Did you hear the big announcement last week? Google, IBM and three other companies announced their plans to form the OpenPOWER Consortium‚ an open development alliance based on IBM's POWER microprocessor architecture. The Consortium intends to build advanced server, networking, storage and GPU-acceleration technology."
Perhaps some of you had the same reaction to this news that we did. After Googling to find out what on earth "GPU-acceleration technology" is (and we're still a bit fuzzy about that), we began to wonder - "What's in it for us?" or more specifically - what does this mean for i?
We're software people. Who really cares about hardware? Well, we care only to the extent that the hardware that supports IBM i continues to exist and advance. The expected benefit of the consortium is to grow the base of POWER, which should, in turn, ensure the continued growth of the platform - to the Cloud and beyond.
The announcement - and particularly Google's participation in it - seems to be oriented toward Cloud servers. We believe IBM i is a particularly good platform for many types of Cloud applications, with its legendary reliability and integrated security features. We hope that IBM will also recognize that connection and maybe IBM i will have a role in their Cloud plans.
The last really big POWER news story was Watson - the “Jeopardy!”-winning system, which has since been busy in many more practical applications of that fascinating technology. We have followed the whole Watson story with great interest. It is one of the most innovative applications of software and database imaginable. But it's only specific relevance to those of us interested in IBM i is the fact that it runs on POWER. So much like the #OpenPOWER Consortium announcement, the impact on us is the resulting advancement of the POWER platform.
We're going to be following this story as it unfolds over the coming months. After all, the future of POWER is the future of #IBMi.