Archive for February, 2007

Zelenka on Open Source ESBs

RedNun’s report on Open Source ESBs is published and it has some useful updates and additional information from her earlier web piece which elicited my “I’m a centrprise architect” response.

In her intro, Anne says “Lightweight open source enterprise service bus (ESB) implementations offer a low cost, scalable, and practical approach to enterprise application integration.” – I’m so with that, but as always with a spin on it. Actually an ESB would make the perfect vehicle(bus geddit?) for system infrastructure integration.

Still much to do on standards, implementations, h/w runtimes etc. but I still firmly believe this is the direction we should be going to implement genuinely interoperable hardware based components. Common messages formats, industry schema, common messaging protocols and one or more buses to intermediate for the components and manage pub/sub etc.. Dynamic, autonomic, vendor neutral hardware, we’ll get there.


My 2003-2004 book on “Virtualization and the on demand Business”, Chapter-3, spells this out a little more…

Targeting development for future hardware

Over in Paul Murphy’s Managing L’unix blog on zdnet, he does an overly simple analysis of simultaneous Multi-threading (SMT) architecture systems versus more traditional multi-core/SMP systems and falls to at least one common misconception and misses the point technically, architecturally and operationally.

Of course I would say that…

Continue reading ‘Targeting development for future hardware’

VIOS Redpaper

More good/free stuff from the IBM ITSO, this time a redpaper on the System p APV Virtual I/O Server. The redpaper is some 90-pages and covers VIOS deployment examples.

Listed are some high-level architecture designs, referred to as scenarios. They show different configurations for VIOS and partitions. The scenarios described in this paper will help you derive your own implementation.

You can download the redpaper here.

Open source halo effect…

Interesting piece on open source and some of the collatoral damage it can create, along with some interesting industry observations from wunderkind James Governor of Redmonk.

There are often big side effects from even small changes in directions by big corporations, certainly many of these are known before they happen, but many are not. Looking back on the early days of our Linux drive(’98/’99), I recognise some of these effects, many people wanted to believe that we did Linux purely to get back at Microsoft, and while that might have been a good reason for some people, it was purely collatoral damage if it did happen.

The effort was really about repositioning IBM, and putting IBM in a position to be ready for the downstream innovation that would come from the thousands of technologists in emerging and existing economies who would be exposed to Linux and the whole ecosystem and open source approach. It was also a “poster child” to push open source within IBM.

As they say, “hindsight is a wonderful thing”.

Linux Server Consolidation a-go-go

Linux Consolidation

This week saw the announcement of some interesting Power based Linux consolidation opportunities. With the Power processor clearly out-front in the performance stakes, and Advanced Power Virtualization out-front in UNIX virtualization technologies it was great to hear Scott Handy roll out some great Linux consolidation numbers for the new IBM System p Power5 based server offerings.

What Scott announced was that the high-end p5 560Q can support the consolidation of 320 x86-based Linux LAMP applications onto just one rack of eight of the new servers. Specifically the comparison is with eight racks of 320 1U Dell PowerEdge® 860 servers. Replacing these Dell servers with System p5 560Q servers in this scenario could result in these potential savings:

  • Reduced floor space by an estimated 87%
  • Reduced power consumption by an estimated 66%
  • Reduced total cost of acquisition by up to 50%

The IBM 560Q 320 has a lower total cost of acquisition as well. You could make similar comparisons with other servers, remembering that while many have virtiualization, none have anything nearly as robust and dynamic as APV. You can see one of the 560Q servers here.

Not much to it really… little box, big impact and feature the new POWER5+ Quad Core Module (QCM) processor running at 1.8 GHz! You can read the full specs here. In the Power based BladeCenter JS21 customers can consolidate upto 168 Linux x86 web servers servers onto just one BladeCenter Chassis with 14 blades.

For small businesses, and enterprises with a consolidation need for say 12 or fewer x86 Linux servers, using just one or two of the JS21 blades and Advanced Power Virtualization might do the job. If you have existing BladeCenter based servers with space, this could be right up your street as they can be installed and run alongside.

Finally, a complimentary white paper and server consolidation opportunities is available, it covers Linux server consolidation on the IBM System p platform through flexible Micro-Partitioning technology with the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9 SP3 operating system. Server Consolidation Using Advanced POWER Virtualization and Linux.

Get expert server consolidation support: Introducing the IBM Server Consolidation Factory for System p.

Whither Solaris?

In his del.icio.us links for yesterday, my former deptartmental colleague, Simon Phipps, who has been doing a great job as Chief Open Source Officer or what ever he wants to call his position, we like to have fun with job titles, posits that IBM should join the march to Solaris. Huh, why?

It’s funny how things worked out. When I was working with Simon in IBM SWG as their Linux technology evangelist, I was having a debate via LinuxGram with Shahin Khan, then Sun’s chief competitive officer, on our move into Linux and Suns’ obfuscation on Linux.

Sun have been doing a stellar job recently with their open source efforts and support of things like ODF, but I just don’t get why Solaris is such a big deal. For most of our systems, customer choice and the “power to leave” are delivered through a Linux implementation alongside industry standards that deliver interoperability and management of the IBM operating environment. I can only wonder how much better off the industry and customers would have been if Sun had put the same amount of time and effort into Linux in the five years that have elapsed since that debate.

Insight? Nah, just a lucky guess, who’da thunk Sun would GPL Solaris… 😉


About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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