Tag Archives: Cloud

IBM Watson Analytics – Powerful Analytics for Everyone

Update – Watson Analytics Beta is available now. Signup and try now @ http://www.ibm.com/analytics/watson-analytics/

On16 Sep 2014 IBM announced Watson Analytics, a breakthrough natural language-based cognitive service that can provide instant access to powerful predictive and visual analytic tools for businesses. Watson Analytics is designed to make advanced and predictive analytics easy to acquire and use.

Watson Analytics Sample 1

Watson Analytics Sample 1

Watson Analytics offers a full range of self-service analytics, including access to easy-to-use data refinement and data warehousing services that make it easier for business users to acquire and prepare data – beyond simple spreadsheets – for analysis and visualization that can be acted upon and interacted with. Watson Analytics also incorporates natural language processing so business users can ask the right questions and get results in terms familiar to their business that can be read and understood or interacted with e.g.Who are my most profitable customers and why?  or Which customers are showing signs that they might be considering defecting to a competitor? or Which sales opportunities are likely to turn into wins?  or Why are these products being returned?

I think the most amazing aspect is that Watson Analytics not only can show what is likely to happen but also what you can do about it e.g. What actions could I take that would improve my chances of closing specific deals in the pipeline? Where should we be focusing our loyalty programs?

Surely Watson Analytics is a powerful tool for any business. To make it even easier for businesses to use this technology, its being made available over cloud.  It will be hosted on SoftLayer and available through the IBM Cloud marketplace. IBM also intends to make Watson Analytics services available through IBM Bluemix to enable developers and ISVs to leverage its capabilities in their applications. Certain Watson Analytics capabilities will be available for beta test users within 30 days, and offered in a variety of freemium and premium packages starting later this year.

This is where Watson Analytics distinguishes itself from the crowded analytics marketplace. IBM makes really advanced business analytics accessible to any business user anywhere and that too without a cost! In the freemium business model a product or service is provided free to a large group of users, but a premium is charged for access to more data sources, data storage and enterprise capabilities.

Beta for the service is expected to launch September, with availability later this year. Don’t wait! Check out IBM Watson Analytics!


Eclipse Orion: Code.Everywhere= true;

This post is inspired by this IBM DeveloperWorks article on Eclipse Orion.

” Develop your software where ever you go. It’ll be there, in the cloud, right where you left it. Just login from a web browser on desktop, laptop, tablet, at an airport, on a bus or even in your office.” Thats what the Orion Website says!  And I say its just amazing! The futuristic development tool is here, now!

Orion has already powered JazzHub, a place where you can collaborate with others to seamlessly plan, track, and develop software in the cloud.

Lets learn some more about Orion. Orion’s objective is to create a browser-based open tool integration platform which is entirely focused on developing for the web, in the web. Tools are written in JavaScript and run in the browser. The technologies which run behind Orion are  RESTful HTTP, HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, JSON, Atom, OpenID, OAuth, Persona, etc. It uses  pure HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript on the client, and Java with Equinox, Jetty, and JGit on the server.  The key tasks done through Orion are coding, navigating, searching and interacting with SCM. Key fundamental is performance over power; that means the pages load at a very fast pace than giving too many options or integrations but balance the features needed intuitively. You can try out the editor here -> https://orion.eclipse.org/examples/editor/demo.html

Code editor supports the basics (cut/copy/paste, undo/redo) and Eclipse desktop features (move up/down, copy up/down, go to line, find, incremental find). Most of these commands are accessible only through keyboard shortcuts, using the default key bindings in Eclipse desktop. To see a full list of available keyboard commands in the editor, press Alt+Shift+? (Ctrl+Shift+? on Mac OS). Outside of the editor, you can get the same help on any page by pressing Shift+?. The editing page shows a small tree of your files in the left-hand pane. Like its larger counterpart on the Navigator page, the miniature file tree lets you perform file management actions: create files and folders, rename, delete, etc. You can even drag & drop from files from your local computer into the file tree to upload them. The editor will syntax highlight your code when working with JavaScript (a *.js file). Orion provides an outline of your JS functions: click the View Options (View options) menu to switch between the file tree and the outline. Editor implements a plug-in that runs JSLint on JavaScript files in order to produce the outline and problem markers. JSLint is JavaScript Code Quality Tool. The editor will also match brackets when you click next to a bracket, perform auto indention, and provide source-code oriented key bindings for things like toggling comments and adding/removing block comments. Syntax highlighting of CSS files is also supported. Orion uses CSSLint to validate and check for problems in CSS files. A simple HTML outline is provided, based on DOM ids. Syntax highlighting is also available for HTML files. Java syntax highlighting is also supported. Pluggable editor actions have been  implemented, which allow third-party developers to extend the behavior of the Orion editor on the fly.

