Industry Solutions and Tivoli
By now you have probably heard that Ounce Labs was acquired by the Rational software division as part of IBM's cyber security solution build-out. This is great technology to insure software development and existing software is not the weakest link in the chain in our smarter planet projects.
For example, let's consider the 1,2,3's of how Ounce can help us in our work to secure the smart grid:
1) One of the key components of the Smart Grid is software
2) 99% of the software that powers energy-related applications and devices has been written with no attention to secure coding principles; hence, it is quite susceptible to attack
3) IBM/Ounce tools quickly scan large amounts of software to identify and help fix the most severe vulnerabilities in software
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ Tags:  smarter planet solutions industry coumputing cloud 3,090 Views
Recently Judy Collins appeared at our local bookshop in Rhinebeck, NY that we frequently visit to promote a children's book. Gosh, how time flies! It was just yesterday that we were wearing out her LPs in the college dorms. One of my favorite Judy Colllins song was 'Both sides Now' which contains the line ' I've looked at clouds from both sides now, from win and lose , and still somehow, it's clouds illusions I recall...' So what are the real benefits of cloud? And what is just an illusion? Here are some cloud musings based on my experience in industry solutions for a smarter planet:
How can cloud be used in development for industry oriented applications?
Cloud computing can be used in development for intense simulations of assembly operations. These are the complex simulations of whole systems, as opposed to a single pump for example. Simulations generally require HPC (high performance computing) that can be cost prohibitive for anyone except the largest enterprises. One example is System Verification Management for the Electronic Design Automation Industry. Systems verification is the testing of integrated circuit hardware and embedded software to identify defects. Coverage verification is a type of systems verification using random testing of a chip design simulated in software. Because software simulations run extremely slowcompared to actual hardware, enough tests can never be run to completely verify a chip design. Therefore critical functions are chosen to be “covered” by simulation testing. Modern chip complexity is driving manufacturers to coverage verification to vet design before it hits the expensive silicon and to speed time to market. In fact, Coverage verification simulations approaching 1 million per day on an High Performance Computing (HPC) environment are now becoming the norm. The HPC environment must be utilized and maintained to the maximum extent possible to achieve quickest time to market and that can be achieved efficiently using cloud computing.
Another example is smart grid. One focus for smart grid is demand management or the ability, during brown outs for example, to dynamically deallocate power to nonessential devices like pool pumps and allocate power to schools, hospitals, or certain appliances in your home. This requires visibility up and down the chain of delivery to determine where and how the power is being used and whether its delivery is as efficient as possible. Dealing with a range of variable and unpredictable outages requires the ability to dynamically allocate the compute resources for the task and we have found cloud to be an efficient way to manage a smart grid.
And what about smarter cities? The city of Wuxi in southeastern China, developed a "cloud services factory" to provide computing resources to local companies. Software developers can access new resources in minutes, and new businesses can hit the ground running. Wuxi now has the potential to provide services to hundreds of small and medpium-sized companies, which represent the future of a city that sees itself as an engine for growth.
Are there economic, cultural or other trends that are driving the adoption of cloud computing?
Today, more than ever, the need to drive down the cost of computing while being fully prepared for variable and peak workloads. In addition, if a cloud can handle a mulit-tenent environment with 15, 50, 500 customers all with dynamic processing on the same infrastructure, and same support (monitoring, backup/restore) cost has to decrease due to economy of scale.
I think that the tough economy has definitely spurred interest in cost cutting measures and efficiency; but, I think the real drivers are the emergence and acceptance of virtualization and Service Oriented Architecture in companies. Companies are becoming more technically astute and see the advantages of subscribing to Web Services, applications, storage and services like SPAM filtering in a cloud. In addition, because many people's workstations are now on their phones, pda's and netbooks, it makes more sense to host the operating systems, applications and data on virtual servers in a cloud.
Another factor driving adoption is the need to stay competitive in today's markets. For most business the ability to deliver more applications and services without adding fixed costs helps improve focus on core business competencies. ie: Improve time to market, Increase Business Flexibility and shift from Fixed to Variable Costs. Also, the ability to monitor costs.
What are some of the perceptions or barriers that need to be overcome for cloud computing to gain the widest possible acceptance?
Perception of the lack of bulletproof Reliability,Performance and Security & Privacy. Performance concerns exist about throughput because computing is off-site. Concern exists that data will be secure from competitors eyes in a public cloud.
It’s clear that a variety of security technologies, processes, procedures, laws, and trust models are required to secure the cloud. There is no silver bullet for securing the cloud but who better than IBM with a full breadth and depth of solutions and services enable organizations to take a business-driven, holistic approach to securing the cloud. IBM capabilities empower organizations to dynamically monitor and quantify security risks, to better understand threats and vulnerabilities in terms of business impact, to better respond to security events with security controls that optimize business results, and to better prioritize and balance their security investments.
How will IT change over the next five years or so, because of the influence of cloud computing?
I think IT technologies will more and more be applied to real world (non-IT) assets as we transform utilities, transport, healthcare, buidlings, and cities to a smarter version. This will be made possible in many instances by the power of cloud computing.
An example of a specific opportunity is in the area of storage. As the world becomes smarter and, we are collecting more and more data, and storage requirements are skyrocketing. Today we are approaching a trillion connected sensors that are enabling smarter planet plays such as smarter transportation and smarter healthcare. Being able to farm out the management of the storage devices to experts and pay for what is actually used is already becoming very compelling.
I think 5 years from now we will see much of smarter planet plays being realized and powered by clouds. It will not be clouds illusions we recall but real leverage and value for our industry solutions.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ Tags:  sustainability smarter green buildings 1 Comment 3,085 Views
I have a new post this morning entitled ' Crossing the Sustainability Chasm' Please click on this link to view.
After many years on developerWorks I am moving my blog to A Smarter Planet Blog.
Please follow me there which, in addition to my posts, you can view others that are writing about smarter planet initiatives. Very exciting!
Thanks and see you there!!!
Some observations that lead me to believe that the airlines can do a better job managing the lifecycle, maintenance, and engineering changes...something our industry solutions addresses. I blogged about this in the past... Remember American Airlines (and others) having to ground their fleet to rush changes or risk compliance penalties?
Let's start with 2 observations:
1) Air France and Airbus apparently couldn't agree on what the maintenance changes should be
2) Airbus was forced to make changes to the pilots manual
The agency said the A330 had sent out 24 error messages in four minutes including one indicating a discrepancy in speed data. It said similar problems had happened before.
Air France said it had first noticed in May 2008 that ice in the sensors was causing lost data in planes like the A330, but that it failed to agree with Airbus on steps to take.
According to Air France, Airbus offered to carry out an in-flight test on new sensors this year but the airline decided to go ahead and started changing them anyway from April 27. It did not say whether the crashed plane had the new sensors but its last maintenance hangar visit was on April 16.
Some of the A330s 50 or so other operators defended the plane's safety record at an airlines meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, saying the crash was an isolated incident.
Airbus has faced problems with the speed sensors dating to at least 2001, forcing changes in equipment as well as the pilot's flight manual, according to online filings.
In 2001, France reported several cases of sudden fluctuation of A330 or A340 airspeed data during severe icing conditions and Airbus was ordered to change the cockpit manual, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
It is still early days, and we have to wait for final analysis but I believe there is room for improvement, given the data we have and the airlines should make steps towards improvement immediately to address these problems.[Read More]
We have been developing an aviation solution that addresses some of the contributing problems in the Air France event. Our solution is call Advanced Aerospace Solution Environment or AASE.The AASE was designed to send and receive real-time flight data from the engines, airframe, and other sensors on the aircraft during in-flight operation to ground operations. When one of the many sensors detects a fault, the information about the fault and other related data is sent real-time to the ground central system and recorded. This process also kicks-off a work flow process to have the problem investigated and replaced if needed when the aircraft lands at its destination.
According to media reports, the issue may have been caused by a air speed sensor reporting incorrect information - an event the AASE solution could have detected and addressed.
Right now the FAA and other foreign agencies are trying to locate the "Black Box" flight recorder to help determine the exact cause. Although the AASE solution does not capture the pilots communication and all the second by second sensor data, it could help with information on critical sensors where faults have occurred. This additional information could help crash investigators determine the cause in the event the black box is not found or damaged. It could also shed light on the maintenance history and the frequency the part in question may have been a problem and not replaced.[Read More]
What weighs 35,000 lbs, rests 55 ft off the ground, and is can prevent 18 tons of carbon from being released into the air? A very green dragon that can hold it's breath?
Kind of...Ricoh has launched an eco-friendly billboard in Times Square. Instead of being connected to the electric grid, the 47x126 foot board is powered by 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels. The billboard, will generate its own electricity, a first for Times Square.
When it comes to leadership by example, Ricoh is the real deal. Spend some time on their web site http://www.ricoh.com/environment/ to appreciate the extent of their commitment.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ Tags:  buildings energy initiative" smarter penn innovation obama "better 2,947 Views
Today I had the honor of meeting President Obama and shaking his hand!
The President was at Penn State to provide more detail on the State of the Union plan to "Win the Future" through energy efficiency. (see my last blog entry which I wrote before I was informed I would go to this meeting with the President) He first toured some of the smarter building work in the Penn State Labs and then moved to the U Penn rec. center to address a larger crowd of professors, students, and business leaders.
President Obama announced his "Better Buildings Initiative" with a goal to improve energy efficiency by 20%. He mentioned the importance of Penn State as one the 3 energy HUB projects in the country to provide innovative smarter building leadership. He called out IBM as an important part of this project. That made us feel pretty damn proud!
Some of my favorite quotes from today: “ Show us your ideas, we’ll show you the money “ “ We will fund this by diverting funding that is currently given to the major oil companies …they are doing just fine on their own” “Smarter Buildings may not be as sexy as some other green projects your hear about but they are most important given they contribute 40% of the carbon emissions in our country” “ Study and create solutions as if the country depends on it…(pause for effect)...because it does! ”
Here are the high level actions:
New tax incentives for building efficiency
· More financing opportunities for commercial retrofits
· “Race to Green” for state and municipal governments that streamline regulations and attract private investment for retrofit projects
· The Better Buildings Challenge
· Training the next generation of commercial building technology workers
The rapidly accelerating pervasive instrumentation and interconnection of the world’s infrastructure and the emergence of entirely new ways for businesses to organize, operate and differentiate, is transforming the competitive landscape. This is why I am on a plane to meet with the top technical team of a utility company to discuss how we can work with them to accelerate their business forward.
Sam Palmisano in his speech to the council on foreign relations last week, talked about A smarter planet, the next leadership agenda. Reference the New York Times article , by STEVE LOHRPublished: November 6, 2008. Sam Palmisano's call to action was a compelling one citing reasons like how much energy is needlessly wasted. For example: Did you know significant electrical energy is lost because of inefficient power generation and grid management? The inefficiencies in our current grids are systemic. With little or no intelligence to balance loads and monitor power flows, every year, grids around the world lose enough electricity to power India, Germany and Canada!
Sam also cited examples including: How gridlocked our cities are, How inefficient our supply chains are, How antiquated our healthcare system is:, How our planet's water supply is drying up…And, of course, the crisis in our financial markets…need I continue? Technology(in part) got us here and technology can get us out! Smarter industry based solutions are possible today.
You may have noticed that The Tivoli portfolio has been expanding to provide what is needed to manage the world’s infrastructure(beyond IT) Leveraging the breadth and depth of IBM’s products and services, Tivoli is uniquely positioned now to manage the world’s infrastructure, to deliver a smarter planet, to deliver IBM Service Management for Industries around the world….
Managing the World's Infrastructure
Let me elaborate on what I have stated - we leverage the full suite of Tivoli products as the building blocks of our solution work. The main focus of our work is on making service management more relevant for each industry, with easy to begin,entry points based on unique needs of that industry.
Today, SOA is at the heart of business transformation( in that SOA, for eg. provides greater flexibility to compose new business services ) and so Tivoli Industry Solutions largely uses SOA as a foundational architecture.
We also base our solution architecture on IBM’s Industry Frameworks which are software-based platforms based on business specific usage patterns including industry-specific extensions, business and technology standards and an ecosystem of independent partner assets, guided by industry and subject matter expertise, and a global delivery model that leverages Service, Software, Hardware from IBM and business partners.Putting Service Management in an industry context has been a significant amount of work but absolutely critical for the solution required for today’s challenges.
We do it by enabling better VCA (Vision, Control , and Automation) Isn’t there a saying that goes something like, if you can’t see it or you can't measure it, then you can’t manage it(or something like that anyways)… let me give a specific example: Recall how much energy is lost because of inefficient power generation and grid management. The impact of making the grid just 5% more efficient would be equal to removing the carbon footprint of 53 million automobiles! Better visibility and real time control of the grid is clearly needed and a great place to start. We are working with utilities on a solution to drive Visibility that will extend from IT Networks across the electric grid that will ultimately transform the transmission and distribution system into an intelligent (or smart) grid. We are working to improve control to pinpoint problems with event correlation across the grid and IT infrastructure and drive more automated problem resolution and, for example, provisioning of advanced meters that will provide better visibility to utility customers. There is huge potential here as well. One study shows that as much as 170 billion kw are wasted due to lack of visibility to residential customers.
Tivoli Industry solutions is rapidly evolving. Our first phase was focused on increasing our utility industry understanding and credibility, build out the Tivoli assets for the initial plays and complete initial validation. We are now advancing to real implementations and this is where it will get very exciting. Exciting not only for the impact that our work will have but also exciting in the part we are playing in the next leadership agenda - a smarter planet.[Read More]
One year ago, today, we acquired Encentuate, Inc. The team from Singapore and Redwood City, California brought best of class Single Sign-On technology to our security portfolio, which provides the ability to log in to internal applications, databases and other corporate systems with just one identity. This is one of the award winning technologies that serve as a building block for our Tivoli industry solutions. Happy Birtday Encentuate![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 2,837 Views
Did you know that buildings consume 20 percent of the world’s available water, a resource that becomes scarcer each year, according to the United Nations Environmental Program.
Water handling systems are becoming more critical factors in green design, construction and product selection, according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s latest SmartMarket Report. In fact, Water efficiency is quickly becoming a higher priority than other aspects of green building such as energy efficiency and waste reduction.
Efficiencies such as grey water treatment and low-flow plumbing fixtures, provide significant opportunities to build high-tech, low-water-demand projects that create green buildings.
Savings can be significant for cities across the nation. If businesses in California, for example, adopt proper water efficiency measures available today, enough water could be saved to supply San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Business benefits are the key growth drivers including the reduction of energy use (87 percent) and operating costs (84 percent), according to the report. Our team has been leveraging much of the work from smart grid to architect smart water solutions. Our solution improves visibility and the opportunity for control and automation. Understanding and placing better controls on a building's 'thirst' is a great place to start![Read More]
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]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 2,719 Views
IT defense-in-depth security design principles state that one gets better security enforcement when an entity is protected by not just one layer or one component, but by multiple, diverse mechanisms. These and many other IT security principles (such as segmentation of network zones, least privileges) are covered by IT security standards ISO 27002:2005 and ISO 15408. They cover areas such as trusted and consistent identities, authentication and access control, information flow control, audit and compliance and business and IT resiliency. Any energy and utility organization will need to build upon these same principles and objectives for their corporate business and IT infrastructures.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 2,628 Views
Today the WSJ reported that 'Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls...The espionage appeared pervasive across the U.S. and doesn't target a particular company or region, said a former Department of Homeland Security official...'
Protecting the nation's electrical grid is a key part of Obama's cybersecurity review. According to the results of a recent NERC survey, Michael Assante, VP and CSO, of NERC(North American Electric Reliability Corporation), raised the concern about the identification of critical assets and the associated Critical Cyber Assets which could be used to manipulate them.
The need is to identify and prioritize grid critical assets according to their relative importance to the infrastructure and then put the appropriate risk mitigation plans in place against these assets.
Current risk mitigation is organized more around single point of conventional failure rather than the type of cyber malware reported by the WSJ. We do,however, have technology available today that we can leverage. We can start with a focus on the intelligent application of tools that have been battle tested on the 'IT Grid' to the Electric Gridwhich can yield much if we can gain better visibility to the prioritized set of critical grid assets that must be protected.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ Tags:  energy sustainable tririga tivoli smarter_building 2,586 Views
There is nothing more exciting then winning a trifecta at the race track unless you live in the world of smarter buildings( like me )and are celebrating today’s triumvirate of IWMS, EAM and ITAM. See today's press release ( IBM to acquire Tririga )
This pioneering move to bring together these three worlds is the digital convergence of buildings and their associated equipment, end-to-end, that are required to deliver the services that differentiate each company. It is the new definition of smarter buildings.
And that is really good news for our customers as this will help them get the most from their infrastructure, an increasing area of focus.
Today, companies struggle with visibility into the operations of their building portfolio. Buildings and their assets are the second-largest expense on the balance sheet. Today most organizations rely on point products from different vendors to address areas such as: facility and datacenter infrastructure, lease obligations, energy and sustainability management, space and occupancy, and facility-condition assessment. Each product used by different departments maintains silos of information, making it difficult, if not impossible, to share across different operational functions locations. Similarly, business processes that span multiple groups cannot easily be supported when those groups are using different products.
TRIRIGA’s leadership in IWMS, coupled with IBM’s leadership in EAM and ITAM represents the perfect trifecta. And it is not just about the technology. Both companies combine deep services skills to help customers not only implement their software but transform process and policies, roles and responsibilities, and org structures to take smarter buildings to a new level.
The implementation of these systems is no longer possible by IT alone but by new alliances being formed from Personnel, facilities management and the CIO’s office. By working together, new strategic insight will emerge that will drive down portfolio cost and drive up operational efficiency.
IBM has been working over the last year to form new alliances with partners such as Johnson Controls, Inc., Honeywell, Eaton, and Autodesk to create new smarter building offerings that manage facilities, space, and energy. This welcome addition will extend and enhance our current joint offerings by adding enterprise-class management for real estate contracts, construction projects, occupancy, and environmental sustainability.
Helping companies become more efficient, reduce costs, and save energy is what makes Smarter Buildings a triple winner.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ Tags:  ibm smarter_building state_of_the_union innovation tivoli obama energy 2,546 Views
In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama set a goal of reducing dependence on polluting fuels over the next quarter century. In the U.S., buildings account for 40% of our total energy use, and by 2023, will be the top emitter of carbon dioxide. In IBM's strategic initiative to make buildings “smarter” we have found a significant opportunity to improve energy usage and building performance. Leveraging existing IT and communication technology, we have developed a way to wire into building management systems to drive end to end analytics and real time improvements. The results have shown up to a 200% return on investment. Utilizing this technology in one of our highest energy consuming manufacturing sites we created an 8% reduction in energy on top of the 6% reduction already being driven through energy improvement programs. That’s a 14% total year over year reduction!
President Obama also said that we need to out-innovate and out-build the rest of the world. He stressed the need for cutting edge initiatives in areas such as innovation and infrastructure. Making our new and existing buildings smarter is a great opportunity to do this. Innovation in building management not only makes them greener, it makes them more efficient and reducing building maintenance costs is key to making companies more profitable.. Innovation for smarter buildings includes a range of leading initiatives from analytics to smarter sensor technologies and related algorithms.
Leadership in this area will require a new set of skills that combine building facility management with IT management. This is driven by the convergence of digital and physical advances in the building space. Opportunities for these new skills and new roles are already being embraced by top universities as they create new cross-discipline majors. Tulane University is a great example as they work to rebuild not only the campus and city that was devastated by Katrina, but also the degree programs that will be relevant as we move forward and respond to the kind of call to action that Obama outlined. Tulane is working to combine engineering and life sciences in new ways and rise to the challenge of reinventing their school of architecture to include smarter building management.
The challenge is clear but the good news is so is the answer. We can get started today to rebuild our cities and communities, one smarter building at a time. We can accelerate this with new skills and roles for our workforce and show real leadership in the world.