Friday, June 19, 2015

Information Builders: benefits by moving and shipping their product on Linux – IBM POWER8

By Rich Ptak and Bill Moran


With some 40 years[1] in business and 1400 employees worldwide, ISP Information Builders is clearly committed to delivering exceptional service to their customers. Their product, WebFOCUS8[2], is a business intelligence platform with an extensive list of capabilities. As described on their web site[3], it runs on a variety of platforms including the X86. They captured our attention when they announced the port of their product from x86 to IBM’s POWER8 platform.  After the port, the company’s experience and results were so positive that they announced its availability on their web site when they began shipping it to customers on request. The product is increasingly being installed at real customers operating a production environment, all available on POWER8.

We spent time discussing the product to gain insight on their porting and performance experiences moving to POWER8. Information Builder made very clear that IBM provided excellent support. Porting the application went smoothly with no problems as they only had to recompile the code. In addition, once the product was running on POWER8, they ran a number of benchmarks to compare the performance of WebFOCUS on a POWER8 platform versus an x86 platform in several different environments.

A video on their web site has all the details, including configurations, etc., of the comparison of the POWER 8 and x86 implementations. Three workloads were compared: a simple, a large, and a very complex one. Summarized results appear in the table below.

# Cores                                      Linux on POWER8                    Intel 
                                                 Reports per second              Reports per second
2 cores
469
255
4 Cores
690
399
8 Cores
1000
567
The cases shown simulate 25 online users. Additional examples with varying numbers of users are included in the online data.

On average for these three cases, the POWER8 system produced about 70% more reports than the Intel system. Note that significantly fewer cores are required on the POWER8 system to produce equivalent thru-put as the Intel system. Two POWER8 cores completes as much work as 4 Intel cores while 4 POWER8 cores will match 8 Intel cores. Since most software is priced by the number of cores, this means lower software costs on the POWER8 system.

Information Builders is an extremely professional organization. We found their endorsement of POWER8 Linux to be significant and very impressive. Another example of their professionalism is the WebFOCUS solution sizing tool on their web site. It allows you to estimate the POWER8 configuration needed for a given WebFOCUS workload. Of course, these results apply only to their application. However, it does provide a powerful endorsement of the POWER8-Linux platform.




[1] For company background on the see the article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Builders
[2] See the details at http://www.informationbuilders.com/wf-linuxpower. There is a short video that has benchmark details. It is well worth watching.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

POWER8-Linux fighting against Cancer

By Rich Ptak and Bill Moran


In the US alone, over a million new cancer cases occur each year according to the American Cancer Society. The discovery of a ‘silver bullet’ to defeat cancer appears unlikely any time soon. Instead, new combinations of technologies are being used in the battle.  This blog describes how OpenPOWER technologies, POWER8, Linux and CAPI, are being used by the University of Toronto’s Computer Engineering department to improve the accuracy, speed, and convenience of cancer treatment.

Many cancers are tumors located deep inside the human body; head, neck and out-of-sight tumors provide special challenges. Treatment with current methodologies, chemo-, radiation or surgery, can involve serious, unpleasant side effects. They are difficult to control precisely, potentially damaging healthy tissue or missing some of the cancer.

An alternative is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). PDT systemically administers a light-sensitive drug; the simulation help to chose the best placement of multiple light sources to activate the drug and destroy the tumor.This greatly reduces the risk of damage to other organs and body parts. But, some tumors still make precise location difficult and risky. Running a series of Monte Carlo simulations[1] to determine the most effective light-source placement locations can solve this.

However, such simulations are CPU intensive; running them in a distant data center is inconvenient, expensive and impractical. Having a dozen or more[2] x86 processors in an operating room is not feasible due to excess power requirements and heat generation. A University of Toronto research project is using OpenPOWER technology to address the problem.

Using a Power8 system with the CAPI FPGA interface, calculations are more than 64x faster (than with an x86 system[3]), or equivalently can use many fewer nodes. Users get more simulations to evaluate more treatment protocols, leading to safer and more effective treatment. POWER8’s smaller physical footprint and higher power efficiency (48x more throughput per Watt) mean it fits in the operating room without special cooling or electrical requirements.

OpenPOWER Systems, CAPI, FPGA, Open standards and IBM IP accelerated progress and makes a clinical version viable. The University of Toronto core team, Jeff Cassidy, Lothar Lilge and Vaughn Betz, continue the development. Partnering with industry and researchers including Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), Buffalo, NY, they anticipate early trials beginning in 2016. Find out more here. OpenPOWER will play a key role in deployment. We wish them all success in their work.




