Virtualization Featured Article

IBM's SuperVessel to Enable Open Source Innovation and Development

June 16, 2015

New ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, and it is not reserved to a particular group of people or organizations. Even though IBM spends billions of dollars on R&D every year, the company still encourages collaboration with open-source platforms to gain different perspectives outside of the processes it has in place. While not every contribution might pan out, it could very well offer a new insight in tackling a particular problem that has stumped researchers at Big Blue. The company announced a new platform called SuperVessel, which will accelerate application development on OpenPOWER with OpenStack.

According to IBM, SuperVessel is the first of its kind initiative as a free-to-use R&D cloud service to accelerate application development. It will allow business partners, app developers and university students to carry out innovation, development and learning for the OpenPOWER ecosystem.

The POWER architecture is the basis of innovation for the OpenPOWER Foundation, which was created as a computing platform available to everyone. The foundation was established in 2013 by IBM, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Google and Tyan to start developing the adoption of an open server architecture for computer data centers. It has since expanded to more than 130 businesses, organizations and individuals across 22 countries.

SuperVessel was created in one of these countries, Beijing’s IBM Research and IBM Systems Labs in China. This open access cloud service is now available to a global community of developers so they can take part in the OpenPOWER ecosystem. The cloud platform will deliver a virtual R&D engine to create, test and pilot new applications for deep analytics, machine learning and the Internet of Things.

Image via Shutterstock

The platform is divided into online laboratories in which users can access open source software, build and test applications, share experiences and best practices to speed up the process of new innovations. The labs are composed of Big Data, Internet of Things, acceleration and virtualization on POWER. In the past six months SuperVessel has inspired thousands of users and developers from the open source community, as well as students from more than 30 universities in China and around the world.

“SuperVessel is a significant contribution by IBM Research and Development to OpenPOWER," said Terri Virnig, IBM Vice President of Power Ecosystem and Strategy. “Combining advanced technologies from IBM R&D labs and business partners, SuperVessel is becoming the industry's leading OpenPOWER research and development environment. It is a way IBM commits to and supports OpenPOWER ecosystem development, talent growth and research innovation.”

A couple of applications developed on SuperVessel include, Tongji University's ProteinGoggle project to examine protein sequences, and Chongqing University’s analysis and optimization of the Chongqing subway system.

“With the SuperVessel open computing platform, students can experience cutting-edge technologies and turn their fancy ideas into reality. It also helps make our teaching content closer to real life," said Tsinghua University faculty member Wei XU. “

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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