Tag: IBM

Hyper scale data centres give storage boost

emcboxIDC said that the storage market ended well. In the last quarter, worldwide enterprise storage systems revenue grew 7.2 percent year on year to amount to close to $10.6 billion.

And capacity shipments rose by 43.7 percent compared to the same quarter the previous year to represent 99.2 exabytes.

Eric Sheppard, a research director at IDC, said spending on enterprise storage grew in most markets worldwide with factors including demand for midrange systems using flash memory and systems designed for hyper scale data centres.

EMC was the top dog in fourth quarter, with a 22.2 percent market share. That company was followed by HP (13.8%), Dell (9%), IBM (9%) and Netapp (7.2%).

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Connect to your mainframe with your smartphone

ibm-officeMacro 4 said it is now a piece of cake to connect via the web to your IBM mainframe -if you have one of those in your back room using a smartphone and a tablet.

The company has released a new version of Tubes for z/OS.

The software gives access to mainframe applications using a web browser on a smartphone or tablet.

The company claimed that the software avoids enterprises having to update web interfaces at some cost.

R&D manager Keith Banham said there is no development overhead at all, and you don’t need to run a computer running a terminal emulator.

The software avoids the need to buy 3270 emulation software to access mainframe applications, he said.

IBM makes gold for Alchemy API

IBM logoBig Blue said it has bought a company that specialises in creating scalable cognitive computing application program interface (API) services and deep learning technology.

IBM said it has bought the company because it is complementary to its own development of next generation cognitive computing apps.

The move brings 40,000 developers into its own Watson framework.

The Denver based company was founded in 2005 and its software processes billions of API calls per month, IBM said. It’s available in eight different languages – English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

IBM didn’t say how much it paid for AlchemyAPI but it will integrate the firm’s software into its own Watson offerings.

Server market grew in Q4 2014

HP-MicroServerFigures supplied by market analyst company Gartner showed that the worldwide server market grew 4.8 percent in shipments for the fourth quarter of 2014.

And revenues grew 2.2 percent in that quarter, compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.

Jeffrey Hewitt a VP at Gartner, described server market for the whole of 2014 as showing strong growth. Growth for the whole year was 2.2 percent.

“Hyper scale data centre deployments as well as service provider installations drove the X86 market upwards,” he said. “Enterprises had less unit growth impact because of the ongoing presence of physical server consolidation through X86 server virtualisation. This overall market growth developed despite declines in both mainframe and Unix platforms.”

HP was the leader server vendor in the quarter in terms of revenues, but only grew 1.5 percent in the whole year. Its market share is 27.9 percent worldwide. IBM showed a decline of 50.6 percent, and Lenovo had extraordinary growth of 743.4 percent. This is because IBM sold its X86 server business to Lenovo in the fourth quarter.

Dell is the second biggest vendor with 17.3 percent in terms of revenues, IBM third, Lenovo fourth and Cisco fifth. “Others” had a market share of 28.6 percent.
HP also led the pack in terms of shipments, pushing out 642,007 units in the fourth quarter.

IBM sued for alleged securities fraud

IBM logoBig Blue has been sued by a shareholder who thinks the company committed securities fraud by failing to write down a money-losing semiconductor unit before agreeing to pay another company $1.5 billion to take that unit off its hands.

In October IBM’s said it would sell the unit to GlobalFoundries (GloFo) and take a related $4.7 billion pre-tax charge.

IBM also announced third-quarter results that day. Its share price fell nine percent over the next two trading days, wiping out more than $18 billion of market value.

According to the complaint, IBM inflated its stock price before selling the semiconductor unit by carrying the unit’s property, plant and equipment assets on its books at $2.4 billion, when it should have known the assets were worthless.

The shareholder moaned that potential bidders had been unwilling to pay much more than $1 billion for the entire unit, including intellectual property and personnel, suggesting that the hard assets had no or negative market value.

The shareholder in question is the City of Sterling Heights Police & Fire Retirement System in Michigan. It also named three IBM officials as defendants, including Chief Executive Virginia Rometty.

It seeks class-action status on behalf of shareholders.

“Defendants presented a misleading picture of IBM’s business and prospects,” the complaint said. “When the truth about the company was revealed to the market, the price of IBM common stock fell precipitously.”

Hitachi Data Systems targets telco big data

server-racksThe IT division of Hitachi said it has started to sell an analytics package aimed at telecom service providers.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) said that its Live Insight for Telecom is aimed at giving providers real time information into networks, services and application level performance.

This, HDS claims, will let them predict network activity using both real time and historical data in parallel

Analytics is big business now – for example IBM is betting the farm on big data and the cloud.

So companies like HDS are claiming their products will reduce subscriber “churn”, lower the operational costs and give them new sources of revenue.

HDS claims that are close to seven billion mobile subscribers worldwide, with 78 percent of households in the developed world connected to the web.

But, it continues, even though telco providers can access tens o

IBM wants cloud killing

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeBig Blue thinks it can restore itself to its former suited glory by pushing heavily into cloud and big data.

