|By Maureen O'Gara||
|February 25, 2011 01:36 PM EST||
Data Base solutions AG (DBS) in Switzerland calculates that European mainframe sites pay IBM 500 million euros - that's $650 million - more than they have to every year because of a gimmick that has ironically been dubbed IBM's "generosity factor."
That, it figures, is two euros or $2.70 out of the pocket of every man, woman and child in the European Union since consumers ultimately wind up paying the price of IBM's generosity.
DBS came to make the calculation in case it decides to complain to the European Commission about IBM.
The EC opened a monopoly maintenance investigation of IBM last summer on complaints from other ISVs. The Justice Department is also conducting a similar probe.
The Swiss software and consulting house is a mainframe DB2 specialist that has gotten roughed up lately by IBM in its zeal to squeeze every dime out of its mainframe monopoly even if it means riding roughshod over would-be competitors.
In September of 2009 DBS released a software utility called IRS for DB2 that increases the authorized DB2 workloads users can run on their mainframes' zIIP specialty processors (SPs).
It saves them a lot of money in licensing fees, money they actually thought they were already saving.
See, IBM doesn't charge its usually hefty monthly license fees for running DB2, Java and XML workloads on SPs. It's a device Big Blue concocted to dissuade users from abandoning mainframes for cheaper-to-run modern computers; zIIPs, like zAAP SPs, are just mainframe central processors (CPs) renamed and sold at a lower price.
IBM has always been hazy about the "portion" - its word - of zIIP-qualified workloads that DB2 sends to zIIPs to execute, but it put no contractual limits on the number of DB2 Distributed Relational Database Architecture (DRDA) workloads that could be offloaded.
Every piece of software that uses the zIIP offload interface can decide what portion or percentage of its workload is redirected to the zIIP. Third-party products that have to compete against other products naturally want as much of their workloads offloaded as possible to make them cheaper to run.
Not DB2. DB2 is the only RDBMS running on z/OS. It doesn't have to compete. And, as far as DBS knows, it's the only software to limit its offloaded workloads.
DBS figured out that IBM only routed 55% of the legitimate DB2 workloads to the zIIPs, not 100% - even though the user-owned SPs had the capacity to handle more and the mainframes' CPs were overworked.
The scheme ensured that IBM raked in maybe an extra $1.5 billion a year in licensing fees worldwide, conservatively speaking.
It was because of a little artificial limit hard-coded into DB2 that IBM never quite got around to telling its customers about. Its existence only officially surfaced last May when IBM happened to mention it in a software patch.
So, to address the imbalance, DBS created IRS for DB2 - IRS is short for Install, Run, Save - which upped the so-called legal generosity factor to 95% and smoothed out the peaks and wait times that IBM had artificially created.
All DBS did was use information that IBM had on its web site for system programmers, information that happens not to be there anymore. And, contrary to IBM's contention that DBS uses the zIIP offload interface, the company says it doesn't and that IBM knows it; IRS for DB2 runs on CPs, not SPs.
Anyway, IBM - which recently described its so-called generosity factory as a business decision, obviously meaning it gives away just enough to keep its customers from bolting to other platforms - didn't take the revenue-denying innovation any too well.
Last May its mainframe software VP Dan Wardman, head of DB2 and IMS, put IBM's position on IRS for DB2 in writing for European customers: "Any other DRDA processing beyond the portion determined by DB2 that is diverted to a zIIP would not be eligible workload."
Aside from trying to spook users into not using it - because no contracts forbid it - IBM released a software patch called APAR PM12256 meant to make IRS for DB2 useless. It was a clumsy patch that actually increased some people's licensing fees and set off a little firestorm of opposition among its usually docile, intimidated mainframe clientele.
The APAR changed the generosity factor from a steady 55% of CPU use to 100% of a sometimes unachievable 60% of transactions and zero for the other 40%. It also created a very high variance in effective and predictable zIIP use that in turn created nasty spikes that cost users more.
DBS responded with a new version of IRS for DB2 to deal with the APAR and a new product called Dynamic SQL Balancing Optimizer (DSBO) to deal with the APAR's disadvantages. This month IBM upped the ante and released two new APARs that again change the way the system works to render DSBO useless and partly correct the problems with the first APAR.
To get around users' fear of IBM, DBS sells its software on a month-to-month basis. A customer can terminate at any time if the pressure IBM exerts gets to be too much to bear. For the 5,000 euros, or $6,500 it costs a month, the user saves about €15,000-€20,000 (~$20,500-~$27,500) a month.
Depending of their arrangements with IBM, the ROI is immediate for some sites while others see their end-of-year penalty payments cut.
DBS is afraid to talk about the adoption of IRS for DB2 because its customers are afraid of IBM's reaction. It says its penetration would be over 50% by now in the German-speaking parts of Europe were it not for IBM.
DBS speculates that between IRS for DB2 and Neon Enterprise Software's IBM-outlawed zPrime widgetry, which offloads and runs traditional DB2, CICS, IMS, TSO/ISPF and batch workloads on SPs, IBM's juicy monthly licensing fees could be cut by 50%.
With several hundred implementations of IoT-enabled solutions in the past 12 months alone, this session will focus on experience over the art of the possible. Many can only imagine the most advanced telematics platform ever deployed, supporting millions of customers, producing tens of thousands events or GBs per trip, and hundreds of TBs per month. With the ability to support a billion sensor events per second, over 30PB of warm data for analytics, and hundreds of PBs for an data analytics archive, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Kaskade, Vice President and General Manager, Big Data & Ana...
Mar. 6, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,470
CommVault has announced that top industry technology visionaries have joined its leadership team. The addition of leaders from companies such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Cisco, PwC and EMC signals the continuation of CommVault Next, the company's business transformation for sales, go-to-market strategies, pricing and packaging and technology innovation. The company also announced that it had realigned its structure to create business units to more directly match how customers evaluate, deploy, operate, and purchase technology.
Mar. 6, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 801
In the consumer IoT, everything is new, and the IT world of bits and bytes holds sway. But industrial and commercial realms encompass operational technology (OT) that has been around for 25 or 50 years. This grittier, pre-IP, more hands-on world has much to gain from Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications and principles. But adding sensors and wireless connectivity won’t work in environments that demand unwavering reliability and performance. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ron Sege, CEO of Echelon, will discuss how as enterprise IT embraces other IoT-related technology trends, enterprises with i...
Mar. 6, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,486
When it comes to the Internet of Things, hooking up will get you only so far. If you want customers to commit, you need to go beyond simply connecting products. You need to use the devices themselves to transform how you engage with every customer and how you manage the entire product lifecycle. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, will show how “product relationship management” can help you leverage your connected devices and the data they generate about customer usage and product performance to deliver extremely compelling and reliabl...
Mar. 6, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,573
The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing data centers to become radically decentralized and atomized within a new paradigm known as “fog computing.” To support IoT applications, such as connected cars and smart grids, data centers' core functions will be decentralized out to the network's edges and endpoints (aka “fogs”). As this trend takes hold, Big Data analytics platforms will focus on high-volume log analysis (aka “logs”) and rely heavily on cognitive-computing algorithms (aka “cogs”) to make sense of it all.
Mar. 6, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,365
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
Mar. 6, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 2,803
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
Mar. 6, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 3,080
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing demand and the rapidly changing workspace model.
Mar. 6, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,239
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
Mar. 6, 2015 03:30 AM EST Reads: 2,837
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Mar. 6, 2015 03:15 AM EST Reads: 4,738
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He discussed opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and technical point of vie...
Mar. 6, 2015 02:45 AM EST Reads: 4,091
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Mar. 6, 2015 02:30 AM EST Reads: 4,757
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS solutions that provide a Hadoop flavor either make choices for customers very flexible in the name of opti...
Mar. 6, 2015 02:30 AM EST Reads: 1,335
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Mar. 6, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 3,176
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
Mar. 6, 2015 01:30 AM EST Reads: 3,689
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
Mar. 6, 2015 01:30 AM EST Reads: 3,816
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...
Mar. 6, 2015 12:30 AM EST Reads: 3,736
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mar. 6, 2015 12:15 AM EST Reads: 3,917
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Mar. 6, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 3,171
The cloud is now a fact of life but generating recurring revenues that are driven by solutions and services on a consumption model have been hard to implement, until now. In their session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss how a top European telco has leveraged the innovative recurring revenue generating capability of the consumption cloud to enable a unique cloud monetization model to drive results.
Mar. 5, 2015 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,969