Posts Tagged ‘IBM’

IBM, Actifio to help wannabe providers take on cloud giants

February 21st, 2012

There’s thin provisioning and there’s thin copying, which Actifio provides. IBM likes what it sees and is partnering Actifio with a get-you-into-the-cloud offer for wannabe service providers. The pitch is that you need far less disk storage and fewer storage-specific applications so that you can offer out cloud services while not paying existing storage hardware and software prices.

How is this trick pulled off? It’s Actifio’s PAS (Protection and Availability System) software, which copies production data and then its changed blocks using Virtual Data Pipeline technology, and then stores it in deduplicated form. It then presents virtual copies of it, at desired points in time, to all applications that need a copy of the data.

You no longer need backup and restore software, DR software, business continuity software, test and dev copies of the data, or copies of the data for analytics. In fact you basically need just two copies of your data: the production version, and Actifio’s PAS copy, like an Apple Time Machine backup in a way. All the different copy silos are converged onto one PAS silo with multiple virtual copies presented from it.

Big Blue and Actifio say: “By combining server, storage and data management virtualisation technologies, with a purpose-built Service Level Agreement (SLA)-driven operational model, Actifio and IBM will be able to deliver solutions that break down the cost, complexity and operational barriers to cloud-based storage solutions.”

It means that VARS and other wannabee cloud service providers – the ones without the scale of Amazon, Google, Joyent or Rackspace or a hosting/co-lo organisation – can get into the cloud and make money offering services because their own data centre costs will be cheaper through this Actifio copy reduction software. The two claim service provider’s costs could be lowered by up to 90 per cent because of it.

NaviSite is on board. Its president, R Brooks Borcherding, said: “The combination of Actifio and IBM … allows us to deploy a more cost effective network, better manage our data, and deliver new self-service enhancements. As a result, our customers gain increased visibility and management control over their cloud storage environments from NaviSite.”

In the combined offer, PAS supports IBM’s DS3500 Express, V7000, XIV, and SVC storage hardware and software. IBM, with its reach, is a great partner for Actifio and its CEO and founder, Ash Ashutosh, reflected this in his canned statement: “With technology crossing the tipping point, VARs can become service providers and, along with existing service providers, deliver differentiated data management services quickly and cost-effectively, supported by IBM’s global delivery capabilities.”


IBM to expand software services for SMBs

February 16th, 2012

IBM will be expanding its software portfolio for millions of small and medium businesses (SMBs), having an employee base between 5 to 500.

The American giant plans to offer its Lotus Foundations servers to SMBs, through IBM Business partners. The company has also announced a managed beta of a web delivered service by the name ”Bluehouse,” providing extranet services to SMBs, enabling them to collaborate beyond their organizational boundaries.

With Lotus Foundations and Bluehouse, used separately or in combination, organizations will be able to take advantage of enterprise-strength software, delivered for start-up businesses without the IT staff.

”Our SMB approach which combines easy to-deploy, self-managed on premise servers with web delivered extranet collaboration services uniquely empowers SMBs to succeed in any market,” said Mike Rhodin, GM, IBM Lotus Software.

Based on Linux, IBM Lotus Foundations is expected to provide server software that requires minimal technical expertise and is able to manage and heal itself.


Minister Frowns at Importation of Software

February 13th, 2012

The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson has frowned at the over $100 million spent yearly by Nigeria on the importation of foreign software, describing it as a disincentive to Nigeria’s quest of becoming an economic bloc by year 2020.

Johnson while speaking at the recently held 5-Day Youth Empowerment and ICT Foundation Software Training for youths, sponsored by the Jim Ovia Foundation in Lagos noted that economies that pride themselves as major economic bloc globally today, do more of production than consumption.

According to her, to curb this growing influence in Nigeria, there is need for the country to develop a vibrant software industry, which will help in the reduction of heavy import bills, but create jobs, especially for the youths.

Johnson said developing skills and empowering young Nigerians to be software entrepreneurs is an important part of building a vibrant, commercially successful and socially useful software industry for economic growth.

She said “There is reliable information from the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) that Nigerian spends hundreds of millions of dollars purchasing software from foreign firms.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Foundation, Jim Ovia stressed the need for youths to adapt to changes and embrace ICT for entrepreneurial development.

Ovia, who said the programme was in partnership with leading ICT firms including Google; IBM; Visafone among others, emphasised that youths needed to learn from the likes of Bill gates, founder of Microsoft; the late Apple computer founder, Steve Jobs; Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg among others.


Software tools ease AUTOSAR compliance

February 10th, 2012

Automobiles of all types have evolved from basic transportation to elaborate “systems of systems,” which incorporate hardware and software components that give consumers a range of software-enhanced experiences. These range from the highly visual multimedia dashboard to the data-driven performance of fuel delivery, braking, and drivetrain systems. To meet market demands, automakers are launching new cars with the latest technologies, or they are substantially re-engineering older models to retain and expand their existing customer base.

