Thanks for visiting. Please comment on posts and leave your thoughts.
Andrew_Larmour 0300000243 Tags:  telecom telco larmour netcool provisio telstra andrew monitoring oss 2 Comments 7,478 Views
This article has some great images of Telstra's NOC - where we have a significant presence with our Netcool offerings.
Here is the URL for this bookmark: http://apcmag.com/telstras-massive-nerve-centre-exposed.htm
Yes, our team is focused on SDP, but this article was interesting because it is in our part of the world (I live about 45kms from it) in AP and Telstra make extensive use of Netcool in their Network Operations Centre.
I wonder if the folks with only two screens suffer from 'screen envy' when so many others have four screens?
I get regular emailed updates from one of the newspapers here in Australia (The Sydney Morning Herald in this case) - A few months ago, there was an interesting article about a IT company in South Africa who found it was much faster to transfer data by carrier pigeon then electronically. For reference, it is available here http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/carrier-pigeon-faster-than-south-african-isp-20090910-fi9h.html
To quote the article:
Okay, it was a bit of a stunt. I am sure if I posted a 32Gb SD Card to the Sydney (standard mail service- often next day delivery, but sometimes the day after that), it would arrive faster than I could transfer that content from my home office. What does that prove in terms of available bandwidth? Not much really - SD cards can hold an incredible amount of information these days. I have worked with customers in the past who shipped hard-drives around when they needed to transfer large amounts of data - even today - on most networks, it would be faster to courier a 1Tb HDD anywhere in the world than to transfer that much data over the wire.
The article did get me thinking though. I travel quite a bit around Asia and have experienced first hand the speed of networks in many countries. I've seen networks slower than a dial up modems (in Vietnam IBM Office) - in fact I reckon that my mobile phone as a modem over an EDGE connection (3G in Vietnam is very patchy) would have been faster than the IBM office network connection. This is not a unique situation - in many countries I visit, the network speed is faster in my hotel than it is at the local IBM office.
How does this effect the way we behave? Lets look at a specific example. Last year, I was doing a lot of work for the Globe Telecom SDP project that we eventually won with NSN in the Philippines. I was using Cattail (an IBM Research project for sharing files - similar functionality to the Lotus Connections Files capabilty that we now have in MyDeveloperworks) to upload files so that the local IBMPH IBM team could get to them rather than clog up their mail boxes. Smart - or so I thought. With Cattail, you are able to see who is downloading your files - often quite interesting as it was in this case. I noticed that only one person in the Philippines was downloading the files, despite notifying about 12 people that they each needed to look at the content. After a while I asked this one person why no one else was downloading the files from Cattail - he told me that because the network was so slow, most people were unable to even load the Cattail page to begin the download, so he went through the pain for everyone, then emailed the files around the local team! So much for not clogging up their mail files.
I am constantly frustrated by the US centric assumption that the whole world has the same bandwidth available to them as they do. Even in Australia, I am paying AU$68 per month for 12Gb of traffic - typically around 2 Mbps actual (10Mbps claimed capacity) downstream and 250 kbps actual upstream. By US standards, that must seem slow, but by the standards of developing nations in ASEAN, that's pretty darn good. There is still a huge digital divide between the haves (the US) and the have-nots (developing nations) - while some countries will have fibre to the home deployed (or being deployed) over the next few years - Singapore will be done very quickly I anticipate - I wont have that sort of speed available to me until 2012 the Australian federal government claims (I expect it will be more like 2020 though as I do not live in the inner suburbs of Melbourne)
So, what point was I trying to make? I am not sure. I am frustrated at my bandwidth sometimes (usually not) but in countries that I visit, the whole nation must feel frustrated. I often see web pages sizes in excess of 500kb - a ridiculously large size and unusable in most of Asia. Application designers need to be mindful of the bandwidth availability if they hope to be successful in Asia. If you have thoughts, please comment...
PS The other thing this article reminded me of was RFC 1149 -A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers Although I know that carrier pigeon transmission of IP packets (datagrams) would go anywhere near the throughput achieved by strapping a SD card to the pigeon's leg.
Image credits : Photo from Stock.XCHNG
Andrew_Larmour 0300000243 Tags:  reliability servers aix larmour andrew five9s powerpc 1 Comment 12,346 Views
I stumbled across this report this evening. It states:
It is very satisfying to know that the platform I have been recommending to our clients (usually AIX on Power Blades (JS12 or JS22) is the most reliable platform* out there.
*Distributed platforms at least.
I've met with Celcom (a Telco in Malaysia) a few times this year, they have a funny sign in the lift well of every floor... So much for all the IBM sales staff that were with me!
Apologies for the quality of the photo - I only had my phone camera with me at the time.
Andrew_Larmour 0300000243 Tags:  cpu license pvu licensing software multi-core oracle 3 Comments 18,896 Views
I am working with a number of IBM business partners and I found a need to explain to them how our Software licensing works. I found that many of our sales staff don't fully understand it either, so I figured I would post the explanation I wrote for the business partners to try and explain it so more people "get it". The other thing that struck me in speaking with some partners was that - despite some of them them partnering with Oracle more often than they have with us in the past - they had a simplistic view of Oracle's licensing thinking that it was simply CPU based. Oracle's licensing scheme is similar to our own PVU scheme in weighting different multi-core CPUs differently for licensing purposes.
First - IBM's PVU scheme
The majority of the IBM runtime components are priced per PVU. The Processor Value Unit or PVU is an arbitrary notion that IBM came up with to cater for multi-core CPUs and the fact that some platforms offered more processing power per CPU core than other platforms. Different brand processors cores are considered equivalent to PVU counts from 30 PVUs to 120 PVUs per core.
For example, an Intel single-core CPU is 100 PVU. Intel multi core CPUs are considered to be equivalent to 50 PVUs per processor core (or 70 PVUs per core for the newer Intel chips), so a dual core CPU would be 100 or 140 PVU and a quad core CPU would be 200 or 280 PVU. Prior to the latest generation of Intel multi-core CPUs, Intel multi-core architecture was such that a single dual core CPU offers similar processing power to a single core CPU, so to be fair to customers that use Intel multi core CPUs, IBM only rates each core at 50 PVUs. The latest chips have improved their processing power per core over previous generations of chip and they are now rated at 70 PVUs per core as a result.
IBM PowerPC chips are more efficient and therefore the PVU rating per CPU core is 80 PVU per core for Power 6 blades although other PowerPC CPUs are rated at 50, 100 or 120 PVUs per core.
The PVU calculator is available at https://www-112.ibm.com/software/howtobuy/passportadvantage/valueunitcalculator/vucalc.wss
Now - lets look at the Oracle do it
For multi-core CPUs, Oracle have a similar scheme to IBM. This quote is from Oracle's current price list on their web site -
"Processor: shall be defined as all processors where the Oracle programs are installed and/or running. Programs licensed on a processor basis may be accessed by your internal users (including agents and contractors) and by your third party users. The number of required licenses shall be determined by multiplying the total number of cores of the processor by a core processor licensing factor specified on the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table which can be accessed at http://oracle.com/contracts. All cores on all multicore chips for each licensed program are to be aggregated before multiplying by the appropriate core processor licensing factor and all fractions of a number are to be rounded up to the next whole number. When licensing Oracle programs with Standard Edition One or Standard Edition in the product name, a processor is counted equivalent to an occupied socket; however, in the case of multi-chip modules, each chip in the multi-chip module is counted as one occupied socket.."
This basically means that for Intel quad core CPUs, they are priced at twice the price of an Intel Single core CPU (a multiplier of .50 per core) - exactly the same as IBM pricing for Intel Quad core CPUs.
To illustrate, if the Oracle product license cost is $100 per CPU and the IBM price is $1 per PVU, then the following table illustrates how Oracle and IBM pricing will change depending on the processor that software is deployed on.
Assuming the base software price is $100/CPU (Oracle) or $1 per PVU (IBM)
This illustrates that both IBM and Oracle understand that not all multi-core CPUs are created equally - some are more like multiple single core CPUs just placed on a single die. It also shows that Oracle and IBM both understand that CPU architectures such as the SunSparc and Intel/AMD x86 offer less processing power per CPU core that IBM PowerPC architecture.
Lets dispel the myth that Oracle price per CPU only - their multipliers provide a similar pricing strategy to IBM's PVU based pricing - sometimes IBM has the price advantage, sometimes Oracle has the price advantage. Oracle first introduced this type of multi-core licensing back in 2005 although back then the multipliers were set at a generic 0.75 per CPU core for all processor types - regardless of CPU processing power.
Note - as both Oracle and IBM have the right to change their pricing at any time, I can only vouch for the accuracy of this post at the time it was originally posted (Nov09).
I was at a workshop with a customer in Manila recently when they started to talk about compression over a client link (especially from Nokia S60 Mobile Phones) - a key value proposition of Lotus Mobile Connect. Not since I was in a Pervasive Technical Sales in Australia / New Zealand had I seen an opportunity for a hosted Lotus Mobile Connect (LMC) deployment. For those of you that weren't aware that LMC supported a hosted deployment - it does.
