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IBM’s Doug Balog at LinuxCon: IT Infrastructure Matters for Open Innovation


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Moore’s Law is coming to an end and silicon alone will not be able to continue to deliver 2x performance gains to address the expanding demands of applications hungry for data, hungry for performance, and hungry for analytics insight.  What’s needed is a new way to innovate, a new way to continue to drive performance increases.

IBM has a long history of working with open communities, said Douglas Balog, General Manager, Power Systems, IBM Systems and Technology Group, during his LinuxCon keynote, titled “Revolutionize the Way IT is Created and Consumed.” This collaborative effort has been mainly focused on software – until recently. A critical turning point occurred in 2013 when IBM along with Google, NVIDIA, Mellanox, and Tyan formed the OpenPOWER Foundation around a shared vision of openness. The OpenPower Foundation makes POWER hardware and software available for open development, as well as POWER intellectual property licensable to other manufacturers.

Today, said Balog, the OpenPOWER Foundation exemplifies the dramatic change in the way IT infrastructure is being created, with greater emphasis on open technologies and collaboration that enable choice, agility, and higher value for customers. “At the heart of it is the spirit of open innovation. That is what is driving this forward as we recognize that infrastructure absolutely matters in this new era of computing we find ourselves in.” Open is not just for software anymore, but is also being applied to hardware and systems, Balog noted.

The OpenPOWER Foundation now includes 50 organizations, and is growing rapidly. IBM, he emphasized, is committed to enabling all of its software products that run on Linux on x86 today to also run and be optimized for Linux on Power. Further supporting Linux on Power innovation, IBM is providing more than 50 IBM Power Linux Centers where clients, partners, and developers can go to get access to education, equipment, demonstrations, and support. “We think this will continue to fuel the innovation, continue to fuel the adoption of a very strong choice in the marketplace around technology.”

A replay of Doug Balog’s keynote is now available, as well as additional LinuxCon keynotes, including:

  • Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin on “The State of Linux,”
  • Cisco CTO of Open Source Initiatives Michael Enescu on the shift from cloud to fog computing and the Internet of Things,
  • Docker Founder Solomon Hykes on the way that containers are impacting the open source ecosystem, and
  • Intel Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist Dirk Hohndel on the future of IoT and connected devices.

Go here to access all LinuxCon keynote videos.


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