20
Thu, Jun
3 New Articles

Software That Depicts Real-Time Events in Three Dimensions May Offer Distinct Advantages

Collaboration & Messaging
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

IBM announces new 3-D technologies that promise to reduce costs and help better manage energy resources.

 

One of the greatest compromises humans have had to accept (other than our inability to fly) is having to watch replicated images in two dimensions (i.e., pictures, movies, and TV).

 

For some reason, which may date back to the Spanish Inquisition and threats of expressing our deeper beliefs, we have told ourselves that two-dimensional images are just fine and, if we could just see them in color, or just see them a little sharper, then we would feel quite happy-perhaps even blessed. Well, as the has-been news anchor Howard Beale says in the 1976 movie Network (directed by Sidney Lumet), "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore." Two-dimensional imagery simply isn't good enough! I want my 3-D!

 

As the sold-out attendance to both the 2003 and the 2006 World 3-D Expositions in Los Angeles and the financial success of IMAX 3D movies demonstrates, people like 3-D movies, they cherish 3-D images, and the only thing standing between our deep-seated need to look at images in 3-D versus a boring flat dimension is technology.

 

Fortunately, all that is beginning to change. George Lucas has announced that he may re-release his Star Wars films in 3-D following conversion from 2-D, Steven Spielberg is involved in a 3-D cinema system that doesn't require glasses, and both Sharp and Phillips have developed 3-D displays, Sharp's being a type of liquid crystal display, and Phillips' being a multiview display called WOWvx, with neither one requiring special viewing aids.

 

Computer users for years were happy looking at numbers until someone said, "Wow, we can turn these numbers into a pie chart! Better yet, here's a graphic that has shadows, so it almost looks like it's three-dimensional!"

 

Leave it to IBM, however, to recognize the value of three-dimensional views when observing and evaluating complex environments. The company has been working on several 3-D implementations for Lotus Notes products, and last week it announced the 3-D Data Center, a 3-D environment to allow data center administrators to visualize hot spots, data flow, and server utilization and thereby better manage the entire data center or virtualized IT platform.

 

Based on the OpenSim Application Platform for 3D Virtual Worlds, 3-D Data Center is a multi-user virtual world complete with in-world instant messaging that can bring real-time data from different facilities into a secure virtual world.

 

"Viewing information about your data center in 2-D text, even in real time, only tells a data center manager part of the story because our brains are wired for sight and sound," says Michael Osias, the IBM researcher who designed the 3-D data center service. "By actually seeing the operations of your data center in 3-D, even down to flames showing hot spots, and visualizations of the utilizations of servers, allows for a clearer understanding of the enterprise resources, better informed decision-making, and a higher level of interaction and collaboration," says Osias.

 

Being able to see a consolidated view of the IT infrastructure and what is happening within it gives operators insight into ongoing physical issues such as how heat and energy are flowing through the data center and offers an intuitive method for grasping a firm's complete IT infrastructure. Since multiple users can share the virtual experience--either as a live view of what's happening or as a simulated view of what would happen under certain conditions--technical, business, and company business partners can collaborate on various elements of the enterprise data center, according to IBM.

 

The system's ability to model and simulate conditions can be used for training or exercises in space, power, and cooling planning and even disaster recovery scenarios. Users can move and interact with assets and drive them with real or simulated data. The 3-D data center is customizable depending on the user's servers, applications, and monitoring systems, and even non-IBM equipment models are available and can be plugged into the virtual world.

 

According to IBM, companies are increasingly finding that they are trying to manage far-flung data centers by relying on software that allows them to see those data centers as a single, centralized computing pool. Many companies have data centers in different buildings, cities, and even countries since the infrastructure was designed to scale rapidly to handle increased growth. But managing data centers located in, say, Beijing and Buenos Aires from an office in Madrid presents challenges.

 

IBM has actually tested its 3-D Data Center in at least one large enterprise: Implenia, Switzerland's largest real estate construction and building services provider. The company used IBM's virtual data center solutions to extend its existing virtual operations center. Providing a tailored 3-D replica of servers, racks, networking, power, and cooling equipment, the 3-D Data Center gave managers an enhanced real-time awareness of dispersed resources. Implenia manages eight pilot sites, including a data center, using different tools and technologies. It was a challenge for the company to oversee and control its own as well as its customers' properties.

 

"Until working with IBM, we only knew the state of our data center from the information we got through the building automation system and our virtual worlds communications interface," said Oliver Goh, Implenia IT specialist. "We didn't know the state of the server and information that was readily available to use until it was made more accessible by the 3-D visualizations that IBM built for us," he said. Goh and the Implenia team are looking forward to better control and greater efficiencies with their new tools. Already, the information has helped the company better control its HVAC and security systems. IBM says that 3-D data centers are better able to consolidate the footprint of a large number of machines being used at, for instance, only 10 percent of capacity; to get rid of extraneous machines; and to monitor power and cooling, distribute workload between data centers, and even move processing to cooler sites when weather conditions may be uncomfortably warm.

 

According to IBM, "The key element in the work for Implenia is linking IBM's virtual world integration middleware, Holographic Enterprise Interface (HEI), that links real-world data center operations in cyberspace to their building automation interface (VWCI). HEI has a modular and flexible design that allows clients to customize the desired interactions between real and virtual worlds. Each physical data center linked through this technology has an HEI instance that will transmit messages over the private network using Internet standard protocols to the 3-D virtual world server."

 

Expect to see more three-dimensional implementations of business-related software coming from IBM in the near future. The company is convinced it holds the promise of improved efficiency and therefore a reduction in costs, which is one of the main benefits of technology. At the same time, users should be able to satisfy their innate need to visualize real-world events in something other than the traditional, and somewhat lacking, two-dimensional depictions.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith was the Senior News Editor at MC Press Online from 2007 to 2012 and was responsible for the news content on the company's Web site. Chris has been writing about the IBM midrange industry since 1992 when he signed on with Duke Communications as West Coast Editor of News 3X/400. With a bachelor's from the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in English and minored in Journalism, and a master's in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Chris later studied computer programming and AS/400 operations at Long Beach City College. An award-winning writer with two Maggie Awards, four business books, and a collection of poetry to his credit, Chris began his newspaper career as a reporter in northern California, later worked as night city editor for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and went on to edit a national cable television trade magazine. He was Communications Manager for McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Long Beach, Calif., before it merged with Boeing, and oversaw implementation of the company's first IBM desktop publishing system there. An editor for MC Press Online since 2007, Chris has authored some 300 articles on a broad range of topics surrounding the IBM midrange platform that have appeared in the company's eight industry-leading newsletters. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:
$

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: