Recent Blog Posts

IBM and Intel: Partners in the Journey from Information to Insights

IBM’s long-time Information on Demand conference has changed its name, and its focus. Big Blue’s major fall conference is now called IBM Insight, and it will take over Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from Oct. 26 to 30. The name change reflects a key shift in the tech industry: Beyond managing vast amounts of information—increasingly, technology’s role is to extract value and insights from a vast range of information sources. It’s our job to create actionable information to help businesses succeed and gain a competitive advantage in a highly competitive marketplace.

 

Intel and IBM have worked together for over 20 years to help their customers achieve precisely that. Joint engineering built into IBM and Intel solutions, such as IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration* optimized for Intel® Xeon® processors, deliver dramatic performance gains that can transform big data into vital business insights more quickly, all while lowering costs and power consumption.

 

The other word that describes IBM Insights is “big.” Not only is the focus big data, but the event itself is huge.  With over 13,000 attendees, and over 700 sessions and keynotes, IBM Insight is the largest big data conference in the world. I’m looking forward to catching up with the latest perspectives and emerging technologies in the fast-evolving world of data analytics.

 

Be sure not to miss the following sessions, where you’ll discover the newest advances in data management and analytics from Intel and IBM (all events are in the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center).

 

  • IBM Big SQL: Accelerating SQL and Big Data Performance on Intel Architecture – Session 5191A (10:15-11:15am, Oct 27, Jasmine G). Jantz Tran, an Intel Software Performance Engineer, and IBM’s Simon Harris, provide an overview of IBM Big SQL* and describe the breakthrough performance it delivers when run on Intel Xeon servers and platform products.
  • Ideas for Implementing Big Data on Intel Architecture – Session 7188A (2-2:20pm, Oct. 27, Solution Expo Theater). In this session, Jim Fister, lead strategist and director of business development for Intel’s Data Center Group, will discuss the opportunity for data analytics, the case for driving analytics ahead of schedule, and options for implementing your solutions using Intel Architecture and IBM software.
  • TPC-DI: An Industry Standard Benchmark for Data Integration – 5193A (10-11am, Oct 28, Jasmine G). Along with IBM software engineers Ron Liu and Sam Wong, Jantz Tran returns to introduce TPC-DI, a new industry standard for measuring and comparing the performance of data integration (DI) or ETL systems. They will discuss early observations from running TPC-DI with IBM Infosphere Datastage* on the latest generation Intel Xeon systems, and provide best practice optimization recommendations for Datastage deployments.
  • Managing Internet of Things Data on the Edge and in the Cloud with Intel and IBM Informix* Solutions  – Session 6140A  (10-11am, Oct. 28, Banyan F). IBM’s Kevin Brown and Preston Walters, who leads Intel’s technical enablement and co-marketing of IBM software products on Intel technology, describe the challenges of Internet of Things and Internet of Everything requirements, and how data architecture and technologies from Intel and IBM are responding to these challenges in both edge devices and cloud infrastructure.
  • Intel and IBM Software: A Long History – Session 7189A (2-2:20pm, Oct. 28, Solution Expo Theater). In this session, Jim Fister will cover the history of Intel and IBM’s relationship, along with a discussion of performance enhancements for IBM OLTP and data analytics software using the latest Intel platforms.
  • Optimizing Mixed Workloads and High Availability with IBM DB2 10.5 on an Intel® Architecture – Session 5141A (3-4pm. Oct. 28, Banyan F). In this session, Kshitij Doshi, a principal engineer in Intel’s Software and Services Group, and Jessica Rockwood, an IBM senior manager for DB2 performance, provide an overview of the latest Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 V3 series processor architecture and its benefits for transaction processing workloads with IBM DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration.
  • Goodbye Smart; Hello Smarter: Enabling the Internet of Things for Connected Environments – Session 6402A (11:15am-12:15pm, Oct. 29, Banyan F). Intel’s Preston Walters, with Oliver Goh, CEO of Shaspa GmpH, discuss how Intel, Shaspa and IBM provide intelligent solutions for connected environments that enable local analytics and decision-making to improve business and consumer services. Attend this session to see a demo of the Internet of Things in action.
  • Using IBM Bluemix* and IBM SoftLayer* to Run IBM InfoSphere Information Server* on an Intel® Technology-Powered Cloud – Session 5198A (10-11am, Oct. 30. Jasmine E). In this session, Jantz Tran, with IBM’s Beate Porst and Sam Wong, explain how IBM InfoSphere Information Server* works in the cloud and provides data for scaling performance. They also discuss bare metal and virtualization options available with IBM SoftLayer.

