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.
The fastest tennis service according to
rdid=44299"> Guiness (measured by IBM*) is 246.2
km/h (153 mph) by Andy Roddick(USA) during a Championship match against
Paradorn Srichaphan (Thailand) at the Queen's Club, London, UK, on June
So Andy Murray(UK) was, in his own words," obviously pretty chuffed " yesterday having just beat Roddick on day 6 of Wimbledon. The lesson here is that server speed isn't everything, it is also about performance optimization. (hey - just like the value autonomic computing provides!)
IBM is also 'obviously pretty chuffed' too about having worked for the past 17 consecutive years to create an annual state-of-the-art Web site that gives tennis fans around the globe a “virtual seat” at the tournament. IBM provides a flexible, cross-platform infrastructure, powered by self-managing autonomic technology, that scales up to handle hundreds of times the normal All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) traffic, and then scales down when the tournament is over.
The wimbledon website provides realtime scores in traditional HTML format without refreshing the whole page and an On Demand Scoreboard, a downloadable, application that “pushes” scoring information to users. This application provides statistics on the live matches, and a view of current scores on all courts. New for 2006, an updated PointTracker feature which offers animated 3D graphics of each shot hit during a point for selected singles matches.
IBM provides a Cisco wireless LAN Solution using Cisco Aironet 1200 Access Points using 802.11g technology to handle the expected increase in traffic not only from members and players but the media for example, wireless hotspots in the photographers' pit enable relay of photos using file transfer protocol (FTP) in seconds. The 'Pocket Wimbledon' solution provides access to a wide range of content from the Wimbledon intranet to mobile users via Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Wimbledon also uses an automated retail system, provided by IBM Retail Store Solutions and a Real Time Identification (RTID) application is used at perimeter gates. Some interesting facts:
Servers: On-site - eServer i5 520 (running Linux on POWER) runs the Wimbledon.org Internet Scoring system, the Web site publisher and the Staging server. Off-site – p5 550 Express servers which support the Wimbledon.org Web site (HTTP serving and application serving) leveraging the IBM Virtualisation Engine capability.
Software: WebSphere Business Integration Message Broker, WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Commerce, WorkPlace Web Content Management, DB2 Universal Database for Linux, Tivoli Monitoring, Tivoli Events Console, Tivoli Security and Compliance Manager, Tivoli Intelligent ThinkDynamics Orchestrator. Tivoli Provisioning Manager.
Services: IBM Global Business Services, IBM Global Technology Services.
Official Web Site Statistics - The following 2005 statistics are for the official Web site, Wimbledon.org.
- unique users: 4.7 million
- page views: 212.6 million
- average time on site: 2 Hours and 2 minutes (122 minutes)
- percent of site visits from: Australia – 3%, Asia – 8%, Europe – 52%, US – 27%
SW19 is not only where you will find Wimbledon and the AELTC but also where you will find us serving up some of the fastest and most reliable technology on the planet to our customers this week.
*IBM provides a courtside radar system which displays the serve speed on the IBM courtside display and sends the serve speed and directional data to the IBM scoring system.
As an aging asset myself, I am always on the lookout for good anti's... Anti-virus, anti-spam, antioxidants, antidotes, and even anti events.It seems to me that the ANTI
, a contemporary live-art festival held in Kuopio, Finland, would be a very cool rejuvenating experience.
Utility companies face a triple threat of aging assets, workforce, and IT systems which we are reminded of with every outage or degradation of service. The good news is there is antidote for these aging assets which can be found in software - specifically Tivoli Software. With a recent increased focus on industry solutions and service management and acquisitions such as Micromuse and MRO very effective antidotes are indeed emerging.
