Tag Archives: Confidential Computing

IBM z16 : Industry's First Quantum-Safe System Explained!

IBM z16 : Industry’s First Quantum-Safe System Explained!

IBM just introduced the z16 system, powered by their new Telum processor with an integrated AI accelerator!

Take a look at the z16, and find out why it is the industry’s first quantum-safe system!

 

IBM z16 : Industry’s First Quantum-Safe System!

On 25 April 2022, IBM officially unveiled their new z16 system in Malaysia – the industry’s first quantum-safe system.

IBM Vice President for Worldwide Sales of IBM Z and LinuxONE, Jose Castano, flew to Kuala Lumpur, to give us an exclusive briefing on the new z16 system, and tell us why it is the industry’s first quantum-safe system.

IBM Z and LinuxONE Security CTO Michael Jordan also briefed us on why quantum-safe computing will be critical for enterprises, as quantum computing improves.

Thanks to its Telum processor, the IBM z16 system delivers low and consistent latency for embedding AI into response time-sensitive transactions. This can enable customers to leverage AI inference to better control the outcome of transactions before they complete.

For example, they can leverage AI inference to mitigate risk in Clearing & Settlement applications, to predict which transactions have high risk exposure, and highlight questionable transactions, to prevent costly consequences.

In a use-case example, one international bank uses AI on IBM Z as part of their credit card authorization process instead of using an off-platform inference solution. As a result, the bank can detect fraud during its credit card transaction authorisation processing.

The IBM z16 will offer better AI inference capacity, thanks to its integrated AI accelerator offering up to 1 ms of latency, expanding use cases that include :

  • tax fraud and organised retail theft detection
  • real-time payments and alternative payment methods, including cryptocurrencies
  • speed up business or consumer loan approvals

As the industry’s first quantum-safe system, the IBM z16 is protected by lattice-based crypto graphs – an approach for constructing security primitives that help protect data and systems against current and future threats.

 

IBM z16 : Powered By The New Telum Processor!

The IBM z16 is built around the new IBM Telum processor, which is specifically designed for secure processing, and real-time AI inference.

Here are the key features of the IBM Telum processor that powers the new IBM z16 system :

  • Fabricated on the 7 nm process technology
  • Has 8 processor cores, clocked at over 5 GHz
  • Each processor core has a dedicated 32 MB private L2 cache
  • The eight 32 MB L2 cache can form a virtual 256 MB L3 cache, and a 2 GB L4 cache.
  • Transparent encryption of main memory, with 8-channel fault tolerant memory interface
  • Integrated AI accelerator with 6 TFLOPS compute capacity
  • Centralised AI accelerator architecture, with direct connection to the cache infrastructure

The Telum processor is designed to enable extremely low latency inference for response-time sensitive workloads. With planned system support for up to 200 TFLOPs, the AI acceleration is also designed to scale up to the requirements of the most demanding workloads.

Thanks to the Telum processor, the IBM z16 can process 300 billion inference requests per day, with just one millisecond of latency.

 

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Google Cloud Confidential VM With 2nd Gen AMD EPYC!

Google recently introduced Confidential Computing, with Confidential VM as the first product, and it’s powered by 2nd Gen AMD EPYC!

Here’s an overview of Confidential Computing and Confidential VM, and how they leverage the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor!

 

Google Cloud Confidential Computing : What Is It?

Google Cloud encrypts customer data while it’s “at-rest” and “in-transit“. But that data must be decrypted because it can be processed.

Confidential Computing addresses that problem by encrypting data in-use – while it’s being processed. This ensures that data is kept encrypted while in memory and outside the CPU.

 

Google Cloud Confidential VM, Powered By 2nd Gen AMD EPYC

The first product that Google is unveiling under its Confidential Computing portfolio is Confidential VM, now in beta.

Confidential VM basically adds memory encryption to the existing suite of isolation and sandboxing techniques Google Cloud uses to keep their virtual machines secure and isolated.

This will help customers, especially those in regulated industries, to better protect sensitive data by further isolating their workloads in the cloud.

Google Cloud Confidential VM : Key Features

Powered By 2nd Gen AMD EPYC

Google Cloud Confidential VM runs on N2D series virtual machines powered by the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors.

It leverages the Secure Encrypted Virtualisation (SEV) feature in 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors to keep VM memory encrypted with a dedicated per-VM instance key.

These keys are generated and managed by the AMD Secure Processor inside the EPYC processor, during VM creation and reside only inside the VM – making them inaccessible to Google, or any other virtual machines running on the host.

Your data will stay encrypted while it’s being used, indexed, queried, or trained on. Encryption keys are generated in hardware, per virtual machine and are not exportable.

Confidential VM Performance

Google Cloud worked together with the AMD Cloud Solution team to minimise the performance impact of memory encryption on workloads.

They added support for new OSS drivers (name and gvnic) to handle storage traffic and network traffic with higher throughput than older protocols, thus ensuring that Confidential VM will perform almost as fast as non-confidential VM.

Easy Transition

According to Google, transitioning to Confidential VM is easy – all Google Cloud Platform (GCP) workloads can readily run as a Confidential VM whenever you want to.

Available OS Images

In addition to the hardware-based inline memory encryption, Google built Confidential VM on top of Shielded VM, to harden your OS image and verify the integrity of your firmware, kernel binaries and drivers.

Google currently offers images of Ubuntu v18.094, Ubuntu 20.04, Container Optimized OS (COS v81), and RHEL 8.2.

They are currently working with CentOS, Debian and other distributors to offer additional OS images for Confidential VM.

 

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