IBM releases WebSphere Liberty to Open Source Community

Originally posted on 27Sep17 to IBM Developerworks (9,154 Views)

This is BIG!

(OK, it’s not strictly Telco related, but check the footnote to see my personal connection with the J9 VM in particular)

WebSphere Liberty is the high performance Java Enterprise Edition Server that’s ultra light-weight – it includes and OSGi container and uses the IBM J9 VM at it’s core – which IBM has also donated to the Open source community (via Eclipse – see .1

This will improve access to such great technology and I’d encourage you to go check out the project at

1. A little history lesson on the IBM J9 VM – it was originally developed by IBM’s (now defunct) Pervasive Computing division for IBM’s J2ME lightweight VM. It was then ported to the J2SE and J2EE platforms. When it was developed, I was in a Tech Sales role for the Pervasive Computing division, so I have a soft spot for the J9 VM.

ICE at TeleManagement World 2010 – a great example of real benefits from TMF Frameworx

Oroiginally posted on 29May10 to IBM Developerworks (23,580 Views)

Yes, I should have posted this a week ago during the TeleManagement World conference – I’ve been busy since then and the wireless network at the conference was not available in most of the session rooms – at least that is my excuse.

Ricardo Mata, Sub-Director, VertICE (OSS) Project from ICE

At Impact 2010 in Las Vegas we heard from the IBM Business Partner (GBM) on the ICE project.  At TMW 2010, it was ICE themselves presenting on ICE and their journey down the TeleManagement Forum Frameworx path.  Ricardo Mata, Sub-Director, VertICE (OSS) Project from ICE presented (see his picture to the right) presented on ICE’s projects to move Costa Rica’s legacy carrier to a position that will allow them to remain competitive when the government opens up the market to international competitors such as Telefonica who are champing at the bit to get in there.  ICE used IBM’s middleware to integrate components from a range of vendors and align them to the TeleManagement Forum’s Frameworx (the new name for eTOM, TAM and SID).  In terms of what ICE wanted to achieve with this project (they call it PESSO) this diagram shows it really well.

I wish I could share with you the entire slide pack, but I think I might incur the wrath of the TeleManagement Forum if I were to do that.  If you want to see these great presentations from Telcos from all around the world, you will just have to stump up the cash and get yourself to Nice next year.  Finally, I want to illustrate the integration architecture that ICE used – this diagram is similar to the one form Impact, but I think importantly shows ICE’s view of the architecture rather than IBM’s or GMB’s.

For the benefit of those that don’t understand some of the acronyms in the architecture diagram above, let me explain them a bit:

  • ESB – Enterprise Services Bus
  • TOCP – Telecom Operations Content Pack (the old name for WebSphere Telecom Content Pack) – IBM’s product to help Telcos get in line with the TMF Frameworx)
  • NGOSS – Next Generation Operations Support Systems (the old name to TMF Frameworx)
  • TAM – Telecom Applications Map
  • SID – Shared Information / Data model

Impact 2010 – Gridit case study

Originally poster on 05May10 to IBM Developerworks (13,014 Views)

Gridit is a Finnish company that is providing online retail services which was only founded in 2009. They are owned by nine local network providers. Think of them as an aggregated application store that sells a broad range of services and products from those nine network companies as well as third party content providers. They plan to sell services and content such as:

  • Music
  • Games
  • e-books
  • Access
  • Data storage
  • Information Security
  • Home services
  • VoIP
  • IPTV

They do not make exclusive agreements with the content/service providers and provide their customers with freedom of choice. For Gridit, the customer is king – they will seek out new content providers if there is demand from the customers. Gridit also interact with local network providers and 3rd party content providers giving the customers a single point of contact and billing for the services that they resell.

What Gridit are providing is pretty similar to an app store solution we deployed last year in Vietnam which was also a joint venture by a number of Telcos and a bank which provided a retail online store for products and services from those communications providers as well as 3rd party content providers except that Gridit are also offering a hosted wholesale service – I could go to Gridit and build my new company ‘Larmourcom’ and offer products and services from a range of providers that Gridit front end for Larmourcom. Gridit can stand up an online commerce portal for Larmourcom and also provide an interface to the back end providers to allow for traditional and non-traditional service assurance, fulfilment and billing processes.

To achieve this abstraction from the back end providers, Gridit have used WebSphere Telecom Content Pack to provide an architectural framework and accelerator for all of those services. IBM has helped Gridit to map those processes as defined within the TeleManagement Forum’s standards (eTOM, TAM, SID) and map them to the lower level processes to wherever the content or services come from.

Like the Vietnamese app store, Gridit are also using WebSphere Commerce to provide the online commerce and catalogue. For Gridit, the benefits they expect to see (as a result of a Business Value Assessment that was conducted) was 48% faster time to value by using Dynamic BPM and Telecom Content Pack versus a traditional BPM model. That is real business value and a great story for both Gridit and IBM.

Telcos Capitalising on Social Networking Tools

Originally posted on 18Dec19 to IBM Developerworks where it got 8,218 Views

The announcement by Telstra* the other day of it’s social networking guidelines for employees (See Telstra’s 3Rs of Social Media Engagement and their online training class ) got me thinking about how Telcos should be using Social Networking tools and trends both internally and externally.  OK, Internally, a Telco is like any other big company when it comes to collaboration among it’s staff.  Social Networking tools help employees to  make contacts, learn and share more, find information more rapidly and maintain social networks beyond the physical boundaries of their own work location. If you’re curious about what I am talking about, I recommend you have a look at the great videos on YouTube from Jean Francois Chenier (An IBMer).  I have embedded the first of the series below:

 It’s pretty easy to see how within any large company, social networking software such as Lotus Connections makes sense provided you have enough people who actually use it – it seems to me to be something like groups calendaring – it is dependent on a significant proportion of the user population using the tool to make it effective. The way I see it, it is only a small step beyond the internal deployment of social networking tools to extend to a Telco’s trading partners.  That might include vendors, resellers (of Telco products – I was initially thinking retail, but that could include MNVOs), enterprise customers and others. Situations where employees of the Telco and employees of external companies need to work together and share information and collaborate – share idea, files, information – generally collaborate would seem to be a valid deployment of social networking tools. 

IBM already has an offering that uses social networking tools to build communities around the Ideation (Idea generation and growth) process, a kind of virtual brainstorming combined with idea and through sharing. The intent of the offering is to make it easier for companies to find and help to evolve idea for the next product to take to market.  In a Telco, this might be idea such applications like “Meet-on-click”** that a telco could take to market.  That offering is called the ‘Idea Factory’ and is not actually unique to the Telecom industry.  Kraft foods use the Idea Factory to come up with new ideas for product packaging.  When deployed in a Telco, we often combine the Idea Factory with IBM Mashup Center (recently V2.0 of Mashup Center was released by the way) – an offering I usually call the “Idea Factory for Telecom”.  The Mashup Center is used as a rapid prototyping environment for the ideas that are evolving within the Idea Factory.  In my view, this is a great way to build an active and dynamic developer community for the Telco.

China Telecom have demonstrated how effective the Idea Factory can be in a Telco environment – with a year on year improvement of 900% in a competition to find new applications  (3 to 27 new products).  Their Idea Factory deployment predated IBM Mashup Center, so they didn’t get the benefit of a rapid prototyping tool which I believe could increase the quality of the new product ideas even further.

While I am a big fan of the Idea Factory, I see that as just a starting point for social networking tools hosted by a Telco that extend beyond just their developer community and into their (much) larger subscriber base.  Think about building many local communities based around schools, churches, scout troops, national holidays, religious events, local football teams, mothers groups… anything really.  The community would have access to a shared virtual community on the web accessible from a PC or (more importantly for many developing nations) from a mobile phone, they would have microblogging, blogs, files sharing, discussion forums, profiles contacts AND be tied into more traditional Telco services such as calling circles.  The Telco could provide discounted call and text rate between community members.  Sound good?  I think so.  For the Telco I see a number of benefits:

  • Decreased likelihood to churn – increased ‘stickiness’
  • Stronger loyalty to the Telco brand
  • Increased revenue due to increase in call and text volumes and increased mobile data usage once a reasonable proportion of the community is using the tools
  • An additional weapon against the Internet based competitors (such as Facebook, Skype, Twitter, Instagram etc)

Telcos in my opinion have a significant advantage over the Internet companies when it comes to offerings like this. They have:

  • An existing relationship (post or pre paid) customer
  • More local footprint via people on the ground and reseller/franchisees
  • Existing monetary arrangements with the customers
  • Greater trust by customers (typically)

Telcos could easily become the local aggregation point for social networking within that community – for instance with a Facebook connection, subscribers could update their Facebook wall without the need to launch Facebook.  Microblogging entries could automatically update status in Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and sent a tweet out on twitter.

I think this is going to be big – web based social networking giants like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn have proved how popular web based social networking can be – add the local context to it and I think you have a winner for Telcos in many markets.

Now that I have started this thought, I think the next few posts could well be along similar vein – looking at the Idea Factory for Telecom, Telco focused Developer Ecosystems, User generated content and Public focused and Telco integrated social networking capabilities….

Here endith my thought (for now)

Simple explanation of PVU licensing and Oracle’s equivalent for multi-core CPUs

Originally posted on 23Nov09 to IBM Developerworks where it got 24,722 Views

I am working with a number of IBM business partners and I found a need to explain to them how our Software licensing works. I found that many of our sales staff don’t fully understand it either, so I figured I would post the explanation I wrote for the business partners to try and explain it so more people “get it”. The other thing that struck me in speaking with some partners was that – despite some of them them partnering with Oracle more often than they have with us in the past – they had a simplistic view of Oracle’s licensing thinking that it was simply CPU based. Oracle’s licensing scheme is similar to our own PVU scheme in weighting different multi-core CPUs differently for licensing purposes.

First – IBM’s PVU scheme

The majority of the IBM runtime components are priced per PVU. The Processor Value Unit or PVU is an arbitrary notion that IBM came up with to cater for multi-core CPUs and the fact that some platforms offered more processing power per CPU core than other platforms. Different brand processors cores are considered equivalent to PVU counts from 30 PVUs to 120 PVUs per core.

For example, an Intel single-core CPU is 100 PVU. Intel multi core CPUs are considered to be equivalent to 50 PVUs per processor core (or 70 PVUs per core for the newer Intel chips), so a dual core CPU would be 100 or 140 PVU and a quad core CPU would be 200 or 280 PVU.  Prior to the latest generation of Intel multi-core CPUs, Intel multi-core architecture was such that a single dual core CPU offers similar processing power to a single core CPU, so to be fair to customers that use Intel multi core CPUs, IBM only rates each core at 50 PVUs.  The latest chips have improved their processing power per core over previous generations of chip and they are now rated at 70 PVUs per core as a result.

IBM PowerPC chips are more efficient and therefore the PVU rating per CPU core is 80 PVU per core for Power 6 blades although other PowerPC CPUs are rated at 50, 100 or 120 PVUs per core.

The PVU calculator is available at

Now – lets look at the Oracle do it

For multi-core CPUs, Oracle have a similar scheme to IBM. This quote is from Oracle’s current price list on their web site – New reference

 “Processor: shall be defined as all processors where the Oracle programs are installed and/or running. Programs licensed on a processor basis may be accessed by your internal users (including agents and contractors) and by your third party users. The number of required licenses shall be determined by multiplying the total number of cores of the processor by a core processor licensing factor specified on the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table which can be accessed at All cores on all multicore chips for each licensed program are to be aggregated before multiplying by the appropriate core processor licensing factor and all fractions of a number are to be rounded up to the next whole number. When licensing Oracle programs with Standard Edition One or Standard Edition in the product name, a processor is counted equivalent to an occupied socket; however, in the case of multi-chip modules, each chip in the multi-chip module is counted as one occupied socket..”

This basically means that for Intel quad core CPUs, they are priced at twice the price of an Intel Single core CPU (a multiplier of .50 per core) – exactly the same as IBM pricing for Intel Quad core CPUs. Likewise, for PowerPC (Po dual core CPUs, they apply an factor of 0.75 since they do not differentiate between the processing power from other manufacturers other than Intel, AMD or Sun and just apply a generic multiplier of 0.75.  Oracle have introduced a more comprehensive factor table to calculate their per CPU licensing price (introduced in  March this year I think) where they added multipliers of 0.5 and 1.0 to their table.  Oracle’s core factor table is available at

To illustrate, if the Oracle product license cost is $100 per CPU and the IBM price is $1 per PVU, then the following table illustrates how Oracle and IBM pricing will change depending on the processor that software is deployed on.

Assuming the base software price is $100/CPU (Oracle) or $1 per PVU (IBM)

CPU TypeOracle Cost calculation Price x RoundUp(CPU cores x multiplier)Oracle Extended software costIBM PVU rating (PVUxCPU-cores)Extended Cost
single core CPU (any)100 x 1$100.00100$100.00
Intel/AMD Quad Core(older)100 x RoundUp(4 x 0.5)
= 100 x 2

Intel/AMD Quad Core(new)100 x RoundUp(4 x 0.5)
= 100 x 2

Sun UltraSparc T1 Hexa-core(1.0 or 1.2 Ghz)
100 x RoundUp(6 x 0.25)
= 100 x 2

Sun UltraSparc T1 Hexa-core(1.4 Ghz or higher)
100 x RoundUp(6 x 0.5)
= 100 x 3

Sun UltraSparc T2 Hexa-core100 x RoundUp(6 x 0.75)
= 100 x 5

IBM PowerPC Dual Core POWER6
(520, JS12, JS22 servers)
100 x RoundUp(2 x 1.0)
= 100 x 2

IBM PowerPC Dual Core POWER6
(550,560,570, 575, 595 svrs)
100 x RoundUp(2 x 1.0)
= 100 x 2

IBM Power5 Quad Core100 x RoundUp(4 x 0.75)
= 100 x 3


This illustrates that both IBM and Oracle understand that not all multi-core CPUs are created equally – some are more like multiple single core CPUs just placed on a single die. It also shows that Oracle and IBM both understand that CPU architectures such as the SunSparc and Intel/AMD x86 offer less processing power per CPU core that IBM PowerPC architecture.

Lets dispel the myth that Oracle price per CPU only – their multipliers provide a similar pricing strategy to IBM’s PVU based pricing – sometimes IBM has the price advantage, sometimes Oracle has the price advantage. Oracle first introduced this type of multi-core licensing back in 2005 although back then the multipliers were set at a generic 0.75 per CPU core for all processor types – regardless of CPU processing power.

Note – as both Oracle and IBM have the right to change their pricing at any time, I can only vouch for the accuracy of this post at the time it was originally posted (Nov09).

LMC with LotusLive in a Telco

Originally posted Nov 11 2009 on IBM Developerworks where it got 13,464 views

I was at a workshop with a customer in Manila recently when they started to talk about compression over a client link (especially from Nokia S60 Mobile Phones) – a key value proposition of Lotus Mobile Connect.  Not since I was in a Pervasive Technical Sales in Australia / New Zealand had I seen an opportunity for a hosted Lotus Mobile Connect (LMC) deployment.  For those of you that weren’t aware that LMC supported a hosted deployment – it does.  

If you have  the Mobility Client installed (The client for Lotus Mobile Connect – on any platform) you will notice a field labelled “Organizational Unit” – ever wondered what that is for? It’s simple really. It is there so than in a hosted deployment, the LMC authentication mechanism is able to distinguish between “John Smith” at Company A and “John Smith” at Company B. . Typically, you would use Tivoli Directory Integrator (TDI) to enable a federated directory model so that the individual client companies can manage their own internal directory – and because TDI uses LDAP to communicate with those directories, it doesn’t matter what those client directories are (Domino, MS Active Directory, Sun Directory Server, Novell Groupwise Directory, openLDAP etc) – as long as they support LDAP V3.    Basically, there are two deployment topologies that enable LMC to be deployed in a hosted environment… (I have deliberately left TDI out of the diagram since the purpose of the following diagrams are intended to illustrate the Client options and Encryption break or end-to-end)     

  Secondly, there is a lower security (and cheaper to deploy) topology that still gives the end users the advantages of LMC, but without end-to-end encryption – this model requires that the client companies trust the Telco since there is a break in encryption at the Telco’s hosting centre.  This model would not be suitable in high security/privacy industries such as Finance, Health, Government, military or Emergency Services. 

 A Telco might offer the lower security model as their standard product and the end-to-end model as the premium service with a price premium… This is a potential salable product to a Telco’s enterprise customers in it’s own right, but if we look at the offering that also come from LotusLive ([particularly LotusLive Notes and LotusLive iNotes).  In a market like the Philippines or many others across Asia, I suspect there is a business to be made by offering Domino capabilities or even just plain old hosted email but kept separate from the masses of a Telco’s standard data customers who all get an email address like  Using LotusLive Notes or iNotes would allow a small business to maintain their own virtual email system and keep their own email domain, internal email addresses but without the headaches of looking after their own servers.  If we think about the LotusLive offerings in a Telco – where the LotusLive products are rebranded to suit the telco, they could easily go along with a hosted LMC offering.  This would provide secure access by remote or mobile users to their own network and their own virtual email environment.  
I had hoped that for the LotusLive deployment of Domino in LotusLive notes that some code changes had been made to make Domino work in a multi-realm environment – alas, no. Consequently, there is a minimum customer deployment size of 1000 users – way bigger than most Telcos would be looking for and way too big for the Philippine market. As it stands, LotusLive iNotes is not much better at 500 users, but it so far looks like that is an IBM decision and that if the Telco is to take on the level one support, then it would be up to the Telco to decide what the minimum customer size is to be. Indeed, Some legacy Outblaze (from whom we bought assets from to deploy LotusLive iNotes) customers have some ISP/ASP customers that resell their service to end customers with 5,10 or 20 users.

Perhaps a diagram is in order to explain who it might all come together. I have refined my diagrams that illustrate the hosted deployment of LMC with LotusLive iNotes (or ANY LotusLive product for that matter – Engage, Connections, Meeting etc). First, the Premium offering:

Or in a slightly less secure deployment (with a break in Encryption at the Telco – probably not acceptable for a Bank or Government department, but fine for may smaller businesses) :

As I see it, a Telco offering this type of service could charge a premium for the end to end encryption model while the second model might be a cheaper service.
As an adjunct to the LMC and LotusLive iNotes offering, a Telco might also offer Lotus Foundations for an on-premise offering to SMBs.  I am not sure if Foundations will interest every Telco, but we already have some success with Telco sold Foundations in Singapore. ]If you are interested in understanding this hosted model for Lotus Mobile Connect (LMC) or LotusLive iNotes, please let us know… It could make for an interesting series of blog posts