For example, consider IP addressable assets communicating via wireless protocols to cell relays that in turn communicate via broadband powerline connected to customer information systems, geospatial informations systems and it monitoring systems. Whether you are talking about power, water, or multi-media services, more and more of the underlying infrastructure is becoming IP addressable and that means they can be monitored and managed as a network device. The combination of Maximo and Netcool technologies with Tivoli core capabilities creates a powerful antidote to drive down cost and increase automation in the aging infrastructure.[Read More
Talking about innovation
in 2006 really captures IBM's transformation over the last four years. This includes becoming a leader in the open movement, investing heavily in technologies, products and services to enable more open, integrated, and flexible computing. (Autonomic Computing is a fine example :) Innovation is now a top business priorty for customers. IBM is ideally qualified to be the innovation partner.
So with all this talk about innovation is on demand being abandoned? Quite the contrary! It is still a foundational initiative...in fact it has been so successful that everyone is using this term, even my cable TV is 'on demand' now!
On demand resonates. It makes sense. (I personally appreciate the consumer based industry picking up on and providing on demand services...what I want, when I want, how I want... Ahhh....makes me feel very czarish...)
So how does innovation relate to on demand? Helping companies become on demand enterprises is fundamental to innovation (ie: becoming more efficient and effective. ) In fact, on demand enables companies to unlock innovation across multiple dimenstions of their business. Innovation is the 'why' and on demand business in the 'how' - the means by which people will innovate across their companies.
Adopting IBM's more comprehensive view of innovation requires the know how to implement and operate a more innovative business process, how to manage a more innovative business model... The answer is to become an on demand business. ie: integrate technology with new business designs with a more flexible, responsive, and open, standards-based infrastructure. Integrating business processes end-to-end within the company and with the companies partners and supply chain is what becoming on demand is all about and creates the best possible foundation to drive innovation and competitive edge. The kind of innovation that drives success.
Autonomic Computing remains dedicated to this end.[Read More
Sweet! On Valentine’s Day, a year ago, IBM acquired the Vallent Corporation. Vallent's telecommunications software, combined with IBM Tivoli’s Netcool assets, created a unique portfolio of wired and wireless network management products and services.
Adding Vallent’s technology has provided an integrated portfolio of service assurance software to help communications service providers manage fixed, mobile or IP networks.
In Industry Solutions we have been working with Vallent to enable a more intelligent and complete view of a network. For example, consider a simple voice service that a wireless service provider offers to its customers. Once initiated, a single call must cross multiple, wired and wireless networks just to establish and maintain a call. Every part of the network must not only be available, but also perform properly to assure service. If not, the customer might experience a dropped call or be unable to understand the conversation. Vallent helps service providers manage performance and quality at the network, service and customer levels.
As thousands descended into the Mandalay events center for the official kickoff of PartnerWorld, the lights dimmed and drum beats began to blast out of the massive sound stage. More drums descended from the ceiling as a group of performers jumped up on stage with drumsticks to the crescendo.
IBM partners surpassed last year's goals with IBM reaching an all time high. Like the ascending drum beat, the partner community continues to rise to the challenge, beating each new goal, demonstrating why the model of innovating, collaborating, and growing with business partners makes so much sense.
This has proved equally true with the autonomic business partner program. Last night, at the PartnerWorld autonomic computing reception, we had the honor of presenting the 2005 autonomic computing partner of the year award to SAS
. Collaborating with SAS on standards based self-configuring and self-optimizing technologies from IBM and Macrovision has been invaluable to the advancement of AC industry initiative. SAS has been one of the strongest advocates of autonomic computing, participating in industry webcasts and IT conferences to tell the story of how autonomic computing is working to lower cost and competitively differentiate SAS while delivering real value to SAS customers.
On hand to congratulate SAS was last year's winner of the autonomic partner of the year: Singlestep. Many other partners attended including: Cisco, Siebel, Micromuse, Presidio, Agilysis, Corente, Network Physics, Solid,and Icaro technologies out of Brazil. Al Zollar, GM of Tivoli, was also on hand to meet with partners at the reception.
Congratulations SAS! Well done![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
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
In the absence of a 'killer' app, it looks like IMS will quietly replace standalone and disparate systems that are currently deployed over some time. We believe its not a 'killer' app that is going to drive IMS deployment, its going to be a 'killer' business model.