 

At IBM Insights, Intel will be sharing a booth with our friends at Lenovo. Stop by to say hello and check out the latest Lenovo tablets, which rate highly in performance and security in the recent report Do More, Faster with IBM Cognos* Business Intelligence. Download the report to learn how tablets and servers based on Intel processors provide unparalleled improvements to speed and capabilities for IBM Cognos BI workloads.

 

Follow me at @TimIntel and watch for my Vine videos and man-on-the-street commentary and impressions from IBM Insights. Follow @IntelITCenter to join the dialogue with Intel IT experts, and follow @IntelSoftware to engage with Intel’s software community. 

 

See you in Las Vegas!

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VMworld 2014 Takeaway: Software-Defined Security

By Scott Allen

 

One of the key topics that had everyone talking at VMworld 2014 in San Francisco was the Software-Defined Infrastructure, or SDI—an advance on the traditional data center that makes it easier and faster for businesses to scale network services to accommodate changing needs. The SDI extends the benefits of virtualization, which include increased uptime and automated provisioning, plus reduced server sprawl and lower energy costs, to the realm of networking and storage infrastructures.

 

This more fully virtualized environment is a stepping stone to the increased flexibility and cost savings of the hybrid cloud—but it also presents real challenges to traditional data center security solutions.

 

Today’s data center security technologies are designed for existing data centers—which makes moving to a SDI a chancy proposition for most businesses. Current security solutions are largely blind to what actually goes on in a virtualized data center, with its dynamic provisioning and virtual machines. Running traditional security solutions on a fully virtualized environment can result in gaps in protection and coverage, make security management inefficient and difficult, and create problems with compliance.

 

So I was encouraged by the number of security-related announcements at VMworld that point to advances in protection for servers deployed in physical, virtualized and cloud environments—and that address the security challenges associated with SDI.

 

Intel® Security, a newly formed group within Intel that focuses on security projects and technologies, announced the Intel® Security Controller, a software-defined approach to securing virtualized environments. This security controller integrates the McAfee* Virtual Network Security Platform, an advanced intrusion protection system (IPS) optimized for Intel® Xeon®-based servers, into VMware* NSX, the industry-leading technology for network virtualization. This combination allows users to virtualize individual security services and synchronize policy and service injection within workflows by providing an abstraction layer between the security and networking infrastructures. This in essence creates software-defined security, allowing businesses to automate their existing security management applications to span security policies across physical and virtual network infrastructures. This leads to cost-effective security protection of virtualized workflows within an SDI and simplified management and deployment.

 

Also at VMworld, McAfee (now part of Intel Security) announced major advancements to its Server Security Suites portfolio, offering comprehensive protections for hybrid data center deployments, including software-defined infrastructures. Because significant amounts of data are stored on servers, they are attractive targets for hackers, and providing your server environment with integrated, broad-based protection is essential. McAfee’s new Server Security Suites release incorporates a number of individual security technologies into a single, easy-to-manage solution that extends visibility into your underlying server infrastructure whether it is on-premises or off. It shields physical, virtual and cloud environments from stealthy attacks so businesses like yours can safely explore the flexibility and scalability of hybrid infrastructures.

 

VMware also announced a new program to help businesses and organizations meet compliance mandates for regulated workloads in cloud infrastructures. VMware’s Compliance Reference Architecture Frameworks provide a programmatic approach that maps VMware and Intel security products to regulatory compliance in cloud environments for industries with strict security or privacy mandates. The framework provides a reference architecture, regulation-specific guidance, and thought leadership—plus advice for software solutions that businesses require to attain continuous compliance. These frameworks will help take the guesswork out of meeting strict regulatory guidelines when using cloud-based infrastructures for restricted workloads.

 

The first available framework is the VMware* FedRAMP Compliance Reference Architecture Framework, which addresses the needs of organizations to enable and maintain a secure and compliant cloud environment for U.S. government agencies. Further compliance frameworks from VMware and Intel are in the works, including one for HIPAA.

 

VMware and Intel are building the foundations for software-defined security, making it easier—and safer—than ever for your business to achieve the benefits of virtualization and the hybrid cloud.

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Look Out X-Men! Here Come the Examen to Tackle the Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge

The latest team to announce participation in the Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge (PUCC) at SC14 is the Examen representing the EXA2CT project in Europe. The “Exa” in “Examen” is pronounced like exascale, of course!

 

The EXA2CT project, funded by the European commission is comprised of 10 partners—including IT4Innovations, Inria and Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), which are represented by Examen team members. The project aims to integrate development of algorithms and programming models tuned to future Exascale supercomputer architectures.

 

 

The Examen include David Horak (IT4Innovations, Czech Republic), Lubomir Riha (IT4Innovations, Czech Republic), Patrick Sanan (USI, Switzerland), Filip Stanek (IT4Innovations, Czech Republic), and Francois Rue (not pictured, Inria, France)

The team plans to leverage those hours spent developing algorithms and programming models into a serious run at the PUCC. Here’s what Examen Team Captain David Horak with IT4Innovations in the Czech Republic had to say about his team:

 

Q. What is the role of your team members in the EXA2CT project?
A. The team provides system level libraries support for MPI-3.0 implementation and GASPI implementation for non-blocking communication. They are also involved in the development of ESPRESO and FLLOP libraries with communication hiding and avoiding techniques for exascale computers.

 

Q. What do the Examen hope to accomplish by participating in the Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge?
A: We want to check whether we finally reached the state, when bachelor students surpass us in HPC knowledge. ;-)

 

Q. What are the most prevalent high performance computing applications in which your team members are involved?
A. We are most involved with Intel Cluster Studio (Intel MPI), OpenMPI, GPI-2, PETSC and FLLOP.

 

Q. How will your team prepare for the competition?
A. Drink a lot of coffee. ;-)

 

Q. SC14 is using the theme “HPC Matters” for this year’s conference. Can you explain why HPC matters to you?
A. HPC is fun and makes the world more interesting by enabling scientists to better explore it.

 

The Intel Parallel Universe Computing Challenge kicks off on Monday night at the SC14 opening gala. See the schedule and learn more about the contestants on the Intel SC14 Web page.

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Protecting Consumer Information: NCR and Intel Team Up for a New Approach

One of the most fascinating—and challenging—aspects of using technology in the retail and financial services space is how to ensure the protection of personal data on open platforms. In the guest blog post below, Chris Lybeer, Vice President of Strategic … Read more >

The post Protecting Consumer Information: NCR and Intel Team Up for a New Approach appeared first on IoT@Intel.

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Intel Labs’ Orion Races In-Vehicle Infotainment Onto the IoT

My colleague Ignacio Alvarez, Research Scientist, Systems Prototyping & Infrastructure, Intel Labs, works closely with software and hardware engineers, user experience researchers, and designers to prototype concepts in the field of intelligent transportation. In his blog post below, Ignacio writes … Read more >

The post Intel Labs’ Orion Races In-Vehicle Infotainment Onto the IoT appeared first on IoT@Intel.

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Mobile Device Security Raises Risk for Hospitals

The bring-your-own-device to work trend is deeply entrenched in the healthcare industry, with roughly 89 percent of the nation’s healthcare workers now relying on their personal devices in the workplace. While this statistic—supplied by a 2013 Cisco partner network study—underscores the flexibility of mHealth devices in both improving patient care and increasing workflow efficiency, it also shines a light on a nagging, unrelenting reality: mobile device security remains a problem for hospitals.

 

A more recent IDG Connect survey concluded the same, as did a Forrester Research survey that was released earlier this month.

 

It’s not that hospitals are unaware of the issue; indeed, most HIT professionals are scrambling to secure every endpoint through which hospital staff access medical information. The challenge is keeping pace with a seemingly endless barrage of mHealth tools.

 

As a result:

 

  • 41 percent of healthcare employees’ personal devices are not password protected, and 53 percent of them are accessing unsecured WiFi networks with their smartphones, according to the Cisco partner survey.
  • Unsanctioned device and app use is partly responsible for healthcare being more affected by data leakage monitoring issues than other industries, according the IDG Connect survey.
  • Lost or stolen devices have driven 39 percent of healthcare security incidents since 2005, according to Forrester analyst Chris Sherman, who recently told the Wall Street Journal these incidents account for 78 percent of all reported breached records originating from healthcare.

 

Further complicating matters is the rise of wireless medical devices, which usher in their own security risks that take precedence over data breaches.

 

So, where should healthcare CIOs focus their attention? Beyond better educating staff on safe computing practices, they need to know where the hospital’s data lives at all times, and restrict access based on job function. If an employee doesn’t need access, he doesn’t get it. Period.

 

Adopting stronger encryption practices also is critical. And, of course, they should virtualize desktops and applications to block the local storage of data.

 

What steps is your healthcare organization taking to shore up mobile device security? Do you have an encryption plan in place?

 

As a B2B journalist, John Farrell has covered healthcare IT since 1997 and is a sponsored correspondent for Intel Health & Life Sciences.

Read John’s other blog posts

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Workload Optimized Part A: Enabling video transcoding on new Intel powered HP Moonshot ProLiant server

TV binge watching is a favorite past time of mine. For an 8 weeks span between February and March of this year, I binge watched five seasons of a TV series. I watched it on my Ultrabook, on a tablet at the gym, and even a couple episodes on my smart phone at the airport. It got me thinking about how the episodes get to me as well as my viewing experience on different devices.

 

Let me use today’s HP Moonshot server announcement to talk about high-density servers. You may have seen that HP today announced the Moonshot ProLiant m710 cartridge. The m710, based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1284L v3 with built-in Intel® Iris Pro Graphics P5200, is the first microserver platform to support Intel’s best media and graphics processing technology. The Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1284L v3 is also a great example of how Intel continues to deliver on its commitment to provide our customers with industry leading silicon customized for their specific needs and workloads.

 

Now back to video delivery. Why does Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics matter for Video Delivery? The 4k Video transition is upon us. Netflix already offers mainstream content like Breaking Bad in Ultra HD 4k. Devices with different screen sizes and resolutions are proliferating rapidly. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones have 1920×1080 Full HD resolution while the Panasonic TOUGHPAD 4k boasts a 3840×2560 Ultra HD display. And, the sheer volume of video traffic is growing. According to Cisco, streaming video will make up 79% of all consumer internet traffic by 2018 – up from 66% in 2013.

 

At the same time, the need to support higher quality and more advance user experiences is increasing. Users have less tolerance for poor video quality and streaming delays. The types of applications that Sportvision pioneered with the yellow 10 yard marker on televised football games are only just beginning. Consumer depth cameras and 3D Video cameras are just hitting the market.

 

For service providers to satisfy these video service demands, network and cloud based media transcoding capacity and performance must grow. Media transcoding is required to convert video for display on different devices, to reduce the bandwidth consumed on communication networks and to implement advanced applications like the yellow line on the field. Traditionally, high performance transcoding has required sophisticated hardware purpose built for video applications. But, since the 2013 introduction of the Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1200 v3 family with integrated graphics, application and system developers can create very high performance video processing solutions using standard server technology.

 

These Intel Xeon processors support Intel® Quick Sync Video and applications developed with the Intel® Media Server Studio 2015.  This technology enables access to acceleration hardware within the Xeon CPU for the major media transcoding algorithms. This hardware acceleration can provide a dramatic improvement in processing throughput over software only approaches and a much lower cost solution as compared to customized hardware solutions. The new HP Moonshot M710 cartridge is the first server to incorporate both Intel® Quick Sync Video and Intel® Iris Pro Graphics in a single server making it a great choice for media transcoding applications.

As video and other media takes over the internet, economical, fast, and high quality transcoding of content becomes critical to support user demands. Systems built with special purpose hardware will struggle to keep up with these demands. A server solution like the HP Moonshot ProLiant m710, built on standard Intel Architecture technology, offers the flexibility, performance, cost and future proofing the market needs.

 

In part B of my blog I’m going to turn the pen over to Frank Soqui. He’s going to switch gears and talk about another workload – remote workstation application delivery. Great processor graphics are not only great for transcoding and delivering TV shows like Breaking Bad, they’re also great at delivering business applications to devices remotely.

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Workload Optimized Part B: Enabling remote workstation application delivery

By Frank Soqui, General Manager, Technical Compute Cloud and Client, Data Center Group, Intel Corporation



It’s clear that if a business wants to remain competitive in today’s global business climate it has to employ technologies that helps its technical employees (engineers, researchers, analysts, scientists, etc) collaborate at an accelerated pace.  They need be able to solve complex and interconnected problems in time to remain competitive or relevant within their industry. They need access to their primary tool – the workstation – anywhere and anytime.

 

With that in mind, we have been working with Citrix to optimize XenApp performance on Intel processor graphics solutions, such as the HP Moonshot ProLiant m710 cartridge based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1284L v3 with built-in Intel® Iris Pro Graphics P5200. This solution makes it possible to extend the workstation experience to more users by delivering a rich, high-performance workstation experience to devices that range from tablets, smart phones to ultrabooks. These processor technologies help change the game by accelerating the pace of collaboration, and can be vital to delivering the robust user experience that is necessary to securely collaborate with partners and customers anywhere, at any time.  

 

What matters most is the delivered experience. This solution, for the first time, can deliver a workstation class experience and graphics in a virtual environment.  It is capable of delivering rich applications as a service (RaaS) to engineers or designers engaged in CAD; an artist or animators doing content creation; or a knowledge workers engaged in business logic, data base applications, 2D graphics, Audio/Video or asynchronous I/O applications. The solution is compelling in that it transforms a tablet, smart phone or Ultrabook into a collaboration tool at any time, in in any place, and with a compelling professional visual experience.

 

This is made possible because the Intel processor technology employs a zero copy workflow that uses the same cache and memory of the CPU and its dedicated eDRAM.  It also employs the Intel® Quick Sync video technology that accelerates decoding and encoding for a significantly faster conversion time, while also enabling the processor to complete other tasks, resulting in an enhanced overall user experience.

 

Beyond the hardware, Intel® Graphics Virtualization Technology (Intel® GVT), is a comprehensive portfolio of graphics virtualization technologies for media transcode acceleration, visual quality per channel bandwidth maximization, and 3D graphics offload. Intel® GVT addresses variety of graphics usages and deployment models, including but not limited to: Remote Workstations, VDI, Transcode, Media streaming, and Cloud gaming, and a few more. Intel GVT allows ISVs and developers to choose from three different techniques to best suit their product and business model.

 

Today, an Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1284L v3 with built-in Intel® Iris Pro Graphics P5200 delivers a workstation like experiences to knowledge workers employing tablets, smart phones and ultrabooks on the go – this helps them to securely collaborate anywhere, anytime with customers and suppliers.

 

For corporate IT, it provides a server hosted solution that is manageable and capable of delivering predictable service levels for users seeking remote access to rich applications.

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User-Centric Design and the Internet of Things

“No man is an island, entire of itself.”

John Donne – Meditation XVII

 

The Harvard Business Review recently published a blog regarding the often-overlooked human element in discussion of the Internet of Things (IoT). The blog closed with the potent statement that the goal for the IoT is not to make things smarter but to make people smarter. To be successful we must create devices that move beyond process automation and create predictive intelligence that enhances intuition and decision making. H. James Wilson dove into the cognitive science behind good design, citing that one of the greatest hurdles facing the IoT is deciding whether to develop with an interaction-dominant focus or to follow a more component-driven approach.

 

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Softly Assembled Systems

 

The “Handbook of Research Methods in Social and Personality Psychology” states,

 

“The key property of softly assembled systems is that they exhibit interaction-dominant dynamics, as opposed to component-dominant dynamics. For component-dominant dynamical systems, system behavior is the product of a rigidly delineated architecture of system modules, component elements, or agents, each with predetermined functions (i.e., the pendulum clock or a factory assembly line). As noted earlier, however, for softly assembled interaction-dominant dynamical systems, system behavior is the result of interactions between system components, agents, and situational factors, with these intercomponent and interagent interactions altering the dynamics of the component elements, situational factors, and agents themselves…”

 

A softly assembled system represents a collection of components synergistically existing and interacting; Wilson brought up the example of cooking in the kitchen. When preparing a meal, we don’t think about the devices we use to accomplish the task – all the tools are used as an extension of self. The motion is both fluid and intuitive. But when one of those tools malfunctions, it disrupts connectivity and removes us from the softly assembled system.

 

All Eyes on Ireland

 

This year, we embarked on a journey with the Dublin City Council to make Dublin the most connected city in the world. 200 Quark-based Gateway platforms scattered across the city will collect environmental sensor data in hopes of improving quality of life and fostering greater sustainability. This ecosystem of sensors will blend into the current infrastructure with zero impact on the current population, and allows inhabitants to communicate needs to the city’s administration in real time without interrupting daily routine. A smarter Dublin will represent a softly assembled system that allows its citizens to connect with its government simply by their physical existence within city lines.

 

IT leaders have a lot to learn from Dublin’s approach. When strategizing for the more connected enterprise, IT leaders need to remember the science behind interaction-dominant dynamics. Analyzing natural human-device interaction will allow us to build those softly assembled systems. The less obtrusive the technology, the more a user will be able to exist in a comfortable, natural — productive — state. It’s time for IT leaders to focus on solutions designed for existing connectivity. No man is an island. Even in your enterprise.

 

If you’re currently working on your IoT strategy, don’t forget to read about the key tenets for developing and deploying IoT solutions. And to continue this conversation, please follow us at @IntelITCenter or use #ITCenter.

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Accelerating Time to Insight in the Petroleum Geosciences Industry with Xeon Phi Co-processors

Today DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) announced the acquisition of a new HPC system from SGI. DUG and SGI worked closely with Intel while developing the system, which will feature a total of 3,800 Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors. This is one of the largest commercial deployments of Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors, and the largest such deployment intended for use in the petroleum geosciences industry.

“We’ve already started to see dramatic improvements in turn-around times when we compare our upgraded machines to those without coprocessors. Our time migration now runs more than ten times faster. Our depth migration runs six times faster. DUG has also seen its Reverse Time Migration (RTM) run significantly faster using this new technology,” said Dr. Matt Lamont, DUG’s managing director.

Dr. Lamont gives several reasons for choosing the Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors over GPU accelerators. In addition to his top researchers being more familiar with the many core programming model, when asked about the differences in programming difficulty, he stated that for Kirchhoff Time Migration, programming on the GPU was roughly four times more difficult than on the Intel Xeon Phi.

He also stated that overall Total Cost of Ownership, or “bang for the buck,” is a top consideration for DUG, and that the performance, programming environment and end price all play a role in this. For HPC workloads at DownUnder GeoSolutions, consisting of a full suite of seismic processing and imaging algorithms, the Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors were selected as the best option.

“The innovative use of Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors by DownUnder GeoSolutions is enabling their geophysicists to work with large seismic data sets interactively,” said Charles Wuischpard, vice president and general manager of Workstations and HPC at Intel. “In an industry where time is invaluable, the Intel® Xeon Phi™-based SGI system allows DUG to test more and faster, leading to better results in a much shorter period of time. Their integration of Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors has enabled them to quickly adapt their existing code and immediately pass this value on to their customers.”

Visit with Intel and DownUnder GeoSolutions at SEG next week in Denver, booths 1693 (Intel) and 538 (DUG).

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Mobility In The Financial Services Industry — Right On The Money

Results from a recent survey of IT professionals working in the financial services sector show that a significant percentage of the industry is adopting a mobility strategy. CIOs at wealth management companies need to be prepared to offer solutions that focus on the needs of financial analysts and advisors. The IT leaders in these companies have a unique perspective on the technologies and devices that are capable of alleviating productivity bottlenecks.

 

Financial analysts and wealth managers need a device that supports their fast-paced profession yet still affords them the flexibility to get their work done wherever they are. Many tablets and other mobile devices are loaded with extraneous features, but most wealth managers just want technology that gets them to the numbers without getting in the way. For financial service companies looking to give their team an edge by offering a high-performance mobile device that works quickly, seamlessly, and lets analysts focus on making decisions that benefit clients, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a great investment.

 

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Time Equals Money

 

When time is money, loading screens are your enemy. In a recent study, Principled Technologies tested a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, iPad Air, and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 side by side to check performance with regards to common tasks wealth managers perform, such as using financial planning software and mutual fund research. The study also tested Microsoft Office and video performance using Microsoft Lync remote meeting software, a service commonly used for real-time collaboration and communication.

 

The difference in load times across the three platforms was substantial. When using the financial planning software MoneyGuide Pro, the Intel-Powered Surface Pro 3 cut waiting times by 40% compared to the iPad Air and Galaxy Note 10.1. Additionally, while performing common mutual funds research on Fund Mojo, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 outperformed the competition by 45%.

 

Don’t Buy Into Inflated Tablet Hype

 

While the iPad Air and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 have gained in popularity, the smart investor knows to dig deeper before making a move. In addition to leaving both tablets in the dust when it comes to research and portfolio management tasks, the Surface Pro 3, featuring a 4th generation Intel Core processor, demolished the competition in productivity time savings. The Surface Pro 3 allows users to access and edit Office documents 76% faster than the competition, and features full Microsoft Office 365 compatibility. The iPad Air and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 were only able to perform a fraction of the productivity tasks, and were even further disadvantaged when it came to video conferencing with Microsoft Lync. The Surface Pro 3 was the only device capable of participating in a Lync meeting and accessing all of the software’s features.

 

If you’re looking for a full-featured tablet to give your company’s wealth managers and financial analysts a significant return on investment, look no further than an Intel-powered Microsoft Surface Pro 3. For a full breakdown, check out the Principled Technologies white paper. To join the conversation on Twitter, please follow us at @IntelITCenter or use #ITCenter

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Optimized Data Center Performance – Intel’s Collaboration with Azure

Intel continues to deliver on its commitment to provide our customers with industry leading silicon optimized for their specific needs and workloads.

 

A year ago (Nov 2013), Intel talked about having delivered more than 15 customer specific offerings.  Earlier this year at Structure, Diane Bryant and I  detailed Intel’s plans to accelerate and expand its silicon customization capabilities, including the announcement of a coherent and customizable FPGA product and the Intel Xeon D product family.  Just months later, in September 2014, we demonstrated our commitment to moving faster by announcing that the number of unique customized solutions for Intel Xeon E5 v3 had now grown significantly to more than 35, with the addition of 20 new customer specific solutions.

 

Today, we’re excited to be a part of Microsoft’s announcement of the new Azure “G-series” Virtual Machines: Azure’s most powerful VMs to date, based on a customized Xeon solution from Intel.  The “G-series” VMs deliver significant improvements in platform capability for cloud-based computing by leveraging the latest Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v3 product family, and will target customers that are running large relational databases and big data workloads that require maximum performance and large memory.  Working together to understand their requirements we were able to deliver a SKU optimized specifically to meet Microsoft’s unique performance, power & feature requirements.  This is yet another example of how working together, Intel and Microsoft are delivering cutting edge innovation across the computing spectrum.

 

The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 product family offers the best combination of performance, built-in capabilities, and efficiency to address performance computing challenges. Compared to previous generations, the Xeon E5 v3 processors delivers up to 3x higher performance. (More info)  Microsoft joined us on stage at the launch of Xeon E5 v3 in September to share their enthusiasm and our collaboration within Azure.

 

 

 

The G-series offers up to 32 cores, 448GB RAM and over 6TB of local SSD space. This new Azure offering delivers an excellent choice for large SQL and Oracle database systems, MongoDB, database systems with high memory requirements or enterprise applications.

 

Let us know what you think about the new G-series Azure offering.  To read more from Microsoft Azure and their G-series, visit microsoft.com

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