Apparently the outfit has set itself a target of making $40 billion a year from cloud, big data, security and other growth areas by 2018.

The target was mentioned at the company’s annual investor meeting in New York yesterday and is the first hint of a serious “cunning plan” since IBM moved away from its previous strongholds in hardware and servers.

The $40 billion will come from areas which IBM calls its “strategic imperatives,” namely cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security software.

That would represent about 44 percent of $90 billion in total revenue that analysts expect from IBM in 2018.

Those businesses generated $25 billion in revenue for IBM last year, or 27 percent of its total $93 billion in sales.

The company said it would shift $4 billion in spending to its “strategic imperatives” this year.

Revenue at IBM has gradually shrunk over the past three years as it sold off its unprofitable units in businesses such as low-end servers, semiconductors and cash registers.

IBM Chief Executive Virginia Rometty has said she was happy to jettison revenue from such unprofitable businesses, which she dubs “empty calories.” Although we would have thought that empty calories would be a good thing, because they would fill you up without meaning you put on weight.

IBM revenue has now fallen for the past 11 quarters, while earnings growth has been sporadic.

The company says its long-term plan is to hit “low single-digit” revenue growth and “high single-digit” growth in operating earnings per share. Last year IBM withdrew its long-term plan to hit $20 per share in operating earnings for 2015.

Things have not been going that well for IBM of late. It gets more than half of its cash from foreign parts, and the strong US dollar has hurt its sales by more than six per cent this year.

IBM strikes further deals with Juniper

Juniper and IBM have decided to work together in a bid to provide customers with improved mobile facilities, look at Internet of Things (IoT) applications and plumb the world of big data.

IBM said that the two companies will work together to deliver high performance network analytics to speed up enterprises, reduce costs, and provide better end user applications.

IBM logoIBM and Juniper have worked together for a while, but are now devising the integration of Juniper’s MX Router Service Control Gateway with IBM Now Factory analytics.

Other future developments will include providing visibility of subscribers and the ability of CSPs offer automated services based on data. Juniper will use IBM Analytics to understand data flows and self configure and optimise network operations.

Juniper will also integrate IBM Analytics features into its own Cloud Analytic Engine.

Bob Picciano, a senior VP at IBM, said: “Integrating predictive analytics directly into the stream of data processing – and embedding into the network of CSPs – will help to ensure the reliability of the network.”

 

IBM throws more money at clouds

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 11.33.09IBM has already invested $1.2 billion in cloud services and has now announced it will open two cloud centres in Sydney and Montreal in the next 30 days.

In addition, Big Blue said it will build similar cloud centres in Milan, and in Chennai before the end of 2015 while it will announce further centres later on in the year.

The cloud centres are part of the company’s SoftLayer plans – it already has centres in Frankfurt, in Mexico and in Tokyo.

The idea of the cloud centres is to give its customers options to create public, private or hybrid cloud environments. It has to offer different locations because enterprises have to conform to local regulations about where data resides, as well as providing levels of security.

Jim Comfort, general managed of IBM Cloud Services, said: “With each new location, we’re not only adding more computer capacity… we’re enabling enterprises to move to the cloud at the speed and in a way that makes the most sense for them.”

In a related announcement, IBM said it had extended its partnership with CSC to speed moving their businesses to the cloud. IBM thinks that there will be a 10 fold increase in the number of cloud applications in the next four or five years, meaning the number of developers specialising in the field will triple.

IBM opens London studio

ibm-officeIn a bid to promote projects based on data, IBM said that it has opened a London studio to be the hub of design in London.

IBM wants to pull in clients from healthcare, financial services and the retail marketplace to cooperate with IBM consultants and researchers to explore integrating mobile, social, analytics and cloud technologies. Obviously it wants to sell its products and services.

IBM Design prototypes data centric products and uses its Design Language as a framework for developing future products and services.

The studio is being endorsed by the Design Council. John Mathers, CEO, said that good quality improves people’s lives. “This is why we work to bring the design and business communities together and help develop the skills which are vitally important to our economy.”

Matt Candy, who runs IBM projects like this in Europe, said: “London is a creative epicentre that now boasts a powerful digital economy. IBM Studio will bring digital experiences to our exceptional digital city, where some of our most forward looking clients reside.”

The studio will be based at IBM’s head office in Southwark.

 

IBM intros nextgen flash storage

IBM logoBig Blue said that it today introduced two flash enterprise storage products that give high performance and better reliability.

The products, called IBM Flash System storage come in two types, the V9000 and the 900.

The first of these allows enterprises to consolidate existing storage systems under a single management domain.

The 900 gives high performance, enterprise reliability and can be deployed in two hours, compared to days for conventional products.

IBM said it is committed developing flash based storage products to enterprises and industries of whatever size.

In April 2013, IBM invested a billion dollars in flash storage research, as well as making partnerships and product development.

It’s the larger amount of data that makes enterprises move to flash systems, according to Jamie Thomas, general manager of storage at IB.

The systems use Micron semiconductors but IBM has hand tweaked the flash memory chips to deliver what it claims is a better sort of flash storage.

