(Bloomberg) — In the race to commercialize a new type of powerful computer, Microsoft Corp. has just pulled up to the starting line with a slick-looking set of wheels. There’s just one problem: it doesn’t have an engine – at least not yet. The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant is competing with Alphabet Inc.’s Google, International Business Machines Corp. and a clutch of small, specialized companies to develop quantum computers – machines that, in theory, will be many times more powerful than existing computers by bending the laws of physics.

Microsoft says it has a different approach that will make its technology less error-prone and more suitable for commercial use. If it works. On Monday, the company unveiled a new programming language called Q# – pronounced Q Sharp – and tools that help coders craft software for quantum computers. Microsoft is also releasing simulators that will let programmers test that software on a traditional desktop computer or through its Azure cloud-computing service.
The machines are one of the advanced technologies, along with artificial intelligence and augmented reality, that Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella considers crucial to the future of his company. Microsoft, like IBM and Google, will most likely rent computing time on these quantum machines through the internet as a service.D-Wave Systems Inc. in 2011 became the first company to sell a quantum computer, although its technology has been

 

(Bloomberg) — International Business Machines Corp. is increasing the pressure on Alphabet Inc.’s Google in the battle to commercialize quantum computing technology.
Quantum computers hold the promise of being able to solve difficult problems from fields such as chemistry and material science that are currently beyond the reach of the most powerful conventional supercomputers. They may also one day render some current encryption techniques obsolete.
See also: Google’s ‘Quantum Supremacy’ Moment May Not Mean What You Think
IBM said Friday it has created a prototype 50 qubit quantum computer. A machine this size is believed to be close to the threshold at which it could perform tasks beyond the reach of conventional supercomputers – a major milestone in computer science that researchers in the field refer to as “quantum supremacy.”
See also: IBM Makes Breakthrough in Race to Commercialize Quantum Computers
In a statement, IBM said it “aims to demonstrate capabilities beyond today’s classical systems” with quantum systems this size.
Friday’s announcement puts IBM in a neck-and-neck race with Google, which has said that it plans to show a similarly-sized machine capable of achieving this milestone by the end of the year.
Today’s quantum computers remain too small and too error-prone to outperform conventional supercomputers at most tasks, but the technology is advancing rapidly. A number of companies - including IBM, Google, Microsoft

 

Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge
IBM Cloud wants to make sure that what happens in Germany stays in Germany, at least as far as its European customers’ data is concerned. Starting next month, the cloud provider will institute new security measures at its Frankfurt data center that will restrict access to all data stored in the facility to EU-based IBM employees. These employees will also review, approve, or deny all access by non-EU based employees.
In addition, clients using IBM Cloud’s dedicated environments in Frankfurt will review and approve all non-EU access requests to their content whenever an issue, support or otherwise, requires such access. In those cases, access will be temporary, and the client will be notified when the access is ended. Logs tracking access will be available to the client.
Related: US Will Curb ‘Sneak-and-Peek’ Server Searches Microsoft Sued Over
Over time, the company said, this support model will be expanded to include IBM’s full cloud architecture stack in Frankfurt, taking in infrastructure, AI, data, analytics, DevOps, and more. Beginning in 2018, German users will be offered full encryption — at rest and in-transit — with keys that will remain in possession of the customer.
Reading between the lines, this means that Big Blue has all but locked access to client accounts on Frankfurt servers for everyone outside Europe, including its own employees in the US.
Related: Microsoft CEO Urges Tech to Focus

 

Brought to you by IT Pro
One of the barriers for enterprises storing data in the cloud is data migration, a process that has traditionally been slow and costly, hindered by network limitations. IBM wants to remove this barrier for its customers with a new cloud migration solution designed for moving massive amounts of data to the cloud.
IBM Cloud Mass Data Migration is a shippable storage device, which offers 120 TB and uses AES 256-bit encryption. The device also uses RAID-6 to ensure data integrity, and is shock-proof. The device is a flat-rate, and includes overnight round-trip shipping.
The device is about the size of a suitcase, and has wheels so it can be easily moved around a data center, Michael Fork, distinguished engineer and director, cloud infrastructure, IBM Watson and cloud platform said. Fork said that the solution allows customers to migrate 120 TB in seven days.
“When you actually look at the networking aspects of this, for example if you were to transfer 120TB over a 100 Mbps internet connection, that would take 100 or more days,” he said.

Similar options on the market include the AWS Snowball Edge, which was launched last year and offers 100 TB of usable storage capacity. In June, Google introduced Transfer Appliance, which offers up to 480TB in 4U or 100TB in 2U of raw data capacity.
“Previously we supported two main transfer methods. One was an IBM solution called IBM Data Transfer service, and this allows you to ship us a USB hard drive or

 

(Bloomberg) — Researchers at International Business Machines Corp. have developed a new approach for simulating molecules on a quantum computer.
The breakthrough, outlined in a research paper to be published in the scientific journal Nature Thursday, uses a technique that could eventually allow quantum computers to solve difficult problems in chemistry and electro-magnetism that cannot be solved by even the most powerful supercomputers today.
See also: These Are the 7 Smartest Companies in Cloud Computing
In the experiments described in the paper, IBM researchers used a quantum computer to derive the lowest energy state of a molecule of beryllium hydride. Knowing the energy state of a molecule is a key to understanding chemical reactions.
In the case of beryllium hydride, a supercomputer can solve this problem, but the standard techniques for doing so cannot be used for large molecules because the number of variables exceeds the computational power of even these machines.
The IBM researchers created a new algorithm specifically designed to take advantage of the capabilities of a quantum computer that has the potential to run similar calculations for much larger molecules, the company said.
The problem with existing quantum computers – including the one IBM used for this research — is that they produce errors and as the size of the molecule being analyzed grows, the calculation strays further and further from chemical accuracy. The inaccuracy in IBM’s

 

(Bloomberg) — Researchers at International Business Machines Corp. have developed a new approach for simulating molecules on a quantum computer.
The breakthrough, outlined in a research paper to be published in the scientific journal Nature Thursday, uses a technique that could eventually allow quantum computers to solve difficult problems in chemistry and electro-magnetism that cannot be solved by even the most powerful supercomputers today.
See also: These Are the 7 Smartest Companies in Cloud Computing
In the experiments described in the paper, IBM researchers used a quantum computer to derive the lowest energy state of a molecule of beryllium hydride. Knowing the energy state of a molecule is a key to understanding chemical reactions.
In the case of beryllium hydride, a supercomputer can solve this problem, but the standard techniques for doing so cannot be used for large molecules because the number of variables exceeds the computational power of even these machines.
The IBM researchers created a new algorithm specifically designed to take advantage of the capabilities of a quantum computer that has the potential to run similar calculations for much larger molecules, the company said.
The problem with existing quantum computers – including the one IBM used for this research — is that they produce errors and as the size of the molecule being analyzed grows, the calculation strays further and further from chemical accuracy. The inaccuracy in IBM’s

 

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It’s no secret that IBM’s revenue has been sliding downward for some time now. Its second-quarter earnings report in July was more of the same — a 21st consecutive quarter of declining revenue. The issues it faces aren’t unique. Its legacy businesses — hardware, software, and services for traditional corporate data centers — have been shrinking as customers move to the cloud. Despite its best efforts, its own cloud isn’t getting enough traction for it to make much of a dent, either in the market or its bottom line. It’s worth remembering, however, that the company has seen much worse and managed to pull itself out.
Report: IBM Tries to Block Former Exec from Joining AWS
IBM’s biggest turnaround efforts seem to center around Watson and its other implementations of AI and machine learning, and the numbers seem to indicate it’s doing well there (although there are rumors that the efforts might not be as fruitful as the figures seem to suggest). Although it occupies a prominent spot in AI — at least that’s the public’s perception, thanks to Watson’s famous appearance “Jeopardy” — and the technology is certain to be a large part of IBM’s growth if and when the growth comes, it’s probably not going to be the company’s main mover.
According to Business Insider, the Swiss financial services giant UBS thinks the

