R&D for the ‘Born-on-the-Web’ Generation: Part 2 – Interview with IBM’s Director of Product Line Management

Last week Richard Talbot, IBM’s Director of Product Line Development, told us about IBM’s exciting Innovation Jams and how IBM keeps a competitive edge in an ever-changing agile environment.

(Did you miss it?  No problem. Catch up here)

This week, IBM will talk to us about tackling Big Data challenges with their new power system and how IBM manages development for the ‘Born-on-the-Web’ Generation. We’ll also discuss roadmaps, social integration and more innovation!

Keep reading.

Spectechular: Everyone is talking about Big Data. What is IBM doing that’s different and how do you tackle Big Data Challenges. 

We’re excited to announce our new POWER8 systems recently.

For the last 3+ years of technology and system development, we targeted specifically the rapidly evolving compute and storage challenge of big data, analytics, social, mobile and cloud computing.

We worked closely with our IBM Watson development colleagues in depth, for example, on the performance and optimization of these new analytics applications to deliver the highest possible application performance to ingest more and broader ranges of data, enable deeper levels of insight and expand deployment options. Since we have access to the Power hardware and software stack, we can tune and optimize at all layers of the system architecture for these new application environments.

“When we tell our clients that Watson is available only on Power Systems, we have a responsibility to deliver the most compelling performance and reliable systems, for example, worthy of tackling our clients most challenging application and business problems. “

We’re also working directly with SoftLayer, Google and other OpenPOWER members in the deployment of POWER8 systems across a broad range of bare metal and high value SaaS cloud offerings. As many of our traditional enterprise clients begin to rent cloud-based resources, we believe it’s critical to provide a choice of technology, system architecture and cost-effective deployment options. New POWER8 enabled technologies, such as CAPI (Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface) for attaching accelerators, such as flash memory, networking and FPGAs, directly to the processor and sharing the same address space, is already reshaping the way we think about bringing big data closer to the computational muscle of these new systems.

The addition of new Linux distro’s and open stack infrastructure is also resonating with developers of next generation, born-on-the-web applications. They want choices of technology and system architecture that yields competitive advantage also. 

 “Clearly, mobile and social technologies are no longer novelties; they’re our fundamental means of interacting with each other, and each one of these interactions creates unpredictable ebbs and flows of connections that span a vast array of technology ecosystems that rely upon secure and highly available compute, storage and networking capabilities to handle the unprecedented volumes of data that we now generate.

Our clients and users have higher expectations and are facing new challenges for the usage of this data.

For example, users expect anytime, anywhere access to information and lightning speed response time. At the same time, organizations have higher expectations of IT to generate more value, such as improved economics and efficiency, as well as the ability to convert data into meaningful insight to make better business decisions.

This is the environment we planned for these new POWER8 systems to excel and deliver exceptional value.

Spectechular: The changing client puts value on integration. How does IBM’s roadmap prepare for this? 

All too often, IT shops are responsible for assembling and integrating a broad range of complex technologies to maintain leadership in the IT industry they serve.

We understand the challenge and frequently collaborate with our clients on the development of new offerings targeting these applications and environments.

We believe the most significant elements of our role continues to be: factory-integration of high value applications, servers, storage, network and management infrastructure; enabling these integrated offerings easy to order and deploy with reduced complexity and risk; enabling fast time-to-value and a documented reference architectures for our clients that prefer to build their own configurations.

Spectechular: What does your road map say? 

We plan to continue to announce more POWER8-based systems and enhancements to existing offerings. We will also announce new offerings and technology coming from the OpenPOWER Foundation members at an increasing pace. Our roadmap also features on-going enhancements to our primary operating systems — AIX, IBMi and Linux — and serving the third party Power ecosystem partners around the world by making it even easier to develop new workloads on the Power platform.

Spectechular: What is your eye on now?

In the world of big data, analytics, social media, cloud and new mobile technologies, there’s no shortage of exciting opportunities to improve how these new cognitive systems and people interact. In many cases, we’re truly only limited now by our own creativity and imagination how to combine and analyze these different forms of data, making more informed, data-driven decisions and changing the profile of how our businesses operate.

I am the IBM advocate for a large medical center and major university. We’re working with them on several new programs enabled by POWER8 technology in the search for enhanced treatment options and possibly cures for complex disease processes.

It’s beyond exciting to imagine this new technology has the capacity to enable new clinical big data and analytics applications to change the profile of complex disease treatment.

That’s my passion and commitment.





Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.