[1] Using the Full Monte software package for Monte Carlo simulations.
[2]  Estimated number of x86 processors needed for a workable version.
[3] CAPI allows a specialized FPGA to be closely integrated into the Power8 CPU. This accelerates the simulation.

Latest Dynatrace announcements convincingly demonstrate that customer focus pays off!

By Rich Ptak

Dynatrace went private late last year; the change is clearly paying off for them and their customers. CEO John Van Siclen managed a record breaking year with a 31% growth in net-new customers, and 95% revenue growth in emerging (BRIC) markets. The list includes Adobe, KLM, Samsung, Alibaba, Swiss Life, etc., demonstrating cross-industry appeal. New growth along with a 91% renewal rate by the existing customers gives them a base of more than 6000 customers. Dynatrace was once again named the world’s APM Market Share leader, seizing 12.5% of the market share in a highly competitive space, with revenues more than $100M ahead of their nearest rival. Additionally, the Dynatrace APM Community has grown to more than 103,000 members with 1,000 new sign-ups per month.
They attribute their success to a strategy based on four beliefs:
  1. It all starts and ends with the digital customers’ experience – it’s the delivery of the digital service to the end customer, not just the performance of the backend application or quality of the product that matters;
  2. It’s all about preventing problems, not simply reacting – recognizing and acting BEFORE the customer is affected;
  3. Gap-free (end-to-end) data is essential – need to capture, leverage and exploit all available data from whatever source to enable a digital business;
  4. The goal is DEV/Ops not merely ops – functions must communicate, coordinate and collaborate for success.
In our opinion it’s the degree to which they integrate these beliefs into their operations that makes them so successful. The focus on the customer permeates everything. They understand that their success depends on their ability to help customers succeed. And, that means providing the best customer experience possible.
Their focus was obvious throughout the business review; with nary a word about a product except as it impacts, benefits and contributes to the success of customer operations. Specific details of implementation and a demo are there if you want them. But, the major focus is on demonstrating their knowledge of what the customer is trying to do, and then demonstrating that Dynatrace is the one that can help them do it.
So, Dynatrace’s total focus is on helping digital businesses be successful by helping them become experts in three disciplines. These are: 1) optimizing and understanding the customer experience delivered anywhere, anytime and anyplace, 2) the continuous delivery of new digital capabilities by facilitating, actionable communication and collaboration among business, operations and development staffs, and 3) optimizing application performance by simplifying operations based on the complete visibility of what is taking place across the delivery chain.
  The strategy to accomplish the task they’ve taken on is as follows:
  1. Provide complete visibility in real-time of the experience of all targeted customers for all relevant devices,
  2. Break down barriers between Business, Development and Operations staffs with the most comprehensive coverage of enterprise use-case and insights into competitor performance,
  3. Apply their extensive expertise to leverage built-in and external analytics applied to all available, relevant data to optimize performance,
  4. Crowd-sourced testing networks, for high fidelity measurement of customer experience,
  5. Provide fastest Time-to-Value with easy-to-use tools for analysis and reporting such as self-service Quick-start guides for users.
Dynatrace shows no indication of slowing down. They are strengthening their ability to monitor and report on user experience and behavior monitoring in a merger with Keynote. Clients will have the most timely and accurate information to assure an optimal experience for their users and customers. We recommend you check out the Dynatrace website for product details. We’ll conclude with congratulations to the company for finishing their year so far ahead of their competition. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

BMC’s Control-M Application Integrator makes app management easier and faster

By Rich Ptak

BMC’s Workload Automation team continues to deliver innovative solutions that create customer value, such as Control-M Application Integrator with the added benefit of the Application Hub community exchange. Everyone understands the problem as the world of digital business continues to grow; the number of critical business applications is exploding. Nearly all touch the customer whether internal or external. To be successful, the customer/consume must be provided an exceptional experience, which translates to the need to monitor and manage to optimize that experience.

App developers understand this with the result that many are now pro-actively including some level of management functionality, such as scheduling, optimization, etc. in their programs. Compared to the days when management was a long-delayed, often minimally considered after-thought, this is progress. Unfortunately, there is a downside.