 

Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge

It’s no secret that IBM’s revenue has been sliding downward for some time now. Its second-quarter earnings report in July was more of the same — a 21st consecutive quarter of declining revenue. The issues it faces aren’t unique. Its legacy businesses — hardware, software, and services for traditional corporate data centers — have been shrinking as customers move to the cloud. Despite its best efforts, its own cloud isn’t getting enough traction for it to make much of a dent, either in the market or its bottom line. It’s worth remembering, however, that the company has seen much worse and managed to pull itself out.
Report: IBM Tries to Block Former Exec from Joining AWS
IBM’s biggest turnaround efforts seem to center around Watson and its other implementations of AI and machine learning, and the numbers seem to indicate it’s doing well there (although there are rumors that the efforts might not be as fruitful as the figures seem to suggest). Although it occupies a prominent spot in AI — at least that’s the public’s perception, thanks to Watson’s famous appearance “Jeopardy” — and the technology is certain to be a large part of IBM’s growth if and when the growth comes, it’s probably not going to be the company’s main mover.
According to Business Insider, the Swiss financial services giant UBS thinks the

 

Brought to you by Talkin’ Cloud
IBM is suing a former senior manager for violating a non-compete agreement as he starts a new job at Amazon Web Services (AWS) three months after leaving his role as CIO for transformation and operations at IBM.
According to a report by Westfair Online, IBM sued Jeff S. Smith last week in White Plains, NY, demanding that he repay $1.7 million in stock bonuses. Smith had worked at IBM since 2014.
IBM argues that in starting his job at AWS on Monday, he would “inevitably be involved in decision-making about how best to compete against IBM and would inevitably disclose or use IBM trade secrets.” The lawsuit also alleges that Smith had shared inside information with AWS CEO Andy Jassy while he was working for IBM, wiping his company phone and tablet to make it impossible to detect communications, the report said.
The judge, who blocked Smith from starting his job at AWS on Aug. 1 until a full hearing could be scheduled, amended the order to allow him to begin work Monday in “listen and learn mode” for training purposes.
According to IBM, Smith signed a non-compete agreement where he agreed not to work for a competitor for one year. He notified IBM in June of his plans to start work at AWS in August.
IBM has asked the court to ban Smith from work for AWS until May 2, 2018. There is a hearing scheduled for Aug. 21.
In June, AWS won a temporary restraining order to prevent a former executive from joining Smartsheet, a collaboration

 

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Now that top cloud providers have released their quarterly numbers, Synergy Research Group has had a chance to augment the numbers they released a couple of weeks back, but there are no surprises. The future remains rosy for the industry — at least for the top players.
Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google’s Cloud Platform continue to grow market share, with IBM holding its own. Quarterly cloud infrastructure service revenues (including IaaS, PaaS, and hosted private cloud services) are at nearly $11 billion and continue a growth rate of over 40 percent per year. This means worldwide revenues from cloud and SaaS remain on track to surpass $200 billion by 2020, according to Synergy.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy, said in a statement:
“The increasing dominance of hyper-scale players continues to play out, with all four leading companies having cause to celebrate. While Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are doubling in size, IBM continues to dominate in hosted private cloud, and AWS is still over three times the size of its nearest competitor. Some of the numbers are actually pretty spectacular.”
According to Q2 figures, Microsoft Azure, with 11 percent of the total public cloud market, showed the largest growth in market share, with a 3 percent gain over the last four quarters. AWS, which commands 34 percent of the total market, and GCP, with a 5 percent share, both saw

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