Skip to content

STGEvent09 – The Last Morning

The Long Halls

This morning is the last day of the IBM Systems & Technology Group Analyst Summit, packed with a couple of panels and then (for me) winter air-travel roulette through O’Hare. I’m betting on snow. See the highlights from yesterday as well. Here are some highlights from the morning:

  • Rod Adkins opened with a brief talk going over revenues and R&D spend at IBM.
  • Since Oracle/Sun, Rod said, we think we’ve won well over 100 opportunities against their top 300 customers (that is, a 1/3 of top account). And if you look at the GB [SMB] space, we’ve had another 100 wins.
  • Research spend break out for IBM groups is: STG at 47%, SWG at 40%, Research 13%.
  • IBM’s Robert LeBlanc moderated the first panel – the usual prepaired mini-talks, but hey – with Jai Menon (IBM, CTO, VP, Technical Strategy), Bijan Davari (Next Generation Systems and Technology), David Lindquist (VP, CTO of Tivoli), Matt Leininger (Livermore labs).
  • The word from Bijan was that there wasn’t much more room for performance leaps in chips, which is one of those problems that’s been kicking around a lot recent. Instead of focusing just on processors to speed things up, then, you’ll have to tune other parts of the system, building “accelerators.” This fits with the System x contains more than just a generic pizza from yesterday.
  • Asked to summarize the types of innovations Tivoli is working on, David Lindquist said it’s around virtualization, standardization [of parts of the infrastructure stack], both of which lead to “extensive amounts of automation.” The goal of using these new things in IT management is “fundamentally lowering the cost of managing systems and dramatically increasing the pace at which you can deliver services.” I’m always a big fan of the second and, actually, the whole bucket of ideas is about the best hope for what “private cloud” will be, even if the moniker is a bit rankling.
  • As Merv summarized it, Matt said that “simulation is now a key pillar of science, enabling revolutionary breakthroughs.”
  • The take-away from this panel – as has been the general theme of most all talks here – was that integrated systems are the best way to go for performance, cost, and all that. As one of the panelist summed it up: “It’s hard to innovate within silos [the opposite of being integrated –Coté]. Really the next generation of [things] can only come in an integrated way.” Looking at new innovations in hardware, like SSDs, he continues, “to really take advantage of those things, it’s going to change the operating system, the database system – you’ve got change the whole stack.”
  • The next panel was run by Mark Shearer (VP Marketing Communications, Sales Support) and packed with IBM Fellows and Distinguished Engineers: Cod Barrera (Chief Technical Strategist Storage), Gregg McKnight (VP, System x), Guru Rao (Systems Chief Engineer, System z), Brad McCredie (VP, Power), Satya Sharma (Systems Software). Here, the idea was to speak to innovations in the works – driven by new customers needs like better power management, mostly – across the different systems and storage.
  • The panel opened up discussing the impact of Smart Planet think on their various systems. Essentially, there’s more data in lumpy, rather than regular, loads. For the z and other folks, there was much focus on using new technologies to speed up and enable more analytics and raw data processing, doing OLTP and the like optimizations with integrated systems.
  • Then the discussion moved to how reducing power consumption has become a key driver for systems design. The general goal here, most emphasis by Power’s Brad “No Socks” McCredie is to “keep taking the cost out of computing… To reduce [customer’s] total cost of ownership.”
  • On that topics, McCredie continued (not an exact quote): 10, 5 years ago performance was all that mattered, so everything (in a computer) was on, at full speed all the time. Now we let the customer control more of those performance aspects so they can go for trade-offs between power consumption and performance. This “lets the user setup the policy, we do those trade-offs across the stack.”
  • After this panel, IBM Research’s Brenda Dietrich was a stand-in for the scheduled speaker who got caught in weather. It was a reprise of the talk she gave at Connect09 on analytics, which is one of the more accessible and well put together talks on what analytics actually is, requires, and what you can do with them. As she said, “advanced analytics used to be pointed mostly at long-term problems- we had no choice. Now we can apply them faster.”
  • The last panel was a customer panel, packed with people speaking to how they were using IT as a core part of their business, as a way to not only meet the usual demands on IT, but provide new services to monetize. The panel was moderated by IBM’s Jim Corgel (GM, ISV and Developer Relations, SWG) and had: Scott Smith (eMeter), Mark Moore (S1 Corporation), David Fertig (The Systems House), Nishit Mehta (HyGen Pharmaceuticals), Michael Jacobs (FIS).
  • Having worked in the online banking world long ago (back at FundsXpress), I was especially interested in what Mark Moore had to say. S1 is looking at helping banks deliver very customized, “tailored services” for retail banking customers. And, having the fine grained, custom pricing that goes along with them. And, the never ending need for better fraud detection.
  • Apparently, FIS has recently decided to switch from System p to System z for what seemed like performance and data integrity reasons. As Michael said, there’s only so far they can go with parrell processing in banking where account clearing, for example, is a very linear task.
  • On the topic of eMeters, Scott Smith said: mostly we have large scales of data going on here, and needs for regulation and control. “there are 130M electric meters in NA – 416M meters worldwide – these are about to be changed. Large market. Large data *. eMeter says petabytes of data for utilities are coming and unprecedented. *

Disclosure: IBM paid T&E for this event and is a client. Dell is a client as well. See the RedMonk clients list for other relevant client.

Categories: Conferences, Enterprise Software, Systems Management.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comment Feed

3 Responses

  1. err, you had a security pass for that camera? Otherwise this most definitely isn't your fathers IBM… and in "Power’s Scott “No Socks” McCredie" – you of course mean Brad. unless of course he had tartan shorts on, which case I understand the Scott reference 😉

    Great notes, thanks for blogging and tweeting…

  2. I was at an IBM site years ago when my son was 2 years old. The receptionist insisted he wears a badge…


  3. Mark: yeah, Brad. Thanks for the correct! Nope, no security pass, just a request not to talk about NDA things, as usual at analyst events.