If you have the Mobility Client installed (The client for Lotus Mobile Connect - on any platform) you will notice a field labelled "Organizational Unit" - ever wondered what that is for? It's simple really. It is there so than in a hosted deployment, the LMC authentication mechanism is able to distinguish between "John Smith" at Company A and "John Smith" at Company B. . Typically, you would use Tivoli Directory Integrator (TDI) to enable a federated directory model so that the individual client companies can manage their own internal directory - and because TDI uses LDAP to communicate with those directories, it doesn't matter what those client directories are (Domino, MS Active Directory, Sun Directory Server, Novell Groupwise Directory, openLDAP etc) - as long as they support LDAP V3.
Basically, there are two deployment topologies that enable LMC to be deployed in a hosted environment... (I have deliberately left TDI out of the diagram since the purpose of the following diagrams are intended to illustrate the Client options and Encryption break or end-to-end)
Secondly, there is a lower security (and cheaper to deploy) topology that still gives the end users the advantages of LMC, but without end-to-end encryption - this model requires that the client companies trust the Telco since there is a break in encryption at the Telco's hosting centre. This model would not be suitable in high security/privacy industries such as Finance, Health, Government, military or Emergency Services.
A Telco might offer the lower security model as their standard product and the end-to-end model as the premium service with a price premium...
This is a potential salable product to a Telco's enterprise customers in it's own right, but if we look at the offering that also come from LotusLive ([particularly LotusLive Notes and LotusLive iNotes). In a market like the Philippines or many others across Asia, I suspect there is a business to be made by offering Domino capabilities or even just plain old hosted email but kept separate from the masses of a Telco's standard data customers who all get an email address like email@example.com. Using LotusLive Notes or iNotes would allow a small business to maintain their own virtual email system and keep their own email domain, internal email addresses but without the headaches of looking after their own servers. If we think about the LotusLive offerings in a Telco - where the LotusLive products are rebranded to suit the telco, they could easily go along with a hosted LMC offering. This would provide secure access by remote or mobile users to their own network and their own virtual email environment.
I had hoped that for the LotusLive deployment of Domino in LotusLive notes that some code changes had been made to make Domino work in a multi-realm environment - alas, no. Consequently, there is a minimum customer deployment size of 1000 users - way bigger than most Telcos would be looking for and way too big for the Philippine market. As it stands, LotusLive iNotes is not much better at 500 users, but it so far looks like that is an IBM decision and that if the Telco is to take on the level one support, then it would be up to the Telco to decide what the minimum customer size is to be. Indeed, Some legacy Outblaze (from whom we bought assets from to deploy LotusLive iNotes) customers have some ISP/ASP customers that resell their service to end customers with 5,10 or 20 users.
Perhaps a diagram is in order to explain who it might all come together. I have refined my diagrams that illustrate the hosted deployment of LMC with LotusLive iNotes (or ANY LotusLive product for that matter - Engage, Connections, Meeting etc). First, the Premium offering:
Or in a slightly less secure deployment (with a break in Encryption at the Telco - probably not acceptable for a Bank or Government department, but fine for may smaller businesses) :
As I see it, a Telco offering this type of service could charge a premium for the end to end encryption model while the second model might be a cheaper service.
As an adjunct to the LMC and LotusLive iNotes offering, a Telco might also offer Lotus Foundations for an on-premise offering to SMBs. I am not sure if Foundations will interest every Telco, but we already have some success with Telco sold Foundations in Singapore.
]If you are interested in understanding this hosted model for Lotus Mobile Connect (LMC) or LotusLive iNotes, please let us know... It could make for an interesting series of blog posts
It struck me today that many of our business partners, at least the ones I deal with, don't have the foggiest what IBM offers to them in terms of online resources, assistance (paid or free), demonstrations available publicly etc. As I was preparing for a presentation on the subject in the Global and Medium System Integrator Telecom trianing that we ran in Malaysia a couple of months ago, I thought it would also be worthwhile sharing it with a larger Business Partner audience as well...
I've uploaded a file to my collection on Lotuslive - it is somewhat biased toward AP in terms of listed resources in the area, maps on slides etc, but could be easily made more specific to another geography pretty easily...
.This is the basic agenda and flow:
To get to the file, download it from MyDeveloperworks Files - https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/files/app?lang=en_US#/person/0300000243/file/22fef671-f05d-432f-9f0f-ee9d2d909a92
<update> changed the file location to MyDeveloperworks Files rather than LotusLive Engage. The file will continue to be available from LotusLive as well.
Andrew_Larmour 0300000243 Tags:  telecom telco diameter ims-connector connector ims charging 4,821 Views
Published back in April, is a new document on developerworks, "Develop an offline charging application based on WebSphere IMS Connector" which looks a very useful document so i figured it would make sense to bring it to your attention....
To quote the article...
, IT Specialist, IBM
This article describes how you can develop an offline charging application using the Rf interface in IBM® WebSphere® IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Connector V6.2, presents a sample asynchronous offline charging adapter to enable multi-threaded throughput of the Rf client, and discusses performance tuning based on the Rf interface..