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Watson Power7 cluster. Pic: IBM

IBM's focus on cloud and software isn't novel – it's survival

IBM believes it is closer than ever to returning to overall revenue growth for the first time in more than four years. That's looking at the whole picture, though: while cloud and software are pulling in the right direction, the corporate goliath's remaining hardware operations are still looking pretty grim. Big Blue said …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Oct 2016
Watson Power7 cluster. Pic: IBM

IBM splashing $2bn on Weather Company – reports

Big Blue is reported to be further beefing up its Watson division by splashing $2bn (£1.3bn) snapping up the digital arm of the Weather Company, a US-based organisation that runs the Weather Channel and a digital company providing mobile apps. Both the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times reported that people familiar …
Kat Hall, 28 Oct 2015
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

Apple, IBM jump into bed for health data love in

Apple has partnered with IBM to use Big Blue’s former Jeopardy contestant Watson to crunch cloudy data obtained from Cupertino's fruity and still hard-to-come-by watches. The move is part of IBM’s unveiling of its Watson Health Cloud, intended to provide a platform for health researchers to aggregate information collected from …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

IBM buys 'deep learning' upstart Alchemy API, inhales 40,000 devs

Big Blue has taken a break from its busy axe wielding cost-cutting schedule to buy startup AlchemyAPI and insert 40,000 developers into its "community". Deep learning upstart Alchemy API collects, sifts through and analyses unstructured text and data. According to Big Blue, the acquisition will boost IBM's "Watson ecosystem". …
Kat Hall, 04 Mar 2015
Zombie cloud

Reselling mutant cloud parts from IBM? There's now an app for that

IBM is pitching new software and server gear for use in public, private and public-private hybrid cloud computing environments. The tech titan has announced PureSystem updates plus stuff about Power, System x and technical computing. Big Blue thinks mutant clouds will pick up in popularity; it quotes Gartner as saying that " …
Chris Mellor, 14 Oct 2013
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC –

IBM proffers $1bn for Linux development on Power

After opening up its Power chips to bit fiddlers through an ARM-style licensee model, IBM is pouring $1bn into Linux development on the architecture. The $1bn commitment to Linux on Power was announced by IBM on Tuesday at the Linux conference in New Orleans, and follows Big Blue letting licensees fiddle with Power chips …
Jack Clark, 17 Sep 2013
IBM's System zEC12 mainframe

Sales at IBM decline 3.3 per cent in Q2, profits hit by layoffs

IBM chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty needs the company to turn in much better quarters for the remainder of 2103 than Big Blue did in the first quarter, when it missed its numbers by more than $400m. In the second quarter, IBM did a little better in its systems and services segments and the core business faired alright if you …
IBM PowerLinux logo

IBM to push Linux apps on Power iron in China, then elsewhere

IBM is opening a Power Systems Linux Center in Beijing, China, in the hopes of getting more local ISVs interested in its Power Systems iron and luring them away from x86-based systems. With the Power Systems business taking it on the chin in IBM's first quarter – revenues fell 32 per cent compared to a year ago – you can bet …
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

IBM CEO Rometty swaps heads of strategy and servers

Ginni Rometty, who has been CEO at IBM for a year and a half, is making two big changes in the upper echelons of her management teams; she is swapping the head of corporate strategy and the head of its Systems and Technology Group, and it is presumably to get better results than IBM showed in its first quarter of 2013 in its …

Big Blue misses Q1 targets big-time thanks to systems shortfall

Big Blue did not turn in the numbers that it expected in the first quarter thanks to more than $400m in mainframe systems, related software, and intellectual property licensing deals that rolled over into the second quarter. In the quarter ended in March, revenues were off 5.1 per cent, to $23.41bn, and net income fell by 1.1 …

The server racket recovers from the Great Recession

Sales and shipments of servers are both approaching levels seen in the run-up ahead of the Great Recession in late 2007. This was thanks in large part to the voracious appetite for iron of hyperscale data center operators such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook, and despite cautious investments by enterprises outside of the …
LLNL's Sequoia BlueGene/Q super being assembled by IBM