In his Meditation XVII, John Donne said that ‘no man is an island, entire by itself.” The point being that every person’s life is part of a larger whole, interacting with and dependent upon others. That is also true for today’s applications; they are rarely complete unto themselves.  The provider of each app will include functions, make assumptions and operate in ways unique to the ingenuity of its creator. When the app is introduced into your data center, operations will want to include it as part of a workload automation solution. They will also want to use the management tools unique to the app.

Unfortunately, even once IT has learned how to use the tool, the result can be mayhem as it is unlikely that the app’s creator had your unique environment in mind when creating his scheduler. Therefore, the ugly work of integration on an application by application basis must be undertaken. (Hence the last part of the quote “never send to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”) In short, there is a lot of work ahead to get the most from the app.

BMC’s Control-M Application Integrator is a web-based design tool to address that integration problem for data centers running Control-M. BMC has developed native integration  for about 40 widely used applications, e.g. SAP, ERPs, retail apps, etc. See the details here. BMC has not neglected any of the other apps running and being developed. The tool is self-service, so that with relatively few steps e.g. identifying the  interfaces available with the new app and how to access them. Then, Control-M can learn how to control and manage the app. Of course, you will still have to specify the workload process.  The integration self-service tool is available for all Control-M V8 FP7 (Fix Pak 7) users with no additional charge.

BMC went a step further, recognizing there exists a near infinite number of applications that benefit from native integration. While BMC will continue to develop for larger apps, they realize the demand far exceeds what they can deliver. Therefore, they set up an open community for users, the “Application Hub”. It is open to any one that is part of the BMC community, employees, customers, partners, VARs, etc. The members can develop and share their code through this network. Those with early access to the site have been very enthusiastic. 

So, BMC has announced the Application Integrator which is easy-to-use, automatically deploys and is highly integrated with Control-M. They have set up the Application Hub to allow “crowd sourcing” of control module development to rapidly increase number of applications supported. This sounds like a win all around. Congratulations to BMC, we predict that the customers using the Control-M Application Integrator and Application Hub won’t have to worry about “for whom the bell tolls”!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

IBM Edge2015 – Preparing IT for the future - I

By Rich Ptak




In mid-May, I joined some 6000 IBM customers, executives, IT staff and partners at Edge2015 in Las Vegas. The focus was on the strategies and demonstrating the benefits to customers and partners from the services, solutions, products provided by IBM’s newly integrated hardware-oriented business units.

This blog will be posted in two parts. The first focuses on the hardware platforms, Systems Group - Power Systems and – z Systems. The second covers Systems Group – Middleware and – Storage Systems & Software Designed Infrastructure. The second blog also includes general comments and our overall conclusions about the event. You can view that on The Technology Blog[1] at our website.

Edge2015 covered a lot more detailed topics including Services, Analytics, IoT, Cloud, Watson, etc. Limited time and space won’t allow them to be covered in this series.

Clearly evident were the results of a reorganization that pairs hardware with the ‘middleware’ software needed to deliver solutions.  IBM discussed its evolving tactics along with new and enhanced products and services aimed at enhancing the experiences of customers and clients. IBM emphasized two issues we found interesting and encouraging.

First, IBM emphasized their commitment to their somewhat controversial, clearly visionary and definitely bet-the-business strategic imperatives. These imperatives are intended to:
1.     Enable customers and clients to speed adoption and optimize benefits from business transformations made necessary by new and disruptive technologies, including, but not exclusively tied to DATA – CLOUD – ENGAGEMENT (customer, MOBILE, etc.).
2.     Drive delivery of differentiated value to and by clients in their effort to manage ‘hybrid’ environments of new and existing technologies to create and deliver competitive advantage in the form of optimized customer experiences.
3.     Exploit IBM’s extensive expertise to deliver higher value product and services to clients that enable the client to be innovative, agile and quick to create and evolve exceptional services, solutions and products to their own customers.

The wisdom of the strategy (combining vision with customer needs) was repeatedly on display in keynote presentations by and discussions (formal and informal) with numerous customers.

Secondly, we got the first substantive peek into the results of the massive reorganization begun last fall by CEO Gini Rometty. From a business operations perspective, IBM now presents itself to its customers and operates as an integrated solutions provider, organized to interact with them in the same way their customers consume IT products and solutions. No longer siloed, hardware platforms (cloud, storage, networking, z and Power Systems) are joined with the software that makes it function (WebSphere, Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure, operating systems and development, virtualization and cloud software/services) into a single organization. The Systems business unit gains a practical appreciation and understanding of what attracts partners, customers and clients.

This alone puts IBM ahead of the dated, siloed organization favored by most vendors. And, judging from customer conversations, the result is recognized and appreciated by customers.

Let’s take a look at what was talked about at the event.

Systems Group – Power

Doug Balog continues to lead the Power Systems business unit as it continues to grow and gather momentum by following a strategy based on implementation with an emphasis on three specific goals. These are:
1.     Designed for Big Data – new 4-socket Power E50, expand Power E880,  optimized solutions for data/analytics including SAP HANA;
2.     Provides Superior Cloud Economics – new Power in the cloud, “Pay as you go” & PurePower Systems = lower operating cost with stronger workload management & simplified app deployment;
3.     An Open Innovation Platform – that delivers the first truly open hardware and software platform with Little-Endian support that further increases Linux-app portability and has international appeal which is documented by the multiple new POWER System-based implementations OpenPOWER Foundation partners from multiple countries.

POWER8 growth and market acceptance is accelerating as evidenced in discussions with attendees, the speedy introduction of new systems and in the number of POWER8-based products emerging from OpenPOWER Foundation partners.

Delta Dental, ZTEsoft, Zato Health among others related how they use and benefit from the broad Linux support, CAPI and open access to the architecture. For example, Zato Health described how their POWER8/Linux solution provides rapid intelligent search and information extraction across multiple, different databases, handling both structured and unstructured data. University of Toronto and Delta, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Lab spoke to how POWER8 is used today and will have a significant role in future technologies.

Systems Group - z Systems

Ross Mauri is responsible for IBM’s z Systems as it expands further into global markets with new applications targeting and supporting delivery of solutions in such areas as enterprise mobile, in-line big Data analytics, cloud optimization and security intelligence.

The new z13 has enjoyed a faster pick-up than any previous mainframe. No small part of this popularity can be attributed to the 27% of systems sales running Linux on z. Today’s z Systems are designed to support digital business with the speed and scale required for the mobile economy to provide exceptional client experiences.

The mainframe supports mobile solutions and services to deliver insights with in-line analytics that speed improved decision-making while operating at and ensuring the highest levels of security and trust available in cloud environments. New price points, as well as alternative payment plans, increase the cost effectiveness of mainframe solutions. As they leave x86 server farms, customers are seeing up to 37% lower cost and faster processing when handling mobile transactions.

When Radix International moved from 400 servers to z System, they saw a 35% cut in TCO. Other IBM customers, including Caribbean Cruise Lines, WestJet and CenterPoint Energy described the mainframe’s cost-effective contribution to their success. Further documenting mainframe economics, Solitaire Interglobal reports that while running 68% of the world’s production workloads, mainframes account for only 6% of the world’s IT spend[2].

Conclusions

We believe IBM, its partners and customers convincingly demonstrated the wisdom of IBM’s vision and benefits derived from them. You can see more detailed comments and conclusions in the second half of this blog on our website.


[2] “IT Workload Deployment Percentages - 2014", http://sil-usa.com/publications.php , published in late 2014 by Solitaire Interglobal.

IBM Edge2015 – Preparing IT for the future - II

By Rich Ptak

This is the second part of a two part blog covering IBM’s Edge 2015 event held in mid-May in Las Vegas. The focus was on presenting strategies and demonstrating the benefits to customers and partners from the services, solutions, products provided by IBM’s newly integrated hardware-oriented business units. The first blog included an introduction and discussion on IBM’s recent reorganization. If you haven’t read that, we recommend that you do. It is available on our website. This second part has added comments and overall conclusion.


This second blog focuses on Systems Group – Middleware and – Storage Systems & Software Designed Infrastructure. The first blog focused on platforms, Systems Group - Power Systems and – z Systems. Edge2015 covered a lot more detailed topics including Services, Analytics, IoT, Cloud, Watson, etc. Limited time and space meant they won’t be covered in this series.

Let’s take a look at what was said at the event.

Systems Group – Middleware[1]

Under Marie Wieck’s direction, this is the software underlying IBM’s platforms & solutions to enable and accelerate the enterprise trans-formation needed to successfully compete in the digital world. Starting with management, it includes configuration, development, operations and delivery, extending all the way to the end-user experience.

Encompassing the entire systems lifecycle, it optimizes the user experience at every stage of interaction. It manages fully integrated software elements (WebSphere, Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure, Bluemix etc.) for security and performance by making access easier and use simpler. Four imperatives define its role: 
  1. Use of data analytics on ALL relevant data to speed effective decision-making,  
  2. Enhance infrastructure agility to accelerate enterprise transformation,  
  3. Reinvent to improve processes to speed and simplify complex activities,  
  4. Personalize the user-experience to make the consumer more successful.
Client success stories related in conversations, presentations and keynote covered the full spectrum of enterprise size and market segments. Presentations from such companies as WestJet, CenterPoint Energy, Citibank, Swiss Mobiliar and Wimbledon document the effectiveness of IBM’s approach.

Systems Group – Storage Systems & Software Designed Infrastructure


With IBM’s investment of $1B in each of Flash and Software Designed Storage, GM Jaime Thomas leads a merged storage solutions and software business unit. IBM ramped up its product, sales and marketing efforts to provide a balanced set of offerings as they identify and pursue the highest growth parts of the storage markets. They are doing this with solutions that optimize and manage storage for control (analytics-driven cut costs up to 50%), protect (backup reduces costs up to 38%), archiving (reduces active data TCO up to 90%), virtualization (store up to 5x data), acceleration (deploy storage in minutes), scale (for unstructured data). IBM is focused on providing enterprise-grade storage solutions that are open, secure, scalable and fully integrated for standalone, private and hybrid cloud environments.

In February, Software Defined Storage was beefed up with cloud-focused IBM Spectrum Storage family of six “specialty engines” for control, protection, archiving, virtualization, acceleration and scale-up. March 2015 marked the GA of IBM FlashSystem 900 Flash system with >40% more capacity at lower cost/capacity price points. In April 2015, IBM FlashSystem V9000 went GA with fully integrated system management that scales up to 2.2 PB.


Conclusions

We’ve commented before on IBM’s visionary recognition and embrace of the enormous trans-formation that must take place in enterprise operations. The pressures to do so are a direct result of and enabled by the rapid evolution of technologies, as well as by emerging new technologies.

Radical transformation is being forced on both the providers and consumers of technology, products and services. IBM is not alone in recognizing the need for change. They are, however, among the most aggressive in pursuing the transformation internally at the same time they work to educate and enable their customers in their efforts to deal with the challenges. Both are faced with an undertaking that is massive in scale and reach. It is not simply in the immediate impact of changes and pressures from technology. We are on the cusp of what is clearly going to be an on-going upheaval in markets, consumption patterns, innovation, workforce structure, delivery methods and enterprise operations.

Considering just IT and the necessity for it to be agile, scalable, adaptive, hybrid and heterogeneous, any enterprise wishing to survive has little choice, but to plan and determine how they will be impacted and what they must do. That is a task that requires a partner, and the task IBM is preparing itself to provide.

It is at Edge2015, as well as their other events, where they must convince the attendees of the success and benefits of IBM”s own on-going transformation. IBM must also demonstrate the wisdom and payoff realized by the clients, customers and partners joining in the effort. It’s our opinion that Edge2015 has made a significant contribution to that effort.

[1] Middleware barely encompasses the scope, significance and pervasiveness of the software underlying, enabling all infrastructure.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

With Redis Labs, CAPI goes Mainstream, Big Time!

By Rich Ptak and Bill Moran

When IBM announced CAPI (Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface) exclusively on POWER8 in 2014, its practical use and the applications it benefited didn't immediately leap to mind. So when Redis Labs announced that applying CAPI technology to in-memory database applications provided significant cost advantages over similar Intel-based systems; it caught our attention.

CAPI technology reduces latency by allowing a processor to directly access[1] data on a flash device. It operates at speeds far faster than typical I/O devices. CAPI supports as much as 40TB of flash memory. Previously, large Redis NoSQL databases on x86 servers would be at a severe cost disadvantage because the database had to reside in main memory which required a large number of x86 servers to handle a terabyte or more of data.

Redis Labs[2]  
Redis Labs and IBM collaborated to implement a NoSQL solution using POWER8 and CAPI. It took several weeks of programming by Redis Labs using IBM provided APIs. Redis needs just 6 POWER8 systems to support a 40TB database. Table 1 (below) compares a possible Redis Labs POWER8 configured solution with a Dell configuration and an Amazon EC2 solution[3]. A Dell system with 512MB of main storage per server would need 80 servers to handle a 40TB database[4]. The Redis Labs solution needs only 6 P8 servers vs. the Dell-Intel’s 80 servers. This is a 13 to 1 (80/6) server advantage ratio[5] over the Dell! 
Table 1 Source: Redis Labs - Prices are based on list prices that were current as of January, 2015

IBM

IBM developed and delivered CAPI to the OpenPOWER Foundation anticipating members would find additional applications for it. As evidenced in presentations at the recent OpenPOWER Foundation summit, IBM’s hopes are bearing fruit. As an example, Nallatech’s[6] uses CAPI to attach FPGA (Field programmable gate arrays)[7] to a POWER8 system. FPGA allow programming of microprocessors in the field to perform specialized functions for networks, app acceleration, etc.  