The latest generation of cell phones, (like the iphone) , has made web access much easier. Deutsche Telekom reports that iphone customer data downloads are 30 times greater than their other cell phone users. IMS is the vehicle whereby those mobile browsers can be delivered with location aware content, especially as they go from wireless to wi fi and back. What this means is that instead of competing on price in a maturing market, wireless service providers can now take what they know about the user (and where the user is!) and go after some of the advertising revenue opportunity. For example, information about the closest gas station or restaurant.
This web interface, group and presence arms race is already on. Google is bidding on wireless spectrum and developing an open os for handsets, they see very clearly that the carrier has a lock on the user and his location and they are trying to break that lock.
When it comes to 'killer' business models, it is like pushing the steamroller down the hill. Look at what just happened when Verizon came out with a new price plan that drives a new business model. Within 8 hours their two major competitors had matched it!
Today ACI announced that the latest version of their software for online payments processing offers standard support for IBM's database, middleware and security capabilities on the IBM System z platform.
It also features enhanced security and a more flexible infrastructure to easily accommodate future updates and compliance regulations such as the latest Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)- an area our team has been focused on.
The strategic alliance announced by ACI and IBM in December 2007 is focused on technology solutions to help financial institutions. IBM's flagship mainframe capabilities together with ACI's payment engine enable complex and disparate networks for the industry's most powerful virtualization, security and scalability. This is key to the growth and security of Financial institutions.
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
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?
In our continuing quest to drive industry standardization that will enable the creation of self-managing systems and reduce cost, we have just announced a standardized way for computing resources to talk to each other, that will reduce the operating cost of data centers. The initiative calls for the creation of an XML-based standard, called Service Modeling Language (SML.)The companies involved--BEA Systems, BMC Software, Cisco Systems, Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems--published a draft SML specification on Monday and pledged to support it in the future.
For more information see Microsoft, IBM Inject Life Into IT Management by Clint Boulton for quotes from Microsoft and IBM.
I am a fan of the Die Hard series (and that genre of movies.) The last film in the series Live Free or Die Hard did not disappoint. It was a worst case scenario security breach, that drives home the point that we cannot spend too much time thinking about security of the systems we are continually evolving.
While touring an energy company’s distribution center a few weeks ago, questions arose about how the company secures its SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and process control systems. Of course this particular energy company goes to great lengths to isolate the distribution control systems from the corporate network, to diligently perform intrusion detection, and to rigidly enforce identity life cycle management.
The United States government is also very interested in how the owners and operators of bulk-power systems have either taken or are taking appropriate steps to protect against cyber-security vulnerabilities. Energy and utility companies are evolving to intelligent grids with integrated business and control systems that require access by a greater number of users. The concern is that as the utility grids become more interconnected to the Internet, run of the mill hackers and even terrorist groups will have greater opportunity to attack power generation, transmission, and distribution centers. A succession of minor disruptions to the flow of electricity flowing across power lines and transformers into homes and business has the potential to greatly impact the profit margins of energy and utility companies.
The problem has gained the attention of the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Federal regulators have issued a directive which:
'…requires all generator owners, generator operators, transmission owners and transmission operators that are registered by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. and located in the United States to provide to NERC certain information related to actions they have taken or intend to take to protect against' similar cyber vulnerabilities, according to the notice...'
While this is good step in the right direction, I think American energy and utility companies will need to take a good hard look at how they can better thwart future cyber attacks of the energy infrastructure.
In addition to improving the organization, navigation, and IBM.com web standards compliance, you will find the following new content:
- About Autonomic Computing/Integration section describing how AC integrates with ITSM
- About Autonomic Computing/Get Started section
- What we offer section with our Problem Determination content, Software & Hardware offerings, and AC Tools
- Industry standards section featuring WSDM, SDD, and Open Source
- Enhanced AC Business Partner section
- Events section
- Innovation section with information on our involvement with University Programs
Let me know what you think about our
href="http://www-03.ibm.com/autonomic/"> new and improved autonomic web site ![Read More