Archive for November, 2007

Update on Solaris and IBM Systems…

No, not Solaris on Power, but today my long time buddy and fellow IBM Distinguished Engineer, Jim Porell, is gushing about their demo of Solaris on System z(aka the mainframe). Still no word on middleware and application vendor support. Thats when it gets interesting until then it will be a another open source and development option.

Jims’ flow can be read here. My original comment and opinion on this, here.

Now that’s virtualization…

Simulation is a big deal these days, not only can you get well ahead of actual chip availability by simulating architecture, but you can also run where otherwise you couldn’t normally.

Last week IBM Global Engineering Services (GES) inked a deal with Virtutech to use their Simics™ product to create advanced, system-level simulation models for IBM’s next-generation embedded processor cores, beginning with the PowerPC 464FP core.

More details here in the Virtutech press release.

SOA Entry – point by point

Colin Renouf from Lloyds TSB bank in London and one of the more active and vocal AIX Technical Collaboration Center members, just wrote me an email with a proposal for a joint work effort on patterns for SOA. It’s a great idea.

While we are fleshing that out, I thought I’d highlight the fact that Steve and Tommy, with Johns project management, have been solidly delivering on the System p configurations for SOA Entry points.

There are currently five papers and an overview in the series. You can find the launch page here. The papers are


IBM System p Planning & Configuration Guide for SOA Entry Point — Process
IBM System p Reference Architecture for SOA Entry Point — Process


IBM System p Planning and Configuration Guide for SOA Entry Point — People
IBM System p Reference Architecture for SOA Entry Point — People

IBM System p Reference Architecture for SOA Entry Point – Reuse

Coming out –

So, off the back of the careers presentations and posts I’ve been discussing personality types with my eldest daughter, Eloise, who works in HR.

I remember doing the Myers Briggs stuff a while back, maybe the late 1990’s. But for the life of me, I couldn’t remember my type. Today while trying to find my folder that has hardcopies of all my PC Software licenses, I came across my “Sixteen Personality Types at work in organisations” booklet, written by Jenny Rogers for ASK Europe plc and Management Futures Ltd.

Right there in the back, was my Myers Briggs type indicator assessment. My reported type is INTP and my preference scores are 23/23/37/9. It’s pretty risky declaring this stuff in public, if it leaked I could always get another US Social Security Number(SSN), but you can never take back a web disclosure of your Myers Briggs type.

Posts on a journal and to news groups might effect your future employment, especially if you are two different people, one in person, and one online. But your MBTI is an insight into the real you or in this case, me.

Looking at INTP.ORG, it has a list of jobs, I smiled quietly as I’ve done four of them, double counting my IT roles, in the list it says “Career satisfaction lies in doing what you enjoy”. Exactly, so I better not try to become a “marketing professional”, since this is a job I wouldn’t enjoy and would be least chosen by an INTP.

Just in case anyone was wondering why I was working for the VP of marketing for Power Systems 😉

Oracle VM – everyones gone to the moon

In Jonathan Kings 1965 pop tune, he sang ” Streets full of people, all alone; Roads full of houses never home; Church full of singing out of tune; Everyone’s gone to the moon”

Well, these days it seems there is no such thing as a server all on its’ own, everyones gone to virtualization. So, it was only a matter of time before Oracle jumped on the bandwagon. As far as I can see, this doesn’t change anything for IBM Power Systems users, many of whom will have been running virtualized Oracle for some time.

However, in his analysis on, Allesandro Perilli makes an interesting point right at the end where he says “Oracle example may push other major ISVs to adopt same policy, supporting virtual versions of their applications only on their own hypervisors, which would lead to an uncontrolled proliferation of virtualization platforms. And this will boost demand for management solutions which support multiple virtualization vendors.”

Which is exactly where we thought things would head, and why a heterogeneous, open platform management strategy was the right way to go. IBM Director has a great play here and even more so in the nbr.

Last weeks announcement recap, Power6 Blades and AIX

Thanks to the folks over at the “Power Architecture zone editors’ notebook” blog here is their summary of last weeks announcements.

Get yours today: Listen UNIX users — the newly available IBM BladeCenter JS22 with Power6 is what you’ve been waiting for. Couple the JS22’s Power6 processor technology with the built-in Advanced Power Virtualization and you’ve got a lot of Power concentrated in a compact container (which can also save you on space and energy costs). It comes loaded with two 4GHz dual-core processors, an optional hard drive, and an Ethernet controller; it supports as much as 32GB of memory; the first shipments are configured for the BladeCenter H and BladeCenter HT chassis. And its virtualization features make it really special (see following entry for more on this).

And what’s a new blade without a complementary OS: Targeted for Friday, November 9, 2007, the release of AIX 6 from the beta bin should provide users improved security management and virtualization features that take advantage of a hypervisor included in the Power6 processor so you can get 100 percent application up time. The Workload Partition Manager should let sysadmins create multiple partitions (each with customized memory settings for users and application workloads) and the Live Application Mobility feature can shift applications from one server to another on the fly (and they keep running while migrating). Then there’s the Security Expert which lets users control more than 300 security settings (role-based access to applications, user-based authentication, etc.). These OS utilities should work well with the Power6 Live Partition Mobility hypervisor which can move an entire OS (AIX, RHEL, and SLES) and its workloads from one server to another while they are running. (In fact, you can preview AIX 6 here if you can’t wait until Friday.)

Stahl on SAP benchmark news

Colleague Elizabeth Stahl just posted on her Developerworks blog about the latest Power Systems benchmark. ” IBM just submitted a record breaking POWER6 SAP SD-Parallel Benchmark result that is a high watermark, with the largest ever number of SD users.(1) This latest IBM result joins the ranks of previous POWER6 SAP leadership results.”

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 am a Fellow of the British Computer Society ( 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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