IBM has also done calculation exercises to highlight potential advantages for Redis database using CAPI on POWER8. One calculation shows that managing a 12TB database requires slightly more than 24 x86 servers versus only a single POWER8 server. Thus, they can claim a 24 to 1 (server consolidation ratio) advantage for POWER8. While, technically true, we believe most customers would want a second server (as backup protection) in a production environment[8].

The Redis Lab’s database deployment comparison (discussed above) required only 6 POWER8 servers, a 13 to 1 reduction ratio, even though the database is larger (40TB) and includes processor redundancy. It is closer to a real-life production data center example. Even if we add a server for backup to IBM’s example (cited above) the 24 to 1 ratio becomes 24 to 2 or 12 to 1. This is very close to the Redis Lab result.

To our knowledge, neither IBM nor Redis Labs has publicly discussed any comprehensive benchmark data comparing real configurations of x86 servers versus POWER8 CAPI servers. IBM has case studies in the works that focus on POWER8 Linux. We’ll discuss some of these when they are available.

Redis Labs has a benchmark on their web site comparing their service with several of their competitors[9]. The results are very favorable to Redis Labs.

In summary, the server ratios discussed here are configuration comparisons demonstrating potential benefits of the POWER8 CAPI Flash solution. They are not based on actual benchmark or production data. They should not be generalized to other cases outside of this specialized database example.

Redis Labs has POC (proof-of-concept) studies underway with multiple clients.  Their product should be fully deployed at a number of production sites later this year. We expect more detailed performance data from production environments will emerge soon after.

Competitive Responses

We expect Intel competitors to respond to the Redis and IBM comparisons[10]. First, they will configure NoSQL systems with more RAM which will serve to significantly reduce the required number of servers. For example, it takes only 20 Intel servers to handle a 40 TB database, if it is configured with 2TB of RAM. However, the cost of 40TB of RAM will be far higher than 40TB of flash, leaving the Redis/IBM solution with a significant pricing advantage.

In the slightly longer term, Intel can re-engineer their chip to provide CAPI-like capabilities. Depending on how this is achieved, it could potentially result in other advantages for Redis Labs. For example, if Intel creates a solution with a significant amount of flash under the covers of a server, a failure would remove that portion of the database from the online configuration. This would give Redis Labs/IBM a significant availability advantage since their database resides on an external device, and not likely to suffer similar isolation.

Benchmark results will eventually be available. From a strictly performance point of view, we believe an in-memory solution may have some advantage over a CAPI-flash solution. However, we believe the price advantage would weigh heavily in favor of Flash based systems.

Summary

There is no question that CAPI technology has demonstrated great potential. Its application to the Redis NoSQL database shows real promise.  In addition, we believe that other applications are already being discovered and developed. CAPI is a very real product not a theoretical technology. Redis Labs has multiple POC studies underway. We predict IBM and Redis Labs will have a significant advantage when they report performance in production environments.

In the meantime, some customers will probably wait to see more production results before making significant investments. We don’t think that will take long. The other wild card is the speed of the development of applications using terabyte-sized databases that require very high speed performance. The faster such apps and databases proliferate the more pressing will be the demand for systems that can manipulate and manage them. And, that is what makes the CAPI flash solution so attractive.




[1] IBM provides excellent whitepapers about CAPI and NOSQL at the bottom of this article: http://www-304.ibm.com/webapp/set2/sas/f/capi/home.html    
[3] These are configuration comparisons; all costs are based on calculations using system list prices.
[4] Note these comparisons are not benchmarks as no actual measurements were made on either configuration.
[5] Note all ratios are based on counts of servers not server racks.
[8] IBM points out that for true high availability one would need multiple shards for each data element. Neither the x86 case nor the POWER8 case is configured for high availability, so they are comparable in this respect.
[10] We assume the size of the market for large in-memory databases is sufficient to justify response.  IBM estimates the market might be as large as $12B over the next several years. We believe that the growth of IOT is a major market driver.