WebSphere Cast Iron Hypervisor Delivers Xen Support

WebSphere Cast Iron Hypervisor fix pack version became available on June 30, 2014, and with it came support for the Xen server as hosting environment.
Cast Iron Hypervisor delivers rapid cloud integration for companies that want to harmonize business processes across a hybrid landscape. Cast Iron delivers elegant integration solutions like the ability to:

  • Quickly connect cloud and on-premise applications
  • Chaperone legacy integrations into the cloud
  • Collaborate with IBM Worklight to externalize mobile-app enterprise data and processes

With the fix pack, Hypervisor can now run on one of these following hosting environments:

  • VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1, 5.0 or 5.1
  • IBM PureApplication System W1500
  • Xen server 4.1.2 running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Server release 5.6 and later 6.0

TxMQ offers full Cast Iron service and support. Contact VP Miles Roty for more information: [email protected], 716-636-0070 x228.

IBM's Big Spend: $3 Billion To Reach 7 Nanometers

I get excited when I hear about major new R&D, backed by major investment, all for a major goal. Like this one: IBM’s long-term goal to build a neurosynaptic system with ten billion neurons and a hundred trillion synapses, all while consuming only one kilowatt of power and occupying less than two liters of volume.
As a step toward that goal, IBM is committing $3 billion over the next 5 years for R&D to push the limits of chip technology. Cloud computing and big-data systems pose new demands like bandwidth-to-memory, high-speed communication and power consumption, which in turn demand more horsepower. IBM wants to breed the ultimate thoroughbred. So it’s using the $3 billion spend to push the limits of chip technology to smaller and more powerful scales. The R&D teams will include IBM research scientists from Albany and Yorktown, N.Y., Almaden, Calif. and Europe.
What’s really interesting is the semiconductor threshold: IBM says it wants to use the $3 billion to pave the way toward the 7 nanometer plateau (10,000 times thinner than a strand of human hair). IBM researchers and other semiconductor experts predict that while challenging, semiconductors show promise to scale from today’s 22-nanometer standard down to 14 and then 10 nanometers in the next several years. However, scaling to 7 nanometers (and perhaps below) by the end of the decade will require significant investment and innovation in semiconductor architectures as well as invention of new tools and techniques for manufacturing.
What happens beyond 7 nanometers? Then it’s time to ditch silicon and move to potential alternatives like carbon nanotubes or non-traditional computational approaches such as neuromorphic computing, cognitive computing, machine-learning techniques and quantum computing. So the quicker we get to 7 nanometers, the quicker we break into the promise of, say, quantum computing. And the quicker we break into the next computing revolution, the quicker we reach defining milestones of human history like interstellar travel and the end of disease. I firmly believe that.
IBM chip timeline

Predicting Tech: Is This The True Rush To The Cloud?

A few thoughts on cloud with an hour left at work on a Friday.

Hosted services aren’t new. Virtualization isn’t new. The practice of hosting applications grew out of advancements in virtualization technology. Remember it was mainframes that began offering “virtualized partitions” – what we know of today as logical partitions, or what were called LPARs in the 1960s. This technology eventually moved to the distributed world and allowed single physical boxes to host multiple, isolated environments or clients. Thus was born the first hosted applications, or what we can consider early cloud solutions.

Today the technology has advanced far beyond these simple examples. Hardware’s virtualized. So are applications. Memory, IO and network connectivity are not only virtualized, but now also managed (either by the hardware, the operating system or third-party software) to involve real-time redundancy and failover to produce nearly 100% uptime availability.

Thus we see old factory buildings and warehouses being repurposed as datacenters. Add in some redundant power, cooling and network connections and anyone can set up and host a cloud server farm. Seems like the rush has arrived, right?

Not so fast. There is a bullrush to move everything possible into the cloud. For the public at large, it’s a great way to store and access music, share photos, run productivity applications like Salesforce and Word and stream video. For a business, it’s a great way to add functionality without increased overhead. You don’t need a cross-company hardware upgrade or extra seat to support a new bit of enterprise software. The software is hosted, it runs through a browser and the cloud services provider handles backup, availability and most support (which you’ll want to confirm and evaluate, of course).

Yet for all the hype, the true rush-to-cloud hasn’t yet begun. Remember, when you move any portion of business or functionality into the cloud, you’re inevitably going to face bandwidth issues like massive upload queues, taxed servers, partial data loss or decay and all the other headaches that come from relying on someone else to deliver functionality that used to reside in-house. Total solutions have not yet arrived, but are on the way.

That’s why I argue that the true cloud rush probably won’t come until sometime in late-2015/early-2016.

What do you think? And why? Sound off in the comments section below.

Want to know more about how to move into the cloud? Contact TxMQ: (716) 636-0070 or [email protected].

New Year, New Technology Trends

By: Crystal Miller
As 2011 begins, here are some of the technology trends we’re seeing that business IT Professionals should have an active eye on to increase their value… both for themselves and the companies they work for:
1. Cloud Computing – As Cloud Computing continues to evolve it becomes more of a reality in the investment schedules for 2011. There is the obvious economic business advantage of being able to essentially leverage operations’ expense budgets by reducing the capitalization needed in ASPs. When many sectors are still looking at decreased budgets in 2011 but increased project loads, Cloud brings forward a strategic model that’s both financially compelling to large enterprises and well-timed. Look for utilization of IaaS and PaaS to increase in 2011 – especially PaaS cloud stacks as it allows for a more nimble environment for testing, conversion runs and temporary processing power boosts with less drain on company resources.
2. ‘Business Unit IT’ – Since the 80s, IT has been organized along functional, organizationally-centralized service lines, but times are changing. Look for notable movement to the ‘business-unit IT’ model where IT is more of a business partner for individual business segments within a corporation.  It will act as both a project manager and an analyst that can turn data into information that the business can act on. This movement continues the trend of the ‘business-aligned’ services units that was started by the HR BP replacement of HR Managers in the last decade.
3. Project Management – More than 40% of US companies are looking to add permanent project managers to their ranks this year; many of whom say they’re looking to professionals with PMP certifications first. That being said, this may be the year to invest in your continuing education if project management is an intended notch on your career ladder. Also, as the aforementioned Business Unit IT model grows; new PM hires will also have the added responsibility of increased ‘remote team’ management, off-site data security, and vendor/third-party oversight.
4. Application Development – As mobile enterprise workers continue to increase in number, and the smart-phone and tablet computing continue to gain popularity, the demand for JIT development professionals with rapid programming or agile methodology expertise is high on the ‘must-have’ lists for CIOs, CTOs, and IT HRBPs in 2011. Also, look to an increase in development professionals with experience in security design as the financial sector moves more towards the Cloud, creating additional emphasis is on the emerging trend of 360 security.

IBM's key solutions for company growth and success

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Nancy Pearson, VP BPM, SOA, & WebSphere Marketing, SWG at IBM about their solution categories and what it can do for your business.Check out her responses regarding what’s new and exciting with IBM technologies. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.
TxMQ: Can you please give a brief overview of the following IBM solution categories?


  • BPM: The basic operational value proposition of business process management (BPM) is the ability to process more with less effort and higher quality. BPM provides three core benefits – efficiency, effectiveness and agility. We’re continuing to invest in our market-leading BPM portfolio, which includes products many of you may already be using, such as WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Business Modeler, WebSphere Business Monitor, and WebSphere Lombardi Edition. You can discover, document, automate, and improve revenue-generating processes to drive growth, reduce cost, and optimize execution across your business network. IBM can help you get started with a BPM solution that will help deliver business agility by providing a prescriptive approach based on best practices from more than 5,000 customer engagements.
  • SOA: As business processes evolve, suppliers and regulations change. Organizations need to have seamless integration and connections within the boundaries of the organization and across trading networks. It’s vital to share services across domains to optimize business performance and improve flexibility.  They also need any-to-any connectivity to allow easy integration within and beyond the company – connecting systems throughout their dynamic business network.  In addition, it is also useful to have a federated approach that helps manage complexity – even as they share services across different domains.  We have leading integration and SOA capabilities that include WebSphere Message Broker, WebSphere DataPower, and WebSphere MQ products. We’re improving our capabilities in this area with WebSphere MQ Telemetry, which enables intelligent decision making based on remote real-world events. We’re also enhancing IBM Cast Iron appliances. IBM Cast Iron appliances help integrate on-premise applications with cloud-based apps. And you can build, run and manage an integration between applications and deploy it using a physical on-premise appliance, a virtual appliance, or completely within a multi-tenant cloud service.
  • Cloud: Your company needs to be able to respond quickly to business changes that effect your applications and services, all while managing costs. Virtualization and Cloud are key technologies that enable you to control costs while adding flexibility to the infrastructure that supports your applications and services. With Virtualization and Cloud technologies, you can simplify management of applications and services while optimizing the usage of your infrastructure resources. Given the inherent flexibility of virtualized infrastructure, you can roll out new products and services more dynamically. And you can ensure immediate application response with through elastic scalability. We’re continuing to invest in our core application infrastructure portfolio that includes CICS, WebSphere Application Server, and WebSphere Virtual Enterprise. We are announcing a new Feature Pack for Modern Batch for our WebSphere Application Server, which provides support for a Java Batch programming model for the development and deployment of batch applications. You can also migrate applications developed using the feature pack to IBM’s comprehensive batch platform, WebSphere Compute Grid, without making any application changes.

TxMQ: Can you describe the type of company or the business needs best served by one or more of these technologies?

IBM: Think about today’s business structure. It is a growing network of relationships between employees, customers, suppliers and partners. It encompasses the people, processes and systems inside and outside the organization. It continues to get broader and more complex. Above all, it’s always changing. Suppliers come and go. Regulations change. New relationships emerge. It’s become a truly dynamic business network.
The ideal business looking to integrate these products is businesses is looking to successfully deal with this change and complexity that are using these technologies. The new business environment will favor companies able to execute faster, with more dexterity, across their dynamic business network. That’s why the ability to help deliver agility with these capabilities is so important.
TxMQ: What benefit will be derived from implementing one or more of these integrated technologies?
IBM: Agile businesses have higher EPS growth, ROI and return on capital, with faster revenue growth than their industry peers.
Only IBM has the products and expertise to deliver on the promise of business agility. Using the best practices from thousands of customer engagements, deep industry expertise and market leading products, IBM can deliver a road map to help you achieve profitable growth and enable business agility. To get you started with a project that meets your business objectives, IBM Software Services for WebSphere (ISSW) offers IBM QuickStart services to accelerate the delivery of a deployed solution, helping you realize value quickly around BPM, rules, events, SOA, cloud computing and virtualization. IBM will get you up and running with a high ROI project in just 90 days, delivering great business value you can showcase around your organization. They’ll also set you up with a great proofpoint for taking further steps, should you choose to do so in the future. As business value is realized, you can extend those projects both vertically and horizontally to make your organization even more nimble. Such an integrated approach encompasses your business processes, relationships and infrastructures, helping you fully realize true business agility.
TxMQ: What company officials generally need to be a part of the decision to implement IBM technologies?
IBM: That’s an interesting question, because the issues being solved here are top-of-mind with many CEOs.  Just this year we published our most recent research based on interviews with over 1500 CEOs worldwide.  The full study can be found here:  www.ibm.com/ceostudy
CEOs are clearly interested in the power of these capabilities to transform their business.  More directly involved are the line of business executives that own the outcomes and the key processes used to deliver them.
I started with the business executives because these technologies are very much about aligning IT with the business – so it’s important for that connection to occur, as it makes sense for a project.  When an initial project begins, you typically see the LOB executives, their IT counterparts, and the IT managers in charge of the applicable applications and associated software infrastructure directly involved.
Clearly though, other IT executives, from the CIO to the chief architect, play a critical role in making sure that initial projects can be leveraged down the road , as capabilities are extended for the broader benefit of the organization.
TxMQ: How will the new technology allow companies to strengthen existing customer relationships?
IBM: A Smart SOA approach can help any business manage complexity and improve agility by enabling integration, interaction, and business execution across distributed value chains. With solutions for seamless, any-to-any integration and connectivity, within and beyond the organization, IBM can help you:

  • Maximize service reuse across your enterprise
  • Federate within and across SOA domains, including cloud and smart devices
  • Enhance flexibility and security across your enterprise

New IBM solutions simplify integrating your software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud applications with on-premises applications. With configurable access to today’s most prevalent SaaS and cloud applications, integration takes days versus weeks or months.
IBM, together with Sterling Commerce, helps you gain greater control over, and flexibility with, critical business processes within and beyond the enterprise. Sterling B2B Integration extends connectivity across channels to trading partners so you can:

  • Communicate efficiently across, and extend management of, trading partner communities
  • Eliminate “blind spots” and improve business performance with real-time business transaction visibility and performance metrics
  • Minimize business risk and achieve consistent policy enforcement and compliance

TxMQ: How difficult is the transition into these products and how much downtime can a company expect?
IBM: We continue to invest in making our solutions as simple and effective as possible.  To help our clientele transition to our products, we have introduced innovative new cloud-based offerings that enable you to get up and running quickly with minimal IT investment. Our new IBM Blueworks Live offering is a great example, allowing you to automate simple processes in just 90 seconds! We have also introduced WebSphere Hypervisor Editions for many of our offerings that significantly speed time to value for deploying and configuring environments. WebSphere Hypervisor Editions allow you to install and configure defined standard topology patterns in a matter of hours, and easily manage installation and deployment.
TxMQ: Are there any new and particularly exciting product updates within a specific industry?
IBM: We have delivered a lot of exciting product enhancements across multiple industries.  One of the really exciting announcements we have made is around IBM Blueworks live – a new BPM in the Cloud offering that allows knowledge workers to leverage the benefits of BPM in a cloud environment to capture, understand, collaborate on, and improve everyday processes that drive their businesses. Blueworks Live combines the best of our two previous BPM in the cloud offerings: the community from BPM BlueWorks and the process documentation of BPM Blueprint. On top of that, Blueworks Live adds in exciting new automation capabilities, creating a first-of-its-kind, best in class new offering to improve processes. BlueWorks Live helps turn the unstructured  activities of real business people into automated processes, with the added benefits of visibility, understanding, insight and control.
We also have enhanced our industry accelerators to include updated support for industry standards, more pre-built assets, and an enhanced industry asset navigator tool.  These industry accelerators cover a wide range of industries including Banking, Insurance, Healthcare and Telecommunications.
TxMQ: What’s the best way for a company to choose the right product to fit their needs?
IBM: The first step is to identify your business objectives. With all the complexity of a dynamic business network, starting down the road to business agility can seem challenging. The key to success is to use the right approach, an approach that starts with careful analysis that is focused on business value, and then expands slowly leveraging incremental successes along the way. By first documenting what your business pains and goals are, you can understand which area to focus on first. Are you trying to solve a process issue?  Do you need to establish better linkages across your dynamic business network with customers, suppliers and partners? Are you looking to control costs and add flexibility to your application infrastructure? IBM can help you identify the best solution to meet your business objectives and provide a roadmap for achieving those business goals.
TxMQ: How are the new versions of the aforementioned products better and more efficient than previous editions?
IBM: I’ve mentioned several of the updates already. The bottom line is that we’re bringing forward improved ways to be prescriptive in delivering business agility. With things like the new IBM Blueworks BPM in the cloud offering and new IBM QuickStart services, we’ve brought together the technology and expertise of IBM to engage both business and IT in projects that return real value in the short term, and set the foundation for extended value in the longer term.
TxMQ: Can you share any new and exciting products that companies can look forward to in 2011?
IBM: I can’t provide specific details around our planned announcements for 2011, I can tell you that we have a lot of exciting things planned. I would encourage you to register at www.ibm.com/impact for our Impact 2011 conference, which is being held in Las Vegas April 10 – 15th, 2011. At the conference, you can learn about our new products and announcements across BPM, SOA and Application Infrastructure. Impact 2011 will feature a world-class Technology Program with over 400 sessions on WebSphere BPM, SOA, commerce and cloud technologies. We will also have a Forbes sponsored Business Program with over 40 sessions addressing critical business topics and issues, and a state-of-the-art EXPO and Product Technology Center featuring the latest technologies from IBM and IBM Business Partners.