IBM fuels up more Power7+ servers for impending launch

The details are a bit sketchy, but we can smell the hydrazine and it looks like IBM is getting ready to launch the next wave of Power7+ systems. Last week, in going over Big Blue's fourth quarter financial results, IBM CFO Mark Loughridge said that it planned to roll out more Power Systems servers based on the eight-core …
IBM's System zEC12 mainframe

IBM continues to squeeze blue blood from IT stones

As has been the case for so many quarters that it has become normal, IBM has managed to boost its profits even as its revenues were down a smidgen in the fourth quarter ended in December. Sales across IBM's vast portfolio of IT hard and softwares was off six-tenths of a point, to $29.3bn. But thanks to Big Blue's constant …
IBM logo

IBM to pump Power Systems through Tech Data, Ingram Micro

Big Blue is boosting the size of the Stateside distribution channel that sells its Power Systems servers and enterprise storage by inking master distributor agreements with Ingram Micro and Tech Data. With the new deal, IBM is hoping to boost its profile among small and midrange businesses in particular, a growing market which …
Front view of the C8000 server chassis

IDC: A year of server revenue declines

Server unit shipments may have increased for eleven out of the past twelve quarters, but what matters more are revenues and profits – and according to IDC, the world's server makers have endured their fourth successive quarter of revenue declines in the period ending in September. The IDC box counters reckon that 2.1 million …

Server revenues decline in the third quarter

The server racket continues to be impacted by issues throughout the global economy and intense competition between incumbent players, upstarts, and those making their own hyperscale boxes. Shipment growth is anemic, revenues were down, and it is very likely that profits were down even further, according to the latest data. In …

Big Blue down on all fronts in its third quarter

Its third financial quarter was not an easy one for IBM, with sales down across most product lines and in many geographical regions, and profits down even after selling off its retail-store systems business to Toshiba. Total sales in the quarter were off 5.4 per cent to $24.75bn, and every part of IBM, including the Software …
Palmisano Rometty IBM

IBM juices profits in Q2 despite sales drop

Big Blue has once again demonstrated that it knows how to wring profits out of itself even as revenues across its many product lines have stalled in the wake, of or in anticipation of, product transitions. In the second quarter, which ended in June, IBM's sales were down 3.3 per cent, to $25.78bn, but intellectual property …

Big Blue flaunts scantily clad Xeon E3, E5 racks

Pics Like all the other tier one server makers, IBM is ramping up shipments on the next wave of Xeon chips from Intel inside of its System x, BladeCenter, and Flex System machinery. Big Blue says the new machines will help fill in some gaps in its x86 system lineup, which previously had been exploited by rivals Hewlett-Packard and …

IBM turns in profits bump despite server slump

IT bellwhether IBM missed Wall Street's revenue projections for Q1 by a smidgen but beat expectations for bottom line growth. Revenues were up a mere three-tenths of a point, to $24.67bn, and net income up 7.1 per cent, to just a tad over $3bn. The quarter is a carbon copy, more or less, of the final quarter of 2011, with all …
For Sale sign detail

IBM gets flexible with converged Power, x86 system

The details are a bit sketchy, but IBM is launching its first fully converged systems since it bought itself some clever storage and networking companies a few years back. The new family of products are called PureSystems, and they are based on a new chassis and system architecture that was known as "Project Troy" inside Big …

Big Blue trots out Xeon E5-2600 server lineup

IBM announced a passel of shiny new x86 iron this week, all built around Intel's two-socket Xeon E5-2600 chip, which formally debuted on Tuesday – although select customers such as Big Blue have been fiddling with that server chip for months. IBM generates a lot of its revenues and profits in hardware and software from …

IBM bit-twiddlers want point releases for big iron

The bit-twiddlers took over IBM's server business a year and a half ago, and it appears that they are starting to think about systems as if they were code, as if they could do dot releases in a nearly steady stream and keep their revenues from spiking up and crashing down all the time. It has taken a long time for IBM to build …
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Power7 chips going for a song in Big Blue January sale

Power Systems, the line of big iron packing Power7 CPUs, was one of the bright spots in IBM's server business in the fourth quarter - so a price cut on Power7 processor cards and processor core activations might be one of the last things you would expect out of Big Blue. But this week, that is precisely what the company did. …

Sparc M4 chips etched by Oracle, not Fujitsu

Exclusive The relationship between Oracle, acquirer of the Sun Microsystems server business, and Fujitsu, licenser of the Sparc instruction set and maker of its own Sparc iron – you can't even call it clone iron since Sun and then Oracle have been selling the Sparc Enterprise M systems for years – has been particularly inscrutable for the …

IBM reveals secrets of Watson’s Jeopardy triumph

IBM has explained the principles behind how its Watson machine bested the world’s finest Jeopardy players, even if it can’t handle Siri. In a lecture at the University of California at Berkeley, IBM research scientist Eric Brown outlined the history of the project, and provided some details about how Watson was able to sort …
Iain Thomson, 17 Nov 2011

US weather boffins tap IBM for 1.6 petaflops super

The US National Center for Atmospheric Research has fallen behind in the race for more powerful parallel supercomputers, and it needs a petaflops-class machine to run its weather and climate modeling simulations. The only trouble is, there's no power at its Boulder, Colorado facility to juice up such a behemoth. And so, NCAR …

IBM's mainframe upgrade cycle weakens

With IBM missing Wall Street's expectations for revenue growth in its third quarter by $103m, a sell-off in after-hours trading was already underway and will no doubt be in full swing when the market opens up tomorrow. Wall Street just doesn't get Big Blue. What the Street's moneymen don't realize is that IBM doesn't care …
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So where is IBM's Power7+ CPU?

As El Reg told you earlier this week, IBM was, indeed, getting ready to enhance its Power Systems line of servers. But Big Blue did not, despite evidence to the contrary, have the Power7+ processors coming "just around the corner", as it was telling customers only a few weeks ago. IBM did, however, launch new versions of its …

IBM juices I/O and memory on entry Power Systems

If you are a user of an entry or somewhat biggish Power Systems server and you are memory or I/O constrained, then IBM has some new Power7 machines it wants to sell you. If not, the company is perfectly happy to sell you the existing Power7 machines, which don't support as much main memory and which only use PCI-X and PCI- …
homeless man with sign

IBM preps boost for Power Systems

Big Blue is getting ready to do a bunch of enhancements on its Power Systems lineup either this week or perhaps next week, but don't expect any kickers to the current eight-core Power7 processors, which first made their debut in February 2010 and were rolled out through the summer of last year. That's because, contrary to what …

Ellison: 'There'll be nothing left of IBM once I'm done'

Oracle has pulled the rug out from under Hewlett-Packard's Intel's Itanium processor by yanking support of its database, middleware, and application software on future "Poulson" and "Kittson" Itaniums. It looks as though Larry Ellison wants to take on IBM in microprocessors for data center systems, man-to-man, head-to-head. "I …

Oracle rises for Unix server push

Oracle is taking the fight to Unix market leader IBM with its eight-core SPARC T4 processor and systems with rack, blade, and clustered systems – a full data center press. The SPARC T4 processors, with an S3 core, were developed under the code-name "Yosemite Falls" and offer better performance than Oracle expected. They will …

Sparc T4 chips: Oracle makes stealthy spec change

Oracle is putting its money where its mouth is on the single-threaded performance of the future Sparc T4 processors. Or more precisely, it is putting Sparc customers' money where its mouth is. The Sparc T4 processors went into beta with "select customers" back in July and are due sometime before the end of the year. These new …

IBM heaves new System z minis at mainframe shops

In the hope of continuing the System z upgrade boom that started last summer, Big Blue has rounded out its lineup with a midrange – what IBM calls "Business Class" – mainframe, the System zEnterprise 114. The machine is more or less what the rumors of two weeks ago hinted it would be – although it turns out there are two …
fingers pointing at man

IBM chases Itanium shops with 'Breakfree' deals

When you live in a glass house – like IBM does, both metaphorically and literally – you don't throw stones. So when Oracle suddenly pulled the plug on future software development for the Itanium processor back in March, Big Blue didn't say squat about the situation. But the company's top brass have been taking pot-shots at the …

IBM gets fat on Oracle-HP Itanium spat

With Oracle pulling the rug out from underneath Intel's Itanium processor in an effort to undermine rival HP's Unix-server business, two obvious questions arise: What makes Itanium so special that it has roused the disaffections of the software giant? And why hasn't Big Blue's Power Systems platform been tarred with the same …

IBM to snuff last Cell blade server

IBM has announced that supporters of IBM's "Cell" family of PowerXCell multicore processors have only another six months to buy more blade servers to build up their systems. January 6, 2012 will be the last day that the BladeCenter QS22 blade servers, the last of three different Cell-based machines, will be available from Big …

Oracle plops true live migration onto SPARC hypervisor

Oracle has brought true live migration of workloads to platforms using the SPARC T series of processors, by tweaking the VM Server for SPARC server hypervisor formerly known as logical domains – LDoms, for short. With Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.1, a system can be carved up into as many as 128 LDoms. These LDoms can span many …

IBM to commercialize chip-design cluster tools

IBM is to commercialize the management software behind the chip design cluster used by more than 3,000 engineers to create its homegrown server processors. The offering comes out in July and sports a set of internally developed HPC cluster management tools that provide cloud-like clustering and system pooling capabilities. …
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Big Blue tapes up big data

IBM is announcing a raft of tape-related products, including a new tape format and better robotics for its high-end tape library. It is positioning tape as an integrated archival tier of data storage. The new TS1140 drive and format holds 4TB of native data per cartridge – 20 per cent less than the Oracle T10000c 5TB – but …
Chris Mellor, 09 May 2011

IBM preps Power7+ server chip rev

It has been more than a year since IBM got its first Power7-based machines out the door, and about six months since the chips were fully ramped across the Power Systems lineup. The server processor racket waits for no one, and a slowpoke will quickly get left behind in the volume and midrange space. And so Big Blue has to …

HP forges 32-socket Itanium iron

What's going on with Hewlett-Packard's Itanium-based Integrity server lineup? It has been over a year since HP got its first machines using Intel's "Tukwila" quad-core Itanium 9300 processors into Integrity machines, and the company has still not delivered machines spanning 32 and 64 sockets. This is the kind of big iron that …

Hardware boom boosts IBM in Q1

A bullish hardware upgrade cycle coming out of the Great Recession in the Western economies and continuing booms in several dozen growth markets around the globe helped IBM boost its revenues in the first quarter of 2011 by 7.7 per cent, to $24.6bn. An ever-weakening US dollar didn't hurt Big Blue's books, either, since a …

Novell rolls up last service pack for SUSE Linux 10

Novell has grabbed all the latest snippets of code suitable for patching up its SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 operating system and rolled them into Service Pack 4. This is the last Service Pack planned for version 10 of the desktop and server platform. SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, in desktop and server editions, was launched in July …

IBM juices Power7 chips for midrange workhorse server

Almost precisely a year ago, IBM began the rollout of its Power7-based blade servers in the wake of Intel's Xeon 5600 and 7500 processor launches. And Big Blue is counterpunching Intel on blades and midrange machines again, with an expanded Power Systems blade server lineup and a speed bump for its workhorse Power 750 box. The …
fingers pointing at man

Intel set to reveal Itanium's fate?

Intel should have made a stronger statement than it did about its Itanium processor at this week's launch of the "Westmere-EX" Xeon E7 high-end server processors, considering the bashing that Oracle has given the chip in recent weeks. However – for whatever reason – Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel's Data Center Group, …
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Cray to build huge, grunting 20-petaflop 'Titan' for US gov labs

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, one of the big supercomputer centers funded by the US Department of Energy, has tapped Cray to build a monster cluster that will weigh in at 20 petaflops when it is completed next year. According to a presentation (pdf) by Buddy Bland, project leader for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing …

IBM: Our appliance servers smoke Ellison's 'phony baloney'

IBM is spoiling for a fight with Oracle, as was abundantly in evidence at Big Blue's recent Investor Day at the company's TJ Watson Research Center north of New York City. Thank heavens – otherwise server junkies might die of boredom. IBM doesn't talk as much smack as Oracle does – or Sun Microsystems did - but that doesn't …

Intel sends 'Poulson' Itaniums to the shrink

ISSCC Everyone else might have pretty much abandoned the Itanium processor, but Intel and Hewlett-Packard – who co-designed the 64-bit processor – remain firmly committed. That's mainly because HP has a captive audience of HP-UX, NonStop, and OpenVMS customers that spend billions of dollars a year on systems and therefore make it …


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe