IBM Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Stefan Bernbo

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud

Microservices Expo: Press Release

IBM Research and European Union Collaborate to Bolster Reliability of Complex Systems

As physical infrastructure grows increasingly digital, new consortium aims to reduce costly computing errors

Much like personal computers, large, complex systems that manage electric grids, nuclear power plants, transportation operations, and water pipes require periodic critical upgrades to their software. Unlike a single-user PC operating system, however, the consequences of a glitch in system upgrades can be global and costly.

As such, IBM on Wednesday announced a three-year collaboration with the European Union, industry and academic partners, to create new technology designed to bolster the reliability of mission-critical system upgrades by detecting and eliminating errors before they have a chance to result in system failure or complication. Plans include sharing the results of the research project with the open source community.

Called PINCETTE - meaning 'tweezers' in French for the technology's unique 'tweezerlike' ability to flag and eliminate even the smallest software bugs across large networks - the effort aims to dramatically reduce the costs associated maintaining new system software by automating the often complicated analysis and testing processes. Estimates today put costs associated with validating new software between 40% and 70% of a system's life-cycle cost.

The consortium partners, led by IBM Research in Haifa, include: University of Oxford, UK; Universita della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Switzerland; Universita' degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca (UniMiB), Italy; Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus (VTT), Finland; Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), Israel; and ABB, Switzerland and Germany branches.

"The goal behind PINCETTE is to greatly simplify the task of ensuring these complex systems run flawlessly through new automated capabilities that remove costly faults or errors with minimal human intervention," said Dr. Daniel Kroenig of Oxford University, UK, one of the research partners of PINCETTE. "This is an exciting, cost-effective solution that combines simplicity with high reliability."

"We know that upgrading an operating system - whether for system maintenance, hardware upgrades or new regulation compliance - can take days until all applications are up and running smoothly," said Dr. Hana Chockler, IBM scientist and coordinator of the PINCETTE consortium. "The research resulting from PINCETTE will usher in a new era where designers, developers and users of networked control systems can eliminate potential faults before they result in failure."

The European Union-funded PINCETTE research consortium will introduce advanced engineering and management capabilities for networked systems that have high reliability requirements. The project will develop the technology to ensure safe infrastructure upgrades by ensuring the correct functioning of continuously evolving networked software systems. PINCETTE will increase the level of confidence in the safety of upgrades, ultimately enabling certification for the systems and applications that will cut the cost and time to market of upgrades by several orders of magnitude.

Specifically, the consortium expects to achieve a positive increase in system reliability by at least 70% reduction in the number of functional errors, alongside drastic reductions in the time it takes to validate a single change or upgrade and ensure version compatibility.

More Stories By Salvatore Genovese

Salvatore Genovese is a Cloud Computing consultant and an i-technology blogger based in Rome, Italy. He occasionally blogs about SOA, start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, open source and bleeding-edge technologies, companies, and personalities. Sal can be reached at hamilton(at)sys-con.com.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...