 

IBM makes big data push

ibm-officeBig Blue said it has introduced data analytics with the introduction of IBM BigInsights for Apache Hadoop.

The offering provides machine learning, R, and other features that can tackle big data.

IBM claimed that while many think Apache Hadoop is powerful for collecting and storing large sets of variable data, companies are failing to realise its potential.

It’s offering has a broad data science toolset for querying data, visualising, and provide scaleable distributed machine learning.

The offering includes Analyst, which includes IBM’s SQL engine, Data Scientist that provides a machine learning engine that ranges over big data to find patterns.

Enterprise Management includes tools to optimise workflows, and management software to give faster results.

IBM also said it has joined the Open Data Platform (ODP) association which is aiming to provide standardisation over Hadoop and big data technologies.

US spooks hide in hard drives

spyIf you own hard-drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, and Toshiba all your data could have been seen by US spooks.

According to Kaspersky Lab, the US National Security Agency figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, IBM, Micron and Samsung.

Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said.

The Russian outfit did not name the US as the country behind the software, but said it was closely linked to Stuxnet, which was a NSA-led effort.

A former NSA employee told Reuters that Kaspersky’s analysis was correct, and that people still in the spy agency valued these espionage programmes as highly as Stuxnet. Another former intelligence operative confirmed that the NSA had developed the prized technique of concealing spyware in hard drives.

Kaspersky published the technical details of its research on Monday, a move that could help infected institutions detect the spying programs, some of which trace back as far as 2001

The announcement could lead to a backlash against Western technology, in countries such as China, which is already drafting regulations that would require most technology suppliers to provide copies of their software code for inspection.

Kaspersky said the spies made a technological breakthrough by figuring out how to lodge malicious software in the obscure code called firmware that launches every time a computer is turned on.

Disk drive firmware is viewed by spies and cybersecurity experts as the second-most valuable real estate on a PC for a hacker, second only to the BIOS code invoked automatically as a computer boots up.

The information was news to Western Digital, Seagate and Micron who said it was the first they had heard of it. Toshiba and Samsung declined to comment and IBM just ignored hacks requests.

IBM sues

IBM logoBig Blue said it has started legal action against Priceline, alleging the company has breached its intellectual property.

IBM said that it has attempted to negotiate with the Priceline Group and its subsidiaries for over three years but has failed to reach an agreement.

It filed the case in the US District Court of Delaware against the Group and its subsidiaries priceline.com, opentable.com and kayak.com.

IBM wants the companies to pay damages for breaching its patents and also wants the court to impose a royalty for the continued use of its technology.

William LaFontaine, general manager of intellectual property at IBM said: “We have filed this lawsuit against Priceline for a very simple reason – IBM’s patents are being knowingly and unfairly exploited.”

He continued: “Our preference is to engage in good faith negotiations and agree to a fair patent licence, but when another company wilfully uses our intellectual property without permission, we have no option but to protect and vigorously defend it through every means available.”

He aded that Priceline is alleged to have infringed four IBM patents. It has entered over 1,000 patent licensing agreements.

IBM told Priceline “numerous times” about tthe infringement, but it has refused to participate in negotiations.

Dating applications expose businesses

1930s-couple-620x400Big Blue is warning that millions of people using dating apps on company smartphones could be exposing their employers to hacking, spying and theft.

IBM security researchers said 26 of 41 dating apps they analysed on Google Android mobile platform had medium or high severity vulnerabilities.  Curiously the IBM team did not look at dating applications on Apple gear, probably because the company signed a deal to push Apple gear in the workplace.

Unfortunately IBM did not name and shame the vulnerable apps but said it had alerted the app publishers to problems.

Apparently Tinder, OkCupid and Match have become hugely popular in the past few years due to their instant messaging, photo and geolocation services. In 2013 it was estimated that 31 million Americans have used a dating site or app.

IBM found employees used vulnerable dating apps in nearly 50 percent of the companies sampled for its research. By using the same phone for work and play or “bring your own device,” it means that companies are wide open for such attack vectors.

Am IBM report said that while BYOD was seen as a way that companies could save cash by allowing employees to use their home gear on corporate networks , if not managed properly, the organizations might be leaking sensitive corporate data via employee-owned devices.

IBM said the problem is that people on dating apps let their guard down and are not as sensitive to potential security problems as they might be on email or websites.

If an app is compromised, hackers can take advantage of users waiting eagerly to hear back from a potential love interest by sending bogus “phishing” messages to glean sensitive information or install malware, IBM said.

A phone’s camera or microphone could be turned on remotely through a vulnerable app, which IBM warned could be used to eavesdrop on personal conversations or confidential business meetings. Vulnerable GPS data could also lead to stalking, and a user’s billing information could be hacked to purchase things on other apps or websites.

Strangely, despite its dire warnings to Android users, IBM said it had not so far seen a rash of security breaches due to dating apps as opposed to any other kind of social media.

Meanwhile, it recommends that dating app users limit the personal information they divulge, use unique passwords on every online account, apply the latest software patches and keep track of what permissions each app has.