Software-defined is emerging as a hot topic among organizations as a means to transform data centers into an IT facility focused on increasing the agility and speed at which they support their application and increase developer productivity. Now that software-defined has become the everyday talk for many IT professionals and business leaders, we have identified some of the most common questions they are asking about software-defined environments. And to help answer those questions in a more effective way, I recently interviewed one of the most influential personalities in a software-defined world: Matt Hogstrom , who is also a Distinguished Engineer and a Chief Technology Officer at IBM. Here are his excerpts:
Q.1) We’re seeing different software-defined terms being used in the industry like software-defined data center, software-defined infrastructure, etc. What does IBM mean when it comes to software-defined?
Matt: Software-defined at its core means a programmatic access to infrastructure. Over the past few years, the industry has shifted from traditional IT to an API driven consumption model of infrastructure. At IBM, we are considering the consumers, as well as the providers of programmatic infrastructure and use the term Software Defined Environment (SDE) to refer to the architecture. The Software Defined Environment framework transforms static infrastructure into a dynamic, constantly optimized, workload-aware virtualized... [Continue Reading]
The evolution towards a Software Defined Environment (SDE) has served as a central topic for IT infrastructure professionals that support the complete stack of the data center infrastructure from computer hardware to end-user software to provide the choice and flexibility to organizations as new applications and services are integrated. For progressive companies and organizations, that already embrace the rich benefits of SDE: Infrastructure as Code, and are looking to aggressively transform their style of application deployment and application lifecycle with programmable IT, there is a great opportunity waiting for you!
IBM brings to you a highly interactive Software Defined Systems (SDS) Community on the IBM Service Management Connect (SMC) web portal to make sure that we are considering your use case and feature requirements efficiently with best possible resources. The SDS Community is for Software Defined Environment (SDE) practitioners to engage with IBM architects and product developers on current and future IBM SDE-related products. Our goal is that SDS Community will serve as a new space to connect, exchange ideas, discuss professional and theoretical issues about SDE, and take advantage of the digital tools that the SDS Community has to offer. Participants in SDS Community can:
Gain access to IBM SDE product roadmaps and resources around their own interests
... [Continue Reading]
According to Gartner’s new research report, IBM is the worldwide market leader in flash storage solid state arrays (SSA’s) based on revenue for 2013.
Customers across the world are turning to IBM flash storage systems than any other company for faster access to insights from Big Data . IBM FlashSystem , the memory technology used in everything from mobile phones and tablet PCs to thumb drives, is taking the enterprise by storm; helping large and small businesses improve the performance of their applications as well as analytics in the era of Big Data.
The largest non-profit healthcare system in Southeast Texas, Memorial Hermann Health System , which includes 12 acute care hospitals, migrated from physical to Electronic Medical Records (EMR) from Cerner Corp. last year, to accelerate the sharing of patient information among medical staffs. This move radically improved efficiencies and created a swell of digital information that needed to be quickly accessed for analysis. And to do that, the company turned to the IBM FlashSystem 840 and SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization software, and the IBM Flex System x240 and saw a dramatic improvement in performance.
“By quickly processing the medical records of all patients across our hospitals in real-time, it enables us to detect patterns that indicate the onslaught of a bacterial infection that may lead to sepsis... [Continue Reading]
IBM Pulse 2014 – The Premier Cloud Conference is roaring at Las Vegas! More than 11000 attendees from all corners of the globe have joined to hear from top industry thought leaders delivering the knowledge to succeed in the Information and Technology world. Pulse 2014 has already brought forth some great insights and networking opportunities for attendees interested in the developments of Cloud , Software Defined Environments (SDE) , Open Computing and more. David Pogue, a former personal-technology columnist for The New York Times is Pulse 2014 emcee. We’re seeing David adding lot of excitement at the conference with his sharp wit and tech-savvy humor.
