IBM: Still Buzzwording after All These Years

April 8, 2022

I read “IBM Unveils Industry’s First Quantum-Safe System, IBM z16.” I have no doubt the machine is capable and certainly better than the IBM dog to which I had access in 1962. I loved standing in line to sign up for a card punch machine. I loved standing in line to drop off my pathetic card deck. I loved getting the green bar paper and the deck back days later. What’s not to like? Today’s system is super duper. The write explains that the “new” mainframe can prevent a quantum issue from a computer yet to be deployed as a functional encryption/decryption equipped quantum computer. That’s a pretty good wild and crazy idea: Protect against a future thing not yet in existence. Wow!

However the write up uses more buzzwords than I have seen in the patents filed by an outfit called Kyndi (if you don’t know, this is another enterprise search company with jargonized patent documents). Here’s a short list of some of the gems used to describe a mainframe. Keep in mind this is a mainframe, not a zippy Apple M chip powered gizmo. A mainframe. The words:

Quantum safe system. (Frankly I am not sure what a quantum computer will actually do once the cost, applications, cooling, etc. are figured out.)

Inference requests. (Years ago there was a Web search system called Inference. Today I am not exactly sure what an inference request is. Maybe a query requiring fancy predictive math? The IBM approach is to deliver latency optimized inferencing. I think this means latency reduced inference but maybe not. The number presented without any supporting data is 300 billion inference requests per day. Is this eight hours or 24 hours?)

Integrated on chip AI accelerator. (And what’s AI mean? Probably machine learning but the on chip AI is snappy. How big is this “artificial intelligence” conceptual umbrella? I assume IBM used the word “all” in a previous draft of this buzzwordy phrase.)

Near future threats. (After SolarWinds the threats are here and now and will persist because the attack surface is like the paved parking lots in Paramus, New Jersey. What’s near future? Like tomorrow?)

Cyber resiliency posture. (My hunch is that this means that executives at Microsoft struggling with Azure and Exchange security will sit up straight after 1,000 bad actors working for a nation state use off the shelf exploits to attack those Softies’ systems and software.)

CEX8S. (Is the acronym pronounced like the word for biological actions related to progeny creation or like the breakfast cereal one ate for breakfast? Has the acronym been influenced by Tesla’s cutesy auto labels: Model S, Model 3, and Model X, the one with long lasting performance?)

Quantum-safe cryptographic technology. (At least Kyndi spelled “quantum” this way: Quantom. IBM couldn’t be bothered to nose into Kyndi’s spelling innovation. IBM’s invocation approach may relate to the firm’s experiments with quantum computing which have allegedly ripped the crown of quantum supremacy from the scaled head of Googzilla.)

Wow. This is a mainframe, and it works pretty much like its predecessors. Why not emphasize compatibility, methods of exporting data to lesser systems, and exactly what legacy software will run on the beastie?

Not zippy enough? Certainly not for the IBM marketers. Quantum AI inferencing CEX8S are much zippier. Let’s ask the part of Watson that hasn’t been sold? Here’s the answer I think Watson will output:

IBM deliberately misclassified mainframe sales to enrich execs, lawsuit claims

That seems like a Watson like answer to me.

Stephen E Arnold, April 8, 2022


One Response to “IBM: Still Buzzwording after All These Years”

  1. Scott Roger on April 12th, 2022 3:51 am

    I cherished remaining in line to drop off my lamentable card deck. I adored getting the green bar paper and the deck back days after the fact. Could you ask for anything better? The present framework is super. clothing store discounts 2022
    composition makes sense that the “new” centralized server can keep a quantum issue from a PC yet to be conveyed as a practical

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