course, there is a lot left to do, but as we celebrate the 5th anniversary, I would like to share a few of the stats that reflect just how much has been accomplished:
500+ autonomic features in 75 IBM products
3 IBM led autonomic based Service Offerings
10's of thousands of Autonomic toolkit downloads
Dozens of customer references in every industry
60+ partners delivering products with Autonomic standards and IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Feature
4th version of architectural blueprint published
20+ specs submitted to standards bodies
Web Services Distributed Management ratified(Includes WSDM Event Format)
1+ million pageviews of the autonomic zone on developerWorks
Open Source Contributions to Eclipse and Apache
36+ autonomic conferences worldwide
3rd IEEE International Conference on AC took place in Ireland, 4th is already scheduled for 2007
autonomiccomputing.org launched by academia
New to the developerWorks Autonomic Computing zone, December 12:
Learn how Apache Muse 2.0 can be used to create WSDM interfaces for resource types that have hundreds or thousands of instances and do it so the endpoint doesn't overburden its host Keep your WSDM endpoints trim with Apache Muse 2.0
I have blogged in the past about fellow New Yorker, James Blake, and now I can boast. Yesterday Blake not only matched but decidely beat the powerful forehand of world ranked number two Rafael Nadal 6-4, 7-6 for an upset at the Masters Cup in China on Monday.
I have also blogged extensively about how autonomic computing delivers a winning performance for each of the Grand Slam tournaments and on Novemeber 28, John Kent, Program Manager for IBM’s Worldwide Sponsorship of Tennis, and I will have a chance to boast how autonomic self-managing technologies are key to SOA and IBM Service Management. We will be in Las Vegas at the Gartner 25th Annual Data Center Conference .
Differentiation that raises the bar for the entire industry is what takes a company from industry player to marketplace leader. One such differentiator for successfully implementing SOA and IBM Service Management projects is self-managing autonomic technology. This cross-brand, cross-platform technology optimizes the balance between labor and technology, thereby reducing costs, boosting productivity, and sustaining growth.
So...join us in Vegas to learn more about how these capabilities can help you to increase agility, service quality, and reduce cost in your company and have some fun as well![Read More
What could be more precious than an open library for partners and customers to share best practices for automation?
All IBM Service Management Partner Ecosystem solutions are eligible for entry into the IBM Open Process Automation Library (OPAL)
, a comprehensive online catalog with over 400 IBM Tivoli and Business Partner Product Extensions, including automation packages, integration adapters, agents, documentation and supporting information. This well-established library offers customers an abundant set of resources to drive innovative connections among partners in the IBM Service Management Ecosystem. Within OPAL, customers can easily find a wealth of ready-to-use, technically-validated extensions that are based on best practices for IBM Service Management and Infrastructure Management.[Read More