SoftLayer Acquisition

IBM is buying SoftLayer. Not sure how much they are paying. The goal is to beef up IBM's cloud computing offering. In fact, IBM is going to stand up a new division in the company to service cloud computing specifically. Heck. Might as well treat this as a new wholly owned subsidiary.

SoftLayer is known for hosting the cloud for customers. They can do a private cloud if need be. Apparently they already have a lot of customers.

Rational Upgrade

It is that time once again. Got to upgrade my Rational tool set. Funny. I heard a lot of tools are changing names. Or to be precise, some new tools shall replace older once in the next version of the Rational Suite. Another oddity is that not all tools are getting upgraded.

My tried and true apps are getting upgraded to version This includes Clearcase and ClearQuest. Rational Rose, which I only seldomly used, is still staying at version Not sure if this is due to IBM not having an upgrade, or my customer not buying it.

All I know is that I need to make sure my work is ready for the big upgrade. At least my toolset is staying the same. Seems like the testers have to get ready for some new programs that replace the ones they use that are being phased out. Let's hope this goes smoothly.

I have requested to manually control the upgrade on each of my machines. I get the executable to do the install. Somebody else must be taking care of the back end. It is most favorable that I am going to be in between tasks during the upgrade. It would suck if a delivery crossed the update dates.

IBM PureSystems

I was reading a trade press magazine. Saw an ad for IBM PureSystems. Had not heard that term before. Decided to browse over to IBM to figure out what was up. I started with the PureSystems brochure. Wow. This thing was full of buzzwords. Must come straight from the sales and/or marketing department. But what the heck are they really selling here?

PureSystems appears to be an umbrella over three subsystems:
  1. IBM PureFlex System
  2. IBM PureApplication System
  3. IBM PureData System
Now the PureFlex appears to revolve around the hardware side of the house. You know - computers, storage, and networking. The main idea behind it is that you manage all of this with a single console. The goal is to improve IT costs. This is being offered as an infrastructure as a serivce.

Next is PureApplication. This seems to be the most nebulous of all. They mention that it is some sort of platform or framework. It allows you to define patterns. Yeah. I suspect it might actually refer to the software side of the house. This is offered as a platform as a service.

Finally there is PureData. This is a platform. Yep. You guessed it. This targets your big data needs. This is done via cloud based data management. It is sold via a platform as a service.

I get the feeling that you are supposed to choose one of these three, depending on your needs. Wouldn't you need all three though? Of course the brochure directs you to talk to IBM sales. I guess that answers what this is all about. It is some sort of sales channel. Sales as a service anyone?

Suspicious Activity

It has been a long while since I have accessed my blog. So when I tried to bring it up, Google said the blog was not availble. WTF? I tried logging into my Blogger account. Google said there was some suspicious activity with my account. I had to prove I was the owner of the account first. Oh what a nightmare.

Luckily I am the real owner. Google asked me a lot of questions. Of course I knew all the right answers. I created this account myself. I am not the hacker that has been trying to get into the account. I guess it is a good think that Google sandboxed my account. Otherwise some unscrupulous individuals may have been able to take over the darn thing. This still has me irked.

Now in other non-technical IBM news, Jim Cramer has recommended IBM as a buy. Now Kramer might seem a little over the top. I also don't buy based on his recommendations. However others do. Perhaps that may drive the stock price up. Seems it is already relatively high.

I also heard some buzz that Warren Buffet has been reading over IBM quarterly reports for over 10 years. Not sure if that means Buffet will eventually invest. Could also be some sort of rumor mill. But it is interesting nonetheless.

Battery Failure

My company procided me with a ThinkPad T-Series laptop. I have had this laptop for a few years now. Not sure whether the thing was new when I got it. Until last week, the thing has been working fine. The only occasional slowness was my only concern.

This past week I noticed a strange error message as I moused over the battery in the Windows system tray. It stated that the battery had failed and needed to be replaced. I kept that thought in the back of my mind. Later I tried to move my laptop to another room. As soon as I unplugged the laptop, the thing went blank. Doh.

Later I tried booting up the system, and it would not start Windows. I kept getting a blue screen of death stating the mount volume was unmountable. Ouch. My desktop support guy said the battery was not under warrenty. Now I need to get a new battery purchased. Sounds like a good time to back my stuff up again.

Phase Change Memory

IBM has announced a breakthrough in their phase change memory (PCM). This is non volatile memory like flash. It keeps the data when the power is turned off. The big news is that this memory is 100 times faster than flash.

The worst case latency for the memory is 10 micro seconds. This statistic is 100 times the performance of flash memory. The PCM has had a capacity breakthrough as well. Previously only 1 bit per cell was reliable. IBM is now working with a configuraiton that works with 4 bits per cell. PCM memory size is going up soon.

IBM envisions this memory to be used all over the place. It can be in PCs for ultra fast startup. It can be used in the cloud. It can even be used in mobile phone applications.

Project Orion

IBM is making progress on their Project Orion. The goal is to product an IDE like Eclipse that runs on the web. They just put out a Beta release for around 5k developers.

I think of Eclipse as being an IDE for Java. However Orion intends to work for any programming language. For example, they want Orion to be able to handle JavaScript development.

The beauty of being a web app is that it can download code in real time from the web. IBM plans to integrate other free tools into Orion. This could be things such as Git, Bugzilla, and/or Jira.