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Cheering for Improvments

Photo by David Bowman

Several of my friends are into CrossFit. If you’re unfamiliar, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program used by police academies, tactical operations teams, military special ops units, and elite and professional athletes. The program has universal scalability so anyone, regardless of experience or ability, uses the same routines. Only the load and intensity are changed. Beginners can start small and work their way up.

CrossFitters are seriously committed to performance improvement. Once you’ve lifted 150 lbs., you work toward 160. Ten pull-ups might be good enough for yesterday but not for today. Today, you need 12. I’ve seen some competitions and the camaraderie is impressive. It’s a room full of encouragers. Everyone is pushing everyone else to do better—no matter the level.

IBM is into performance improvement too—across its spectrum of clients. One of its recent forays included working with SAP to bring SAP HANA to the Power Systems* platform. The results have been impressive already. The cover story “Immediate Information, Immediate Advantage” highlights NTT DATA, the world’s sixth-largest systems integrator, and its SAP HANA solution. NTT DATA has consistently seen phenomenal performance improvements for query execution and loading extraction with runtime reduction from hours in the xRDBMS environment to a few minutes on SAP HANA on Power*.

Another area where IBM has worked to provide improvements is the release of the next-generation PurePower converged infrastructure system. IBM PurePower System is a fully tested, preintegrated, multinode system with an integrated management stack built on open standards and the performance strengths of POWER8* technology. Read more and see an infographic in “Pure Power.”

Also in this issue, read the case study, “Child’s Play,” about the U.K.’s Scandinavian House, which is a small organization performing like a large one. The R&D column, “Better Exposure,” shares how IBM Research is working to improve airport screening processes—a happy development for anyone who travels. And the Tech Showcase, “Data’s Big Picture,” shares how you can make your data perform for you instead of letting it sit in a database.

I think we’re all trying to improve performance in some area. Whether it’s your personal fitness like the CrossFitters or whether it’s your business fitness, performance improvement is a noble—and attainable—goal. It just takes commitment—and maybe a few good cheerleaders.

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.



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