IBM Shows Broad Mobile Portfolio at Largest Lab

IBM employs 45,000 software engineers worldwide, and like all large firms, has been greatly expanding its overseas contingent, leading some in the US to complain that not enough is being done “back home.” In mid-June, IBM provided an answer with the opening of a new lab facility in the Boston suburb of Littleton, Massachusetts, one of 70 IBM Software Labs around the globe, and its largest in North America.  It has “more square footage than Boston’s Fenway Park or the TD Garden,” IBM noted, and employs fully 10% of the firm’s software engineers. Since 2003, IBM said, it has acquired 14 Massachusetts-based companies, partnered with more than 100 VC-backed small firms, and has more than 1,600 business partners in New England. This investment was not lost on the Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts, who joined IBM SVP and Group Executive Steve Mills for the lab opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. In a bid to demonstrate the breadth of his portfolio, Mills assembled the heads of several of his software brands to discuss mobility, a primary focus of the Littleton lab. Read more of this post

And Then There Were Three: POWER, x86 and z

by Joe Clabby, President, Clabby Analytics. Updated from a November 2009 publication

There is a major shakeout underway in the midrange/high-end server marketplace as sales of Sun SPARC/CMT (cellular multi-threading) and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Itanium-based servers decline significantly — and as new, more powerful versions of Intel’s Xeon and IBM’s POWER micro-architectures come to market. Read more of this post

Cloud Performance Tuning and Capacity Planning – BTM Arrives

I’m delighted to feature this piece from Joe Clabby of Clabby Analytics, an independent technology research firm that focuses on systems, storage, networks, infrastructure, management and cloud computing. In this 8-page report, Joe looks at  business transaction management (BTM) — a segment of the application performance management (APM) market he believes anyone looking at cloud computing needs to know about.  It’s well worth investing the time to read this important piece of work.

What happens when a transaction is sent into a cloud for processing?  Which physical and virtual resources does it use (how do you do capacity planning in a cloud if you don’t know which resources a given transaction is using)?  What dependencies does the transaction have?  If the transaction is performing poorly, how can the fault be isolated?  If the transaction misbehaves intermittently, how can that fault be isolated?  And, how do you tune transactions in the cloud to improve performance?

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IBM’s OPAL – Open Treasure or Hidden Riches?

by Charles Brett, President of C3B Consulting and Publisher of INSIGHT-SPECTRA

IT software customers live in an increasingly expensive world. CIOs worry and worry still more as the escalating cost of software licenses and consequent maintenance consumes a greater and greater portion of their budgets. Towering above even these concerns, in C3B Consulting’s experience, is the trauma and cost of integrating disparate pieces of software, particularly middleware, into operations management.

IBM offers customers one approach to this in the form of an extensive library of over 1850 — often free — ‘integrations’ that can be obtained over the Web. This library rejoices in the name OPAL (standing for Open Process Automation Library), which can be found at www.ibm.com/software/tivoli/opal Read more of this post

Sybase Will Step Up In-Memory Message With New Release

Sybase has quietly racked up a string of successful growth years, riding its pioneering status in commercial analytic databases (ADBMS) and holding on to its loyal base in everyday DBMS after being elbowed aside by Oracle a decade ago. Its steady market performance has not been driven by dramatic innovations: Sybase has seemed to lag the Big Three (Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) in new feature/function. But it has innovated: IQ has grown into a key revenue source, and Sybase RAP has established itself as one of the more successful event processing offerings, with a string of Wall Street customers creating a new class of applications.

In the current (5-year-old) major release level of its flagship Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) product, Sybase has added user-defined SQL functions, support for plugin Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and JVM components, xml tables, SQL statement replication, new statistical aggregate functions, and a shared disk cluster edition. And now, Sybase is about to add new in-memory database capabilities and step up its support for external storage management. I’ve spent some time recently with the Sybase team to discuss their plans for the upcoming 15.5 release (currently available in a developer version), and found palpable excitement about the possibilities of their new work. Read more of this post

IBM Touts Software’s Role in Infrastructure Security, Efficiency

In April, IBM used two events to roll out important software elements of its Dynamic Infrastructure strategy. On the 20th, IBM chose the RSA Conference in San Francisco, the world’s largest security event, to highlight its progress with integrating products from existing brand families like Tivoli and Rational – with special focus on the Internet Security Systems (ISS) line and its X-Force R&D team, a preemptively focused organization whose work underpins much of the security innovation taking place.

A week later, IBM hosted a summit for hundreds of executives and a few industry analysts to roll out a series of products and initiatives, principally from the hardware side of the firm, but again featuring software from several company brands and IBM Research efforts. Common to both events was the increasing focus on end-to-end, suite-based deliverables with substantial services offerings from IBM’s own Global Business Services team as well as training, certification and support efforts for partners. IBM’s aggressive acquisition strategy was also much in evidence, as the integration, extension and rebranding of acquired products from 2007 and 2008 was showcased frequently. Read more of this post

DB2 9.7 Focuses on Costs, Simpler Management

IBM has announced, a bit earlier than originally planned, DB2 9.7 as well as InfoSphere Warehouse 9.7 (we’ll cover the latter in another post). A steady 3rd place in the DBMS market behind Oracle and Microsoft, DB2 nonetheless continues to make gains. IBM claims that its non-mainframe (IBM calls it “distributed”) DB2 revenue grew at a compounded 14% rate for the last 12 quarters. And in the face of a very difficult economic environment, IBM claims 30% growth for distributed DB2 in Q408. Read more of this post