Timothy Prickett Morgan
Co-founder and co-editor Timothy Prickett Morgan brings 25 years of experience as a publisher, IT industry analyst, editor, and journalist for some of the world's most widely-read high-tech and business publications including The Register, BusinessWeek, Midrange Computing, IT Jungle, Unigram, The Four Hundred, ComputerWire, Computer Business Review, Computer System News and IBM Systems User. Most recently, he was the Editor in Chief of EnterpriseTech.
October 19, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
For the past five and a half years, which is not quite an eternity in the IT business but is something akin to a half of a generation or so, IBM’s revenues have been declining, quarter in and quarter out. As has happened many, many times in its more than century of existence, Big Blue, which used to be a peddler of meat slicers, time machines, scales, and punch card tabulators early in its history, has had to constantly evolve and reimagine itself.
The transformation that IBM had to undergo in the late 1980s and early 1990s was a near …Read more
October 17, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If the profit margins are under pressure among the switch and router makers of the world, their chief financial officers can probably place a lot of the blame on Nick McKeown and his several partners throughout the years. And if McKeown is right about what is happening as the network software is increasingly disaggregated from the hardware – what is called software defined networking – they will either have to adapt or be relegated to the dustbins of history.
McKeown cut his teeth after university in the late 1980s at Hewlett Packard Labs in Bristol, England, one of the hotbeds …Read more
October 16, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
After a long, long wait and years of anticipation, it looks like IBM is finally getting ready to ship commercial versions of its Power9 chips, and as expected, its first salvo of processors aimed at the datacenter will be aimed at HPC, data analytics, and machine learning workloads.
We are also catching wind about IBM’s Power9-based scale-up NUMA machines, which will debut sometime next year and take on big iron systems based on Intel Xeon SP, Oracle Sparc M8, and Fujitsu Sparc64-XII processors as well as give some competition to IBM’s own System z14 mainframes.
The US Department …Read more
October 13, 2017 James Reinders
Today, most machine learning is done on processors. Some would say that acceleration of learning has to be done on GPUs, but for most users that is not good advice for several reasons. The biggest reason is now the Intel Xeon SP processor, formerly codenamed “Skylake.”
Up until recently, the software for machine learning has been often more optimized for GPUs than anything else. A series of efforts by Intel have changed that – and when coupled with Platinum version of the Intel Xeon SP family, the top performance gap is closer to 2X than it is to 100X. This …Read more
October 12, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Governments like to spread the money around their indigenous IT companies when they can, and so it is with the AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure, or ABCI, supercomputer that is being commissioned by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan. NEC built the ABCI prototype last year, and now Fujitsu has been commissioned to build the actual ABCI system.
The resulting machine, which is being purchased specifically to offer cloud access to compute and storage capacity for artificial intelligence and data analytics workloads, would make a fine system for running HPC simulation and models. But that …Read more
October 11, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Someone is going to commercialize a general purpose, universal quantum computer first, and Intel wants to be the first. So does Google. So does IBM. And D-Wave is pretty sure it already has done this, even if many academics and a slew of upstart competitors don’t agree. What we can all agree on is that there is a very long road ahead in the development of quantum computing, and it will be a costly endeavor that could nonetheless help solve some intractable problems.
This week, Intel showed off the handiwork its engineers and those of partner QuTech, a …Read more
October 10, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Everyone in the IT industry likes drama, and we here at The Next Platform are no different. But it is also important as the industry in undergoing gut-wrenching transformations, as it has been for five decades now and will probably do so for a decade or two more, to keep some perspective. While the public cloud is certainly an exciting part of the IT market, it hasn’t taken over the world even if it has become the dominant metaphor that all kinds of IT – public, private, and hybrid – aspired to mimic.
That’s something, and it is important. But …Read more
October 5, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The potent combination of powerful CPUs, floating point laden GPU accelerators, and fast InfiniBand networking are coming to market and reshaping the upper echelons of supercomputing. While Intel is having issues with its future Knights massively parallel X86 processors, which it has not really explained, the two capability class supercomputers that are being built for the US Department of Energy by IBM with the help of Nvidia and Mellanox Technologies, named “Summit” and ‘Sierra” and installed at Oak Ridge National Lab and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, are beginning to be assembled.Read more
October 4, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
During the dot-com boom, when Oracle was the dominant supplier of relational databases to startups and established enterprises alike, it used its profits to fund the acquisition of application serving middleware, notably BEA WebLogic, and then applications, such as PeopleSoft and Siebel, and then Java and hardware systems, from its acquisition of Sun Microsystems. It was an expensive proposition, but one that paid off handsomely for the software giant.
In the cloud and hyperscale era, open source middleware is the driving force and in a lot of cases there is nothing to acquire. Projects either go open themselves or are …Read more
October 2, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Chip giant Intel has been talking about CPU-FPGA compute complexes for so long that it is hard to remember sometimes that its hybrid Xeon-Arria compute unit, which puts a Xeon server chip and a midrange FPGA into a single Xeon processor socket, is not shipping as a volume product. But Intel is working to get it into the field and has given The Next Platform an update on the current plan.Read more