IBM announced the launch of SuperVessel, an open access cloud service developed by the company’s China-based research outfit and designed for developing and testing cloud services based on the OpenPower architecture.
The service, developed by Beijing’s IBM Research and IBM Systems Labs, is open to business partners, application developers and university students for testing and piloting emerging applications that use deep analytics, machine learning and the Internet of Things.
The cloud service is based on the latest Power8 processors (with FPGAs and GPU-based acceleration) and uses OpenStack to orchestrate the underlying cloud resources. The SuperVessel service is sliced up into various “labs”, each focusing on a specific area, and is initially launching with four: Big Data, Internet of Things, Acceleration and Virtualization.
“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. “We want to make better use of SuperVessel in many areas, such as on-line education.”
Terri Virnig, IBM Vice President of Power Ecosystem and Strategy said: “SuperVessel is a significant contribution by IBM Research and Development to OpenPower. 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.”
The move is part of a broader effort to cultivate mindshare around IBM’s Power architecture, which it opensourced two years ago; it’s positioning the architecture as an ideal platform for cloud and big data services. Since the launch of the OpenPower Foundation, the group tasked with coordinating development with Power, it has also been actively working with vendors and cloud service provider to mashup a range of open source technologies – for instance, getting OpenStack to work on OpenPower and Open Compute-based hardware.