The Eclipse Orion Getting started guide has all the details on the editor, searching, navigation and working with SCM.

With the new Orion 4.0 M2, support has been added for Embedded markdown renderer, Bracket completion, Smart indent, Block comment completion, Option to show whitespace characters, Trim trailing whitespace on save, Customized editor rulers, Customize local editor settings dropdown, Toggle regular expression search in search bar, Search support for replacing with whitespace characters, Content assist more tolerant of syntax errors, Navigate content assist with page up/down, Auto-save now transfers only file deltas. The Orion editor now tolerates running on Internet Explorer 8 and JSLint can be turned off. Support has been added to enable in-editor Git blame on a file by adding Git Blame plugin. Git revert command added and the Orion Git integration has been upgraded to use a new major version of JGit, version 3.0.

The plan for the Orion 5.0 Release is to be in February, 2014 and coincide with EclipseCon North America.  The 5.0 plan will have 4 main focus areas including “Features”, “Infrastructure”, “Core” and “Community”. Some of the ideas within the 5.0 Project Plan would ideally involve some community efforts to implement and those will be called out.

Try it out @ Orion Hub!

The answer is blowin’ in the wind

This post is on news release about how IBM Cloud lifts Bharat Light and Power to build Smarter Operations.

I came across this news release about Bharat Light and Power and IBM Collaborate to Drive Business Growth and Build Smarter Operations. The Indian renewable energy producer will use IBM cloud, analytics, and mobile technologies to increase power generation. This news item pleases me much more than some other multi-million dollar deals since this truely is what IBM has been striving to achieve in its campaign for Smarter Planet.
Since the development of Wind Power in early 90s, India has installed capacity of 19,000+ MW and accounts for about 8.5% of India’s total power capacity.
Bharat Light owns about 200 megawatts of operating wind farms, including 150 megawatts of capacity acquired from DLF in July. It plans to diversify into solar, biomass and hydropower to reach 1,000 megawatts in five years through acquisitions and by building projects.

So what is IBM, an IT major doing for Bharat Light and Power? Earlier this year, India’s Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, gave a directive ordering wind farms with a capacity of 10 megawatts or more to forecast their generation in 15-minute blocks for the following day. Missing estimates by more than 30 percent will incur penalties. The grid infrastructure had one of largest backouts last year and it cannot cope with volatility of wind and sun power generation. Though the directive is quite needed but it will put additional burden on wind and sun power generation companies in adding  the complex forecasting systems for this purpose. IBM technologies will help Bharat Light in achieving this directive.

Another big contribution IBM will do is to increase the operational efficiencies. “The focus of power generation globally, and especially in India, in the next five years is going to be about operational efficiency and productivity enhancements. This requires an intelligent and innovative collaboration between the power and the IT sector. BLP has ambitious growth plans for providing this service and we needed a strategic partner who understands, and helps us realize, our vision,” said Balki G. Iyer, chief development officer, BLP. “A significant factor in selecting IBM was its rich global experience in the renewable energy sector and scalable technology capabilities that suits our requirement.”

Per the news release, IBM will deploy its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure as a service to centrally monitor and manage BLP’s existing and future generation plants as well as store and manage the data on cloud. Also the IBM technologies will help Bharat Light manage the huge amount of data and leverage the crucial insights using advanced analytics including predictive analytics. IBM and BLP’s big data analytics capabilities will help gather valuable insights from the data generated, which will ensure that BLP has an integrated view of its operations and is equipped to take pro-active measures. Using IBM’s mobile technology the company will be able to provide all the information, analyzed on the cloud platform, to its ground staff on their handsets and alert them well in advance. This will enable BLP to build smarter operations with higher efficiency and greater utilization.

The news release further informs that the solution is expected to significantly improve BLP’s Plant Load Factor (PLF), which is essentially the generation efficiency of the installed capacity. IBM will also bring its subject matter experts to help BLP take effective business decisions and make efficient planning, based on the data analysis.

“By making clean energy widely available and affordable, BLP is solving a very important challenge for India and we are excited about collaborating with BLP on this transformative journey. We see tremendous potential for smarter operations, using cloud and analytics, in achieving scale and efficiencies in this business. As a strategic partner, we will deliver measurable business outcomes to BLP by bringing together expertise and capabilities across IBM,” said Ajoy Menon, director of strategic outsourcing, Global Technology Services, IBM India South Asia.

