A reminder that the world of hardware is not just Intel, AMD, or ARM. Sometimes we forget. IBM has an outstanding solution in the form of ultra powerful, super secure hardware. An article on Ars Technica explains the new hardware offering from IBM and the press release from IBM has plenty of substantive details. You may also note in the comments to the Ars Technica article some interesting comparisons between IBM and standard servers. Overall, a good introduction to the possibilities.
Part of IBM’s plan with this technology seems to be to unleash Linux in corporate data centers. A case can be made that their solution could cost less, be more secure, and offer far greater capacity to conduct business intelligence, reporting, financial transaction processing, and detailed but time sensitive calculations. On the side, you can run standard web applications, websites, and data feeds to mobile. All in a much smaller physical space compared to legions of interlinked standalone servers.
When it comes to high-capacity computers, IBM’s R&D reigns supreme. That does not rule out Intel or AMD or ARM. Those are the technologies that work very well in a personal computing hardware context. Intel and AMD are often used to reach a high threshold in processing capacity. They are more widely accessible but beyond a certain processing threshold, IBM may become a next step.
More interestingly, as reminders go, IBM’s announcement shows that hardware is the root of digital innovation. Again, in the realm of consumer computers, hardware seems homogeneous but in the broader field of computing, there are distinct forms of hardware. IBM’s hardware is very unique with some of their designs having no complete or competent equal in other hardware configurations.
The native support for virtualization, security, and information encoding is valuable to companies like the payroll giant, ADP. That company talks about their use of IBM in the press release mentioned earlier. A weakness of IBM’s technology is it is not often available to individuals. It is promising to see they are working towards an online portal that will allow individuals to put the technology to the test. This may allow persons to gain greater familiarity and skills with the hardware platform and associated operating environments.
This is great news for Ubuntu who not only has great support for much of Intel’s most advanced hardware innovations but IBM’s as well. It means that it may be one of the few platforms by which the same applications optimized for Ubuntu can be tested on both hardware environments to judge which environment has a better default outcome. You have open standards with great portability with the option to run it on the hardware most relevant to your situation and goals.