Here are the results from 40 techinical IBMers, 300 people at the Las Vegas Technical University (mostly customers, some business partners and a few IBMers) and 90 more from the same event in Lyon, France. Remember this contains no announcements, the technology is available now and the choice of technology is entirely my own. Voters were allowed to vote for 4 out of the 10 and the results are percentages. All technologies got votes, so there is no failures here, even the lowest scoring one had ~47 votes.
- Clearly, Solid State Drives technology is a winner = amazing speed and reducing costs over the next few years means wide scale adoption. As one person pointed out, it is likely to take over from the 15 K rpm disks first as they are the most expensive.
- Next is FCoCEE - one adapter and cable to cover both Ethernet and SAN = reduced PCIe slots, reduced remote I/O drawers, reduced adapters, reduced cables, reduced switch ports and increased RAS (less bits to fail) for roughly half the cost or same cost by higher bandwidth.
- Then comes Systems Director (the base functions like Automation manager or Update Manager for HMC, firmware, AIX) - which was a surprise to me. You might notice there are three other yellow items. They are using plug-ins for Systems Director - added together they make a strong case for this technology.
- Fourth, is the Pre-Built Solutions - IBM creates and tests the solution stacks once, instead on 1000's of customers doing it themselves. Reduced effort, reduced time to going into production, reduced risks and IBM sends you pre-tested upgrades (they are not treated as a bag of bits).
- Fifth, we have AEM for saving energy, saving money and saving the planet plus with POWER7 based machines over-clocking - an inexpensive way to get extra performance as a bonus.
- Sixth is the first of the cluster technologies, this one is auto load-balancing across a group of machines with Systems Director VMControl. If we add the secondary "side effect" of Cluster Evacuation for maintenance, upgrades and firmware/function improvements, we actually get to 57% and it gets this pair to 3rd place - perhaps I should have made this one category!
- I was disappointed that AME and Versioned WPARs were not more popular - I think both of them are excellent technology, very simple to use and have clear pay back benefits. Perhaps, they appeal to limited numbers of customers but may be very useful to them.
- One thing I would do differently is remove the GHz barrier and single threaded applications item - the problem is that we have already hit this problem, we know the answer (every application must be multi-threaded and should have been for 15 years) and there really is no choice or alternative.
The results in numeric form:
- 64% Fibre Channel Over Converged Enhanced Ethernet - merged Ethernet & SAN network adapters
- 87% Solid Start Drive - a disk on a chip - no more brown spinning disks
- 27% Active Memory Expansion by compressing memory
- 35% Cluster Automatic Load Balancing using Systems Director VMControl
- 22% Cluster Evacuation via Live Partition Mobility using Systems Director VMControl as a Concurrent Maintenance alternative
- 41% Active Energy Manager - to save electricity and over-clock POWER7 machines
- 19% The CPU GHz barrier means every application must be multi-threaded - if not change you ISV
- 11% Versioned WPARs to run AIX 5.2 on POWER7/AIX7 - get it supported
- 45% Pre-Built Solutions like Cloud, Analytics & DB2 PureScale - sold & serviced as a whole, no bag of bits, no more hand made application stacks
- 50% Systems Director code functions like update manager, automation manager and a single screen to manage everything IBM