I congratulate IBM and Bharat Light and Power on this agreement and hope that this boosts multifold, the electricity output of wind farms in India.

Migrating from IBM SmartCloud Enterprise to the IBM SoftLayer cloud environment

Further to my earlier post, I was questioned on the migration from IBM SmartCloud Enterprise to the IBM SoftLayer cloud environment. I thought surely it is important to have this information readily available. Yes, it indeed is!
I am blogging my understanding on this migration activity just to verify from my side that customers would be comfortable with the process. I find the process to be quite straight forward and uncomplicated, nothing which should bring concern to customers.
There are strong reasons for recommending this migration to SCE customers. Customers will have One portal, one API, one platform with the stability, support and trust you have always received through your relationship with IBM. As a SoftLayer customer, gains are :
Unmatched flexibility, customization and control for Internet-scale applications with 1600+ functional calls and 200+ services
Unparalleled speed with integrated high-performance bare metal and virtualized servers in public, private or hybrid cloud configurations
Flexibility to take advantage of a wide range of storage, network and security options
Ability to create Internet-scale distributed compute environments in minutes and control through a single management system via API, browser or mobile app

Per the migration web link, ‘On 8 July 2013, IBM® announced the acquisition of SoftLayer, the industry’s only seamlessly unified global cloud computing infrastructure. Security, scalability, and on-demand access to virtual server and storage resources are important to IBM SmartCloud® Enterprise (SCE) customers. SoftLayer delivers global, high-performance cloud computing infrastructure able to support applications at Internet-scale. With SoftLayer’s global cloud environment, you can have it all: One portal, one API, and one platform with the stability, support, and trust you have always received through your partnership with IBM. IBM is encouraging all SmartCloud Enterprise customers and partners to migrate eligible workloads to the SoftLayer cloud environment. To assist in this migration, IBM is providing the use of a fast and easy migration tool to streamline the process. In addition, the IBM team has created a set of information and education resources to help you with your transition to SoftLayer. If you need additional support, contact an IBM representative at Migr8Me@us.ibm.com.’

There a testing or sandbox area where customers can validate their workload under SoftLayer. SoftLayer offers a one month free trial on one CloudLayer Computing public cloud instance. Remember that an instance migration from SCE to SoftLayer may cause service disruption. Although the original SCE instance should remain active during the entire migration process, we recommend that you take appropriate precautions and backup methods.

One option for the migration is to use Racemi CloudPath. Racemi Cloud Path for IBM is a no charge [ See T&C ], Software as a Service (SaaS) tool that enables customers to quickly and easily migrate their existing physical, virtual, or SmartCloud Enterprise cloud servers to IBM’s SoftLayer CloudLayer platform in an automated, unattended way. With Racemi Cloud Path for IBM, you can now automatically move your existing IBM SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE) servers to the new SoftLayer platform and experience minimal downtime of your existing SCE workload. Cloud Path for IBM provides an automated cloud instances migration process that moves the entire server stack to the new SoftLayer environment in a few easy-to-follow steps, without the need to make additional setting changes on the SCE servers.
The article on getting started on the migration, documents crystal clear and easy 10 steps –

1) Analyze your current SCE usage, including items such as operating systems, VM sizes, persistent storage requirements, reserved IP addresses, applications and services used.
2) Read & Understand Migrating VM instances from SCE to SoftLayer using Racemi Cloud Path service.
3) Read Mapping SCE VM sizes to equivalent configurations in SoftLayer and Mapping IBM SmartCloud Enterprise service names, terms, and concepts to SoftLayer to help you understand differences between SCE and SoftLayer.
4) Identify which of your workload VMs you wish to migrate.
5) Identify your workloads that can be migrated using the Racemi tool and those that must use another method.
6) Create accounts in SoftLayer and Racemi.
7) Migrate your workloads.
8 ) Test and validate your migrated workloads on SoftLayer. Verify that your migration was successful using your normal testing methods.
9) Close your SCE account. This will avoid any unnecessary billing for SCE resources.
10) Send an email to migr8me@us.ibm.com if you have questions regarding migration to SoftLayer.

Details of these steps are available on this IBM DeveloperWorks article http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/cloud/library/cl-sce-migration-get-started/index.html

Migration FAQs & Resources


NOTE: Please do note that this post is only for informational purpose and NOT an advice or consultation for the migration activity. Please contact IBM representative at Migr8Me@us.ibm.com for any further queries, details or request for engagement for migration.