On Tuesday I had a chance to sit in a discussion with IBM's Michael Curry.
Michael has his own blog here.
By way of background, I work for IBM, live in Massachusetts, and have about 20 years of experience in all aspects of software. However, the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions. At this point in time, I’m most interested in topics like mobile, Cloud APIs & API management, SOA, security, big data analytics, and data protection, so I’ll likely be talking about some of those. However, as I said, my interests have a tendency to shift…
One of the questions from the other media and analyst is what Michael is excited about. And, Michael discussed MessageSight which is in beta and ships by end of May.
Michael is a reader of this blog and is quite technical.
One of the questions I asked is whether MessageSight appliance is designed for a fail-over and/or mesh environment. Yes it is. One of the examples could be a regional approach to collect transportation data. In the local area you could have two appliance set up as fail over, then have these nodes are networked in a mesh environment to share data with other MessageSight servers. With a goal of 99.999% availability this would make sense.
When i was out in the exhibit hall areas I had a chance to chat with a technical person. Hint: when you walk around with a Press Badge, you have to wait to talk to the people who are approved to talk to the press. The funny thing is I was on the other side of this when I worked for Microsoft and you needed to have press training. There were a few people I geeked out with and discussed hardware and software systems, then at the end they realized my badge said press and they were really nervous. I told them don't worry, I don't write about things that aren't public disclosures. Back to the public disclosure by an approved person.
One of the things I learned from a press trained technical person is even though MQTT is emphasized MessageSight appliance works with Java Message Service (JMS) and other messaging protocols. Great, MessagSight appliance is messaging protocol agnostic. IBM likes MQTT, but it will work with many other protocols.
I asked Michael if MessageSight has been targeted for use cases like Oil and Gas. Yes. Working Modbus and SCADA and other protocols is also part of what MessageSight appliance does. Telecom and Transportation are also interesting.
On Feb 22, 2010, IBM announced the Johnson Controls partnership. I remember that one as I was there and had a chance to talk to the Johnson Control guys. It would make sense that Johnson Controls is teaming up with IBM to allow MessageSight to work with their systems for the Smarter Buildings initiative.
IBM and Johnson Controls Join Forces to Make Buildings Smarter
Combined Offering to Enhance Energy and Operational Efficiencies
Next, has IBM looked at the DCIM market? It has been mentioned, but not a targeted scenario in the short term. Which may be a sigh of relief for the DCIM vendors.
One of the scenarios IBM is targeting is M2M, Machine to Machine (M2M) system.
My simple definition is M2M is the set of systems, networks, processes and data that connects machines, being technology in the field, with machines that are computers, primarily for the purpose of asset management and physical security.
This definition seems workable but let’s explore it a bit further. The first machine is the technology in the field, being the terminal or the endpoint of the network, and the second machine is the computer, typically located in the data centre. The machine in the field has a routable IP address and collects data which is sent over a communications network to the computer for processing. For example the computer correlates the sensor data with other data, it ingests, stores and analyses the live video, and it stores the smart meter data to track usage and generate a bill.
Now, if you an industrial control system vendor you need to think whether IBM's MessageSight appliance is a competitor or how you are going to work with it. Johnson Controls is partnering with IBM.
Think about these statements in the press release.
“When we launched our Smarter Planet strategy nearly five years ago, our strategic belief was that the world was going to be profoundly changed as it became more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. IBM MessageSight is a major technological step forward in continuing that strategy,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, WebSphere, IBM. “Until now, no technology has been able to handle this volume of messages and devices. What's even more exciting is that this only scratches the surface of what's to come as we continue down this path of a Smarter Planet.”
The ability of IBM MessageSight to handle and route tremendous volumes of messages makes it ideal for use by governments and organizations looking to connect and infuse intelligence into cities and across industries such as automotive, healthcare and finance.
“To realize the vision of a Smarter Planet, we must first enable the universe of instrumented sensors, devices and machines to communicate more efficiently while sharing, managing and integrating large volumes of data at a rate much faster than ever before,” said Bob S. Johnson, director of development for Sprint’s Velocity Program. “We have been testing IBM MessageSight for some initial projects and are excited about the capabilities that it could help us deliver to the vehicle and beyond.”
There is no reason why IBM's MessageSight would be the repository of operation data in a data center or other industrial systems.