This means that advances in automotive technology have led to exponential increases in complexity, competition, and cost. Within the automotive space, perhaps more than in any other industry, these three “Cs” are directly related to each other. Growing complexity derives both from the need to stay competitive within the supply chain and from the tremendous increase in software and systems engineering practices that play the biggest role in vehicle design—all of which impact cost. Specifically, the electrical, electronic, and software components determine 75% of a car’s value these days, with up to eighty electronic control units (ECUs) and ten million lines of code per vehicle.

The complex combinations of mechanical and electronic equipment that define today’s automotive products are essentially large systems comprised of smaller systems. Relying heavily on software for data-driven performance and competitive differentiation, these “systems of systems” require stakeholders to understand that decisions made during the conceptual design stages impact all other areas of engineering and development.

Never has this sort of detailed understanding of design, materials, suppliers, and processes been more critical. The auto industry has seen a dip in earnings over the past decade, with many bankruptcies or mergers and acquisitions impacting the bottom line. Along the way, rapidly rising prices for raw materials were another factor. To reduce costs and increase profit margins, automotive companies are seeking new ways to cooperate with each other.

The remainder of this article will explore how the recent alignment of automotive manufacturers under the AUTOSAR initiative is beginning to improve on these industry-wide constraints, and, as an example, how IBM and its partner Elektrobit are advancing automotive design and development technology that helps businesses implement these new capabilities.

The automotive industry responds with AUTOSAR
In order to manage the complexity and challenges throughout the automotive industry supply chain as well as the internal challenges businesses have in staying competitive, automobile manufacturers, suppliers, and tool developers jointly developed an open, standardized architecture called AUTOSAR.


IBM opens new centre in Bangalore

February 10th, 2012

IT giant IBM has set up a centre in Bangalore that will offer solutions to automate and accelerate the purchasing, sales and customer service functions.

The new Centre of Excellence (CoE) at the India Software Lab will offer solutions to organisations across India, South Asia and Asia Pacific.

The CoE will consist of a team of 25 technical experts selected from the business to business and commerce enterprise marketing management teams from India Software Lab, IBM said in a statement.

India Software Lab (ISL) is one of the largest product development centres for IBM globally. ISL focuses on developing products, technology and solutions for IBM Software Group, IBM Systems and Technology Group and IBM Engineering & Technology Services.

“By bringing together a powerful combination of technical expertise, domain knowledge, and best practices from IBM’s extensive global engagements, the CoE will offer innovative solutions to automate and accelerate the purchasing, marketing, sales and customer service functions to organisations across India, South Asia and Asia Pacific,” India Software Lab Vice-President Gopalakrishnan said.

IBM commerce solutions have enabled customers like ING to increase average campaign response rates and expects to reduce its direct marketing costs by 35 per cent per year, the company added.

“The CoE for Smarter Commerce, will work closely with the business teams on customising Smarter Commerce solutions for companies. These solutions, across different technology platforms, will integrate and more effectively manage the value chain across buying, marketing, selling and service processes for different sectors,” Gopalakrishnan said.

In India, IBM is working with leading companies in retail, financial services, auto and manufacturing sectors.


IBM reveals mobile management software

February 6th, 2012

The IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, based on technology acquired from IBM’s 2010 acquisition of BigFix Inc. The application enables remote management of tablet and mobile devices running on Apple iOS, Android, Symbian and Windows operating systems.

Endpoint Manager allows administrators to remotely wipe data from devices that may be lost or stolen, and also gives better capabilities to enforce passcode policies, encryption, VPN and other corporate security policies.

The software can also identify non-compliant devices and take action by denying email access or by issuing user notifications until corrective actions are implemented.

At the end of 2011, almost half of mobile devices used in the workplace were employee owned according to IDC.

“As the BYOD movement accelerates, it presents new opportunities and challenges for organizations. In order for them to take advantage of this trend, it is important that organizations have mobile security and management policies in place,” said Bob Sutor, vice president, IBM Mobile Platform. “The new offering from IBM will help organizations manage personal and enterprise-owned mobile phones and tablets across IT networks in order to minimize risk, increase productivity and enhance innovation.”


IBM Bags Mobile Software Firm Worklight

February 2nd, 2012

International Business Machines (IBM) has announced that it is going with the proposed acquisition of Worklight – a private company that excels in smartphone and tablet applications.

Worklight’s services enable its customers to come up with different versions of their apps for multiple smartphone and tablet OS platforms. In addition, the company is also known for providing its services to establish secure connectivity between smartphones (as well as tablet devices) and enterprise IT systems.

IBM announced that the deal is likely to be closed some time by the end of the running quarter itself. Neither of the companies however, disclosed the financial terms of the deal.

“What you’re looking at is still a web page, but it’s programmable enough that you get all the good stuff under the covers. We think that’s going to be an interesting sweet spot,” said Bob Sutor, IBM’s vice president of mobile platform.

Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president in charge of middleware software, on the other hand expressed his views with the words: “Now is the time to make IBM essential in the era of mobile computing.”


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