World’s First OpenPOWER App Throwdown Showcases Five Strong ISV Innovations


By Terri Virnig, Vice President, Power Ecosystem and Strategy, IBM Systems & Technology Group

Last year, IBM and the founders of the OpenPOWER Foundation shook up the server industry when they announced IBM’s POWER8 chip would be open for cross-industry development.  Fast forward one year and the organization has grown 12x, with 61 co-collaborators on board and counting.  The strong attraction has likely stemmed from a shared belief that openness is key to innovation – that no one company alone can own the innovation agenda for an entire industry.

Independent software vendors (ISVs) historically have been quick to embrace openness, and this is no different.  ISVs are among the first to begin leveraging OpenPOWER’s development building blocks, including essential technical specifications and hundreds of thousands of firmware code.  As a result, ISVs are bringing forward several interesting new apps designed not just for IBM Power Systems running Linux, but also compliant with any future non-IBM, OpenPOWER based system or solution to come to market.

To further support this momentum, we’re pleased to announce today the world’s first OpenPOWER App Throwdown taking place at IBM’s Enterprise2014 conference in Las Vegas.   The contest builds upon the success of our Linux on Power App Throwdown, and will recognize some of the most innovative applications being developed to solve real business challenges.

After reviewing 21 fantastic submissions, the competition has been narrowed down to five exceptional finalists. All finalists have built apps that leverage POWER’s Big Data capabilities in an open environment, solving problems across healthcare, retail and more with solutions that can tackle a variety of growing business challenges in new ways. And will be able to decide the winner, by first viewing the finalist’s videos, and then voting on Twitter with the hashtag #IBMEnterpriseApp along with the finalist’s Twitter handle (see list below).

We want to thank all of the teams who submitted their contributions. Below are the finalists in the OpenPOWER App Throwdown:

  • Information Builders (@infobldrs) built WebFOCUS 8, a reporting application running on Linux on Power that evaluates performance of Power compared to x86 machines. The company also created OEM Workload for Power that shows which POWER8 architecture would fit best for customers based on workloads.
  • ARGOS Computer Systems (@ARGOS_Computers) runs its cognitive engine on Linux on POWER8 systems. The engine has demanding workloads, running cognitive agents in several virtual environments.  The agents make financial transactions, calls, purchases, and can even interact with Human Resources. POWER8 increases productivity of the engine by effectively doubling threads, powering more virtual agents.
  • Redis Labs (@RedisLabsInc) worked with IBM to port and optimize its open-source in-memory NoSQL database for flash.  The original Redis database took the world by storm, and by now porting the capability to the POWER8 platform, the solution has become signifcantly more cost efficient. The solution runs on POWER8 using CAPI flash, cutting deployment costs by 70 percent and achieving a 24-to-1 resource consolidation versus x86-based deployments.
  • Zato Health (@zatohealth) delivers its Interoperability Platform via Power Systems on Linux, enabling proactive personalized medicine by accessing electronic health records across clinical and genomic data silos, data centers and organizations. It uses natural language processing to determine diagnostic criteria to better tailor treatment, identify opportunities for early intervention, and detect potential insurance savings qualifications.
  • Zend Technologies (@zend) developed Zend Server, an application platform for PHP running on POWER8 which can significantly improve the performance of data analysis for a variety of applications.  One of its key features is Z-Ray, an analytics tool that evaluates application performance, giving insight into website data like event monitoring, database queries, execution and memory performance. Through the OpenPOWER App Throwdown, we can see firsthand how POWER’s open architecture is able to drive meaningful innovation.  No matter the winner, we are proud to work with all of these top-rate teams.

So, now is the time to cast your vote with your social media voice.  Tweet #IBMEnterpriseApp and the Twitter handle of the ISV you feel most deserves to win.  The winner will be announced at the IBM Enterprise2014 ISV/MSP Mashup.  Then, be on the lookout for a live tweet from the OpenPOWER Twitter handle (@OpenPOWEROrg) announcing the first winner of the OpenPOWER App Throwdown!