Software Defined Environments and Open technologies are among the major attractions at Pulse 2014. Participants are able to learn about the growing value of these technologies through exciting general keynotes sessions, panel discussions, business partner summit, solution expo center, demonstrations, etc. Along with exploring these latest developments, everyone present at Pulse is able to explore wonderful networking opportunities, so that they can make bold business moves in 2014. Needless to say there is an incredible amount of learning and sharing going on at the 4-day conference. Let’s take a look at some of the key highlights of Pulse 2014 :
The conference started with Exciting Sunday Pre-Conference Events including the much... [Continue Reading]
Today, Cloud has become the growth engine for smarter enterprises. When we talk about Cloud – it’s primarily about the shift in delivery and consumption of IT services through technologies like Virtualization or Converged infrastructure. A Software Defined Environment (SDE) is the next evolution of the underlying technology, where the entire IT infrastructure is automated by the software to deliver greater levels of intelligence and value, on top of standardized hardware. SDE is IBM’s approach to provide an ideal architecture for private, public and hybrid clouds, enabling enterprises take advantage of virtualization not just in servers, but also in networking and security, storage and management hence allowing clouds to become more efficient, simplified, responsive and adaptive. Organizations across the world are embracing IBM SDE in order to enhance their Cloud architectures and achieve highest levels of performance, reliability and scalability in their IT infrastructures. Is your IT infrastructure ready to embrace this evolution? Get ready!
At Pulse 2014 – The Premier Cloud Conference, leading experts will discuss how IBM Software Defined Environments help enterprises attain competitive advantage and profitability through speed and efficiency in delivering Cloud services. This year’s Pulse , from February 23rd to 26th, MGM Grand - Las Vegas, will explore the latest developments in Cloud and Software Defined... [Continue Reading]
If you thought 2013 was a big year in the world of “ Software Defined ,” brace yourself for 2014. Both Gartner and Forrester Research called out Software Defined as a top 10 strategic technology trend for 2014. A new era of workloads, which we at IBM call Systems of Engagement, is driving this IT transformation to Software Defined Environments (SDE) . Workloads such as mobile , social , and big data & analytics – often delivered via cloud computing – are disrupting today’s IT infrastructures with crushing complexity, rapid demand cycles and accelerating business requirements. SDE helps organizations address this pain through simplified, responsive and adaptive infrastructure solutions.
Automation is at the core of SDE – think of SDE as being the next generation automation in cloud computing environments. SDE enables business users to describe their requirements of the IT environment in a systematic way that in turn drives automation of the infrastructure . Whether it’s deploying new workloads on optimal resources, reconfiguring infrastructure to ensure service objectives, leveraging off-premise clouds for extra capacity, or accelerating software deployment using patterns, automation with SDE is the key for ensuring cost-effectiveness, performance levels and speed. And it’s all based on IT policies and business rules.
At... [Continue Reading]
Who doesn’t like Formula One racing as it’s all about cutting-edge technology and speed. Red Bull Racing , world’s leading Formula One racing team is well-known for their championship-winning performances by designing and running the best racing cars on the tracks. IBM’s Platform Computing capabilities powered Red Bull Racing at every step with high performance application infrastructure for both design applications such as computational fluid dynamics as well as near real-time race analytics to help them close their wins. Jay Muelhoefer , Director of strategy for IBM Platform Computing had explained in his article about Red Bull Racing’s achievements and their strategic partnership with IBM Platform Computing to deliver game-changing results. You will be glad to know that at IBM Pulse 2014 from February 23rd to February 26th, MGM Grand-Las Vegas, the Red Bull Racing team will be sharing their unique experiences about IBM’s Platform Computing technology that helps them achieve record-setting Formula One seasons. During Pulse , the Red Bull Racing team will also discuss about how IBM Platform Computing’s robust and scalable solution enables them to fully leverage their growing investments in engineering IT infrastructure.
Pulse 2014 will present over 500 exclusive break-out... [Continue Reading]
The long Thanksgiving weekend including Black Friday and Cyber Monday sets the tone for the holiday season in U.S. This year was no different. In fact, the shopping trends, channels, sales, etc. grew at a phenomenal rate this year. According to the latest cloud -based analytics findings from IBM, Thanksgiving Day reported a 19.7 percent increase in online sales and Black Friday’s online sales grew 18.9 percent. However, the biggest online shopping day by U.S. shoppers was Cyber Monday , which made a record of 20.6 percent increase in online sales which grew 16.5 percent over the same period in 2012.
With an increase in online sales across multiple channels, business leaders are turning to cloud-based, real-time analytics from IBM to understand and act on consumer trends in real time. IBM is uniquely positioned to help marketing, e-commerce, merchandising and customer service divisions build deeper customer relationships across every touch in the business cycle. Let’s take a look at IBM's real-time analytics alerts that helped our customers worldwide to analyze and gain insights from these record-breaking shopping holidays trends:
Online Sales Set New Record: Cyber Monday online sales grew by 20.6 percent over 2012. Average order value was $128.77, down 1 percent year-over-year.
Top Five Cities for Cyber Sales: New York took the top spot for total online retail sales on Cyber... [Continue Reading]
IBM is helping business leaders transform their IT infrastructure by using a Smarter Computing approach, a dynamic approach that leverages cloud and software defined environments to speed time to market and improve efficiency, unlocks the power of big data to deliver more actionable insight while securing critical information to protect and reduce risk.
For Smarter Computing, the overall infrastructure matters , where business processes are integrated end-to-end across the company, with key partners, suppliers & customers and respond with flexibility and speed to any customer demand, market opportunity or external threats. Thanks to Open Computing, enterprise is free to choose infrastructure as it sees fit with corresponding flexibility and cost variability.
How? Does Open Computing really help companies better integrate applications and systems across data centers?
Join us live to know why and how Open Computing’ role is central to the further evolution of business on our most exciting debate: " What's Next For IT? " on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 1 PM EDT. The forth Smarter Computing debate series will feature top experts to examine the pros and cons of open computing including the business benefits & reduced cost factor that comes from open computing and how open standards ensure integration of applications and systems when it comes to cloud, big data and software defined environments . The panel moderated by... [Continue Reading]
Cloud . Big data . Mobile. Social networking. These are some of the core ideas driving the new generation of critical consumer and business applications — but do they really have the modern network infrastructure they need? The basic way networks are managed — even in an architecture like a cloud — has remained largely unchanged from a decade ago in that most network connections continue to be initiated, operated, and closed by technicians working at the hardware level, who oversee network devices such as switches, each managed in a proprietary way. Such an approach means that implementing any change in the way data flows from point A to point B is slower, more complex, more costly, and less secure than it should be.
A cloud, for instance, is less dynamic than it should be in allocating more bandwidth to services that need it due to workload spikes (such as social networking or big data). And those services in turn generate less value than they should. So increasingly, in a world where traditional networking approaches have become too complex, closed, and proprietary, forward-looking organizations are searching for a new way to centralize, accelerate, secure, and scale network management. That new way is software-defined networking (SDN) which is designed to solve just these challenges and even more !
Transforming the network for improved business agility
... [Continue Reading]
On Wednesday, October 22, IBM will host its sixth Video Debates series: What’s Next for IT Infrastructure?, that brings together top IT experts to discuss the latest topics and trends on cloud, data and security as they relate to infrastructure.
During the video debate, the panelists will probe, discuss and debate the question, “Does IT infrastructure determine business success?” The debate will feature leading panelists including Joe Clabby, Adien Bowles, Anna Topol and will be moderated by Judith Hurwitz, a leading technology strategist. All of these experts will debate the role of IT infrastructure, how a company’s IT infrastructure is key to managing today’s quickly changing world and more.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity. Register now and join us on Wednesday October 22nd, 2014 at 1 PM EDT to hear from leading IT infrastructure experts. Be sure to follow the conversation at #IMdebate to keep track of the latest updates around the debate.
Here are detailed profiles of our moderator and panelists:
Judith Hurwitz: President and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, LLC – Moderator
Judith leads Hurwitz & Associates, LLC, a research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology including big data, cloud computing, service management, software development, computing management and security. She is a technology strategist, thought leader and author. Judith has... [Continue Reading]
Today, the IT infrastructure matters more than ever to clients across industries and geographies. The emergence of cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security technology bringing new challenges and new opportunities for organizations – large, medium or small. By having the right infrastructure in place, clients are able to concentrate on many other activities to jump-start new growth and profitability for their businesses.
For instance, click on this infographic to see the roles cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security solutions play in creating a robust, innovative infrastructure within an organization. The infographic is an ideal example which details how the right infrastructure frees the retailer to scale with demand and drive business growth.
What about you? Share your infrastructure related experience with us. Join the conversation at #infrastructurematters or follow @IBMSDE on Twitter.
IBM Systems & Technology Group
As business evolves so is the role of the CIO (Chief Information Officer). Today’s CIO is in an ideal position to take increasing responsibility and control. The CIO is one of the important hubs of decision-making across organizations today. I spend a good amount of my time speaking to CIOs across industries, listening to what challenges they face and how those challenges have changed since the role came into its real days about 10 years ago.
As technology advancements like cloud , analytics and cognitive computing have increased their impact across today’s organizations, the role of the CIO has evolved along with it. Most of the CIOs I speak with are uniquely qualified to lead a cloud strategy; this is because of their intricate knowledge of both IT and business. While in-depth understanding of technology is critical, no less important is the ability to articulate the business impacts and opportunities of cloud computing and big data to the C-suite. CIOs should prudently evaluate all IT capabilities, organizational design, and create a roadmap for change to identify new opportunities that will deliver the best return on investment aligned with their business strategy and mission needs. Increasingly, I have observed that finding the right platform to learn is the top priority for CIOs.
The CIO Washington D.C. Summit is a unique opportunity for the greatest IT thinkers to collaborate on current industry challenges... [Continue Reading]
IT infrastructure matters more than ever. The need to develop and manage a simplified, adaptive and responsive infrastructure has emerged as a top priority for organizations today. Let’s take a look at some of the common infrastructure challenges as well as the strategic actions organizations are taking to create a robust IT infrastructure:
There’s no room for failure
It’s critical that organizations make the right decisions about IT environments—decisions that don’t compromise the business or put it at risk for financial or security failure. As demands on IT infrastructure continue to increase, organizations that invest now in a diverse cloud infrastructure built on openechnologies will find they have agility and choice as well as the ability to speed business transformation.
Organizations can act strategically by:
Carefully matching applications to optimal sets of compute, storage and network resources
Implementing tools that can manage heterogeneous environments securely and efficiently
Innovate or fall behind
Getting better insights faster from structured and unstructured data can bring tremendous value to any organization, but most aren’t prepared to address big data and analytics challenges such as providing consistent and secure interfaces or getting the right data to the right people.
Organizations can act strategically by:
Choosing... [Continue Reading]
Today’s IT organizations face immense challenges. We often hear our clients telling us that in order to compete they must invest in their IT infrastructures to improve customer service, enable better decisions through improved use of data and enhance collaboration across their value chain. It means IT infrastructure matters - not just to IT but fundamentally to business.
But how to make sure that the infrastructure choice that we make is right? It doesn’t have to be hard! Here are top 6 infrastructure choices that can solve business challenges:
1. Implement real-time analytics: Today's infrastructures need to build data analytics and intelligence into their daily operations and transactions.
2. Empower employees with access to customer information: Your infrastructure needs to enable shared (and secure!) access to all data, no matter what type it is or where it resides.
3. Accelerate reaction time: When you react quickly to situations (enabled by Big Data & Analytics ), you can create up to 33% higher revenue growth.
4. Gain continuous access to essential tools: Today's leading companies are 2.4x more likely to use cloud infrastructure solutions to reinvent customer relationships. Cloud brings you scalability and reliability, enabling continuous access to applications.
5. ... [Continue Reading]
Recently, Thoughtsoncloud.com published a very interesting blog by Mike McGuire, Senior IT Architect for IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, which talks about choosing between managed and unmanaged IaaS . According to Mike, Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) typically comes in one of two forms: managed or unmanaged. Obviously, some providers also offer something in between. Usually, a provider will tend to specialize in one, although some providers can offer both. For instance, the IBM Cloud Managed Services IaaS offering specializes in managed servers, but can also offer unmanaged servers as well.
Further, Mike helps our readers to understand the key differences between the two.
Features that we will commonly find with a managed cloud server:
Operating system deployment and management
Monitoring (and action in the event of an incident)
Backup and restore services
Disaster recovery and storage services
Limited access to the operating system, or controlled access
Operating system-based service level agreements (SLAs)
Features that we will commonly find with an unmanaged cloud server:
Operating system deployment
Complete control of the operating system
Hypervisor or infrastructure-only SLAs
“This list is not exhaustive, nor does it accurately describe every cloud... [Continue Reading]
Recently, the thoughtsoncloud.com published a very interesting article: Three ways to stay up to date while working in IT , featuring Oscar Vega Rodriguez, Cloud Linux System Administrator for IBM Smart Cloud Application Services. The article explains the three influential ways to keep abreast with the latest developments in cloud computing while working in IT. Let’s take a look at those three recommendations explained by Oscar to follow in order to stay informed:
We can browse many websites, blogs and even mobile applications that are available that can help us understand new technologies emerging in the cloud world. Oscar use a browser add-on named Feedly and a mobile app available for both iPhone and Android named Zite . They are like intelligent magazines that let us find the most frequently read articles on a specific topic. We can favorite topics like cloud computing, IBM Cloud, OpenStack, KVM, IBM Bluemix and more.
