Penton Media sponsors TEC 2010

Good news for TEC 2010! Penton Media is now a sponsor and will be enabling Mel Beckman to deliver his sessions at TEC 2010. Mel is a well known IBM industry technical writer and network engineering consultant that will add real depth and experience to our conference.

Specifically, we look to Mel to deliver a ½ hands-on sessions to help prepare and build your own IPv6 network. As a general session, Mel will address TCP/IP networking. For advanced topics, he will cover best practices for handling security and authentification issues. Network engineers for IBM Power systems will want to mark these sessions on thier TEC 2010 calendar. 

As a result of the sponsorship, all TEC attendees will also receive distribution copies of System i  News from Penton Media.

 Welcome Mel! Thanks you Penton! Stay tuned to TUG website for agenda updates and details.


DB2 pureScale at TEC 2010

I am in Austin this week at an IBM briefing and there has been a long parade of speakers, products and technologies. But, every once in a while, a topic really catches your attention.

I’ve always been keen about the IT debate whether to “scale up” or “scale out”.  In other words, do you  resolve application performance problems by adding more nodes in a cluster (scale out) or by adding more resources to an existing system (scale up)? System i customers typically and easily solve problems by scaling a system up:  adding more processors, memory and disks to an existing system. AIX and Linux customer have more of a dilemma since clustering is more commonplace and so they have options. Some applications, such as WebSphere Application Server, better lend themselves to clustering because of products such as WebSphere ND (Network Deploy) where you can string hundreds of servers together to power huge websites. Customers often view scale out as “cheaper” since they can leverage commodity processors and avoid tiered SW charges.

Database has traditionally been the holdout to the “scale out” model. Conventional wisdom is that to keep pathlengths down and reliability up, database is best kept on a single server and the larger the DB, the bigger the server. This is the typical System i response. Oracle first challenged this with their popular RAC (Real Application Cluster) technology. Oracle is aggressively pushing and “upgrading” their customer base to RAC and receives enormous attention and focus by the IT community.

What is IBM’s response? Is IBM ready to cluster DB2 as well? 

Instead of announcing an also-ran product, IBM decided to leapfrog Oracle RAC by digging deep into their enterprise portfolio of innovation, patents and products. Leveraging technology from mainframes (Parallel Sysplex) and AIX (GPFS – General Parallel File System,) IBM now has DB2 pureScale… a cluster-based shared disk architecture.

DB2 pureScale scales capacity linearly for transactional workload. It’s done by connecting a new node and issuing two simple commands. You don’t need to change your application code to efficiently run on multiple nodes. DB2 pureScale provides continuous availability through the use of IBM PowerHA pureScale technology on IBM Power systems and a redundant architecture. The system recovers nearly instantaneously from node failures, immediately redistributing the workload to surviving nodes.

It turns out the IBM Toronto Lab in instrumental in delivering this. So when I met Paul Awad, the DB2 Product Manager from the Toronto Lab, I asked if he was willing to share more information about DB2 and PureScale with the TUG and TEC crowd at our TEC2010 and he was happy to do so.

So now we’ve added an excellent session to our TEC agenda on DB2 pureScale… straight from the lab. I can imagine that this topic will be of general interest as it deals with database scalability, clustering , resilience and anyone who even remotely is interested in Oracle RAC.

Check out our agenda on the TUG website!

IBM Smart Business at TEC 2010!!

What is IBM doing to appeal to small business with everyday needs? We see plenty of headlines about cell-based supercomputers, 1000-node clusters, systems with 32-cores of processing power and dozens of LPARs but what about the small business user, who thinks 2 cores are 1 more than needed? What is IBM doing to provide value and appeal to them?

 This brings us to the topic of IBM Smart Business. It’s IBM’s Systems and SW offering to appeal to the small business market and compete with Microsoft. I’ve been following the Smart Business developments closely for a year now and I have had excellent meetings with key leaders such as Amy Anderson and Mike Prochaska in New York, Rochester and San Francisco. I am very pleased to report that we are bringing Smart Business on our TEC 2010 agenda, Amy Anderson has confirmed the session and so now we can unveil this project in Canada and you can see for yourself! In fact, there is a strong connection between this program and the fact that SugarCRM and Zend are coming to TEC.

 The IBM Smart Business Initiative (formerly Blue Business Platform) was launched in 2009. The genesis of the project was to create a new integrated system offering for small business that offers application selection, ease of use, and integration. These values sound very familiar to old AS/400 shops, because they are the same. The launched offering consisted of three major components:       

  1.  Smart Market:  Electronic marketplace of applications organized around customer business (such as industry, size, and business needs).
  2. Smart Cube: Appliance-like system which comes in configurations to match requirement, is pre-loaded with deep integrated software stack and supports SaaS and Cloud extensions.
  3. Smart Desk: included with every Smart Cube, provides a single,  consistent interface to install, configure, manage, license, administer, and maintain Smart Cube and IBM Smart Business applications and services: always ON and connected.

 Smart Business can be thought of as the application system equivalent of a set-top box for cable TV. You plug the box into the internet. It auto-configures. You shop for the movies (applications) you want. They get downloaded, configured and maintained for you automatically. You watch (use) them as you please, pay and can always order extra features. The system always knows what you are doing and you get instant support/access/diagnostics. Through this, cost of sales, operations and support is greatly reduced and thus it as excellent value for the customer.

The OS selection for the smart cube is as follows:

  • Intel Smart Cube: Linux
  • Power Smart Cube: IBM i

 It includes a middleware software stack which is “deeply integrated” as OEM components. ISVs are encouraged to leverage these. Much of the real value in the SB platform comes from the web/electronic support, single point of contact and the partner portal/repository.

 The initial launch was in India and USA. India was chosen because of growth and use of the English language. The USA launch featured Inutit QuickBooks Enterprise. The third launch is Italy. IBM has a strong bundle with the Top Italiani iSV (ACG) who have re-written the app, coupled a pricing model and channel strategy to replace old inventory and add new footprints. Apparently, this was a huge success

 For 2010, Smart Business is going mainstream and has been integrated into IBM’s Cloud strategy and Software group.

Come to TEC… learn first-hand about IBM SmartBusiness.

TEC 2010 Track Overview

Key Tracks, Speakers and Sessions

 Power Systems.          We seek to highlight brand new Power Systems announcements and feature operational tools and processes spanning: IBM Director, virtualization, Active Energy Management, Active Memory Sharing, HA/DR, and BladeCenter. The sessions are equally appealing to i, AIX and Linux operational folks and feature mostly expert speakers from IBM.

I’ll be personally arming myself with the pre-announce information as a POWER7 champion in Austin Texas, and will use this to engineer the ultimate content for TEC

Application Development. This track is oriented to application developers, whether i, AIX, Linux, Microsoft or otherwise. It will highlight recent IBM Rational Product announcement and will feature well-know IBM Lab/Rational speakers such a s George Farr, Don Yantzi, Claus Weiss, Linda Cole,  plus industry and international speakers such as Susan Gantner and Serge Charbit.

RPG .   This track is a long-time stalwart and favourite to those steeped in RPG tradition. It is concentrated on using leveraging existing skills while moving existing applications to the web. Exciting new topics include RPG Open IO (XML, Web Service and Mobile handlers), RPG for web and RPG modernization, and features well known consultants such as Jon Paris.

i for Business. This track is also oriented to the i professional and deals with diverse topics ranging from IPV6 networking to ILE, CL and Web enhancements. Confirmed so far are Ian Jarman from IBM and Susan Ganter, but we are approaching other well known consultants, so stay tuned to the website and blog

DB2 and SQL. This track is very useful and frequently requested. It ranges from DB performance & security to the use of MYSQL and DB2 Web Query. There is also the perpetual question of how to reuse and modernize existing databases in a web environment. We will feature a broad set of speakers. From Seneca, Professor Russ Pangborn will provide a practical session on Embedded SQL. We feature DB2 Web Query with Jackie Jansen and Modernization with Stuart Milligan. We are in the process of confirming well known database experts from the USA.    

AIX, Unix. This track is custom crafted with IBM Worldwide AIX team to provide the hottest AIX topics and the best speakers imported from the USA, led by Jay Kruemcke. AIX folks are interested in new news, live partition mobility, HA trends, WPARs, security features and how to upgrade.  Special intro sessions for non AIX operators will be offered.          

Mobile, RIM:  I personally attended the RIM DEVCON in San Francisco in November, so I’m personally excited to pull this track together for you. Mobile development with Java, HTML, & HP has to be the hottest topic for app developers in 1020. The evidence was the sheer volume and intensity of the community that showed up at the RIM conference. If you want to learn what it’s about and what you need to do to enable your existing IBM application to be available through Blackberry devices… you will want to attend this track. Stay tuned to the blog for details.

 Web Development. This track does not feature a specific middleware or product but rather the general development offers and challenges associated with extending existing applications to the Web. We feature tracks such as: an outline of the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, Networking, Security, AJAX, & Messaging, as well as an introduction to IBM WebSphere middleware      

Open Source: For those looking to leverage commercial open source, this is a great introductory track. It is a theme of our keynote so we expect full rooms. We will work though all the components of the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and move up the value chain to Zend Sever 5, SugarCRM and Open Source EGL.

“Main Tent”Sessions:  We selected the top session from each track and made it available in large amphitheatre setting.  For anyone looking for the highlights of session features from all categories, our “main tent” sessions are the way to go.

Welcome to TEC 2010!

Welcome to the blog for TEC 2010
This space is managed by the Toronto Users Group for Power Systems.