2. Get your hands dirty:
This has to do with some practical jobs like - if we want to get familiar with OpenStack , it would be a good idea to start reading on how to set up an environment. We would find out what architecture requirements are needed (hardware specs, most recommended virtualization client) and get to know all the services the solution offers, like dashboard (Horizon), compute (Nova) and image (Glance) in the last OpenStack release, IceHouse. Once we have... [Continue Reading]
IBM’s newly released Institute of Business Value study - IT infrastructure conversation: New content, new participants, new tone, highlighted some of the mind-boggling findings on why IT infrastructure matters. Based on the responses from over 750 senior executives from 19 industries across 18 countries, the study reveals how confident technology leaders are about their IT infrastructure, what worries them the most and what they are doing to make their IT infrastructure fit for the future while capitalizing on the new – but challenging – opportunities for growth. Some of the key findings of the study include:
71 percent of organizations believe IT infrastructure enables a competitive advantage
Two-thirds of organizations are planning to increase IT infrastructure investment spending
Less than one-third of IT executives believe they are effectively collaborating with the business to provide IT infrastructure solutions
Indeed, the conversation about the IT infrastructure is changing. You can register for the study here .
To continue the conversation, we invite you to join us for the exclusive Twitter #infrachat happening live tomorrow, Wednesday August 13 at 11 AM EDT. Hosted by @IBMSmrtrCmptng , the #infrachat will look at how IT infrastructure is changing organizations today and in the future. The panelists include industry leading experts - John Easton , Distinguished... [Continue Reading]
I am writing this blog as a summary of the very interesting article published recently on Forbes.com : “ What’s The Best Cloud For Companies? Try Hybrid ” featuring Lance Crosby, CEO and President, IBM SoftLayer. The article focuses on the benefits that a hybrid model can bring to organizations migrating to the cloud and integrating systems of records with systems of engagement driven by big data & analytics, social and mobile trends. The article also explains how deploying a hybrid cloud model that links a mix of both private and public cloud resources with a company's on-premise IT infrastructure will enable organizations to improve concerns over data control and security while continuing to enjoy the cost and scalability benefits of the cloud.
According to Lance, “a hybrid cloud creates an environment in which companies can maintain on-premises control of certain applications and data, while determining which applications belong in the cloud.” “The hybrid approach minimizes change, helps to reduce costs and enables more scalable and flexible business processes.” In the article, Lance also cites Whirlpool as an example of an IBM customer who is taking advantage of a hybrid model to improve their operations. Read the full article here to learn more and discover how a hybrid model brings the best of both worlds for organizations as they move to the cloud. For... [Continue Reading]
Recently, Forbes.com has published a very interesting article titled: Three Ways Companies Can Convert To Cloud Computing , featuring Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President for IBM Systems & Technology Group and Integrated Supply Chain. The article discusses why leading organizations are turning to cloud and the role IT infrastructure plays in enabling growth in a world of cloud, mobile and social technologies. These technologies are changing the way we interact and engage with our customers, creating unpredictable ebbs and flows of connections across an array of technologies and systems. In order to handle the unparalleled volume of data we’re generating, these systems need to be reliable, economical and secure. And more and more organizations are moving to cloud computing to meet those needs. In the article, Tom describes three strategic considerations for successfully deploying a cloud model:
Ensure a flexible IT environment: Organizations must be flexible to embrace the new workload requirements of mobile and social applications. A dynamic hybrid cloud model provides flexibility and allows organizations to respond quickly to support changing business needs.
Build analytics-ready systems : It’s imperative for businesses to identify the right technology and the right time to apply for business advantage. An analytics-based environment enables organizations to handle... [Continue Reading]