IBM Enhances Big Data Platform With Hadoop And Analytics

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

IBM has beefed up its big data options after announcing the BLU Accelerator and the PureData System for Hadoop.

IBM continues to enhance its big data credentials after announcing two new technologies designed to make it simpler, faster and more economical for enterprises to analyse huge amounts of data.

To this end IBM announced BLU Acceleration and the IBM PureData System for Hadoop, at an event at its Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California on 3 April.

Analytics Enhancement

BLU Acceleration represents the work of hundreds of IBM developers and researchers in labs around the world and combines a number of techniques to dramatically improve analytical performance and simplify administration, IBM said. BLU Acceleration enables users to have much faster access to key information, leading to better decision making.

Big DataThe software extends the capabilities of traditional in-memory systems – which enables data to be loaded into random access memory (RAM) instead of hard disks for faster performance – by providing in-memory performance even when data sets exceed the size of the memory. During testing, some queries in a typical analytics workload were more than 1,000 times faster when using the combined innovations of BLU Acceleration, IBM said.

Innovations in BLU Acceleration include “data skipping,” which allows the ability to skip over data that doesn’t need to be analysed (for example, if there is duplicate information); the ability to analyse data in parallel across different processors; and greater ability to analyse data transparently to the application, without the need to develop a separate layer of data modelling. Another innovation in BLU Acceleration is called “actionable compression,” where data no longer has to be decompressed to be analysed.

Big data is about using all data in context at the point of impact,” Bob Picciano, general manager of IBM Information Management, said in a statement. “With the innovations we are delivering, now every organisation can realise value quickly by leveraging existing skills as well as adopt new capabilities for speed and exploration to improve business outcomes.”

PureData For Hadoop

Meanwhile, the new IBM PureData System for Hadoop is designed to make it easier and faster to deploy Hadoop in the enterprise. Hadoop is an open-source software framework used to organise and analyse vast amounts of structured and unstructured data, such as posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, online transaction records and cell phone location data.

The new system can reduce from weeks to minutes the ramp-up time organisations need to adopt enterprise-class Hadoop technology with easy-to-use analytics tools and visualisation for both business analysts and data scientists. In addition, it provides enhanced big data tools for monitoring, development and integration with many more enterprise systems.

IBM PureData System for Hadoop is a key step in IBM’s overall strategy to deliver a family of systems with built-in expertise that leverages its decades of experience reducing the cost and complexity of information technology. This new system integrates IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, which enables companies to cost effectively manage and analyse data and add administrative, workflow, provisioning and security features.

Data Warehousing

Overall, the IBM Big Data Platform combines traditional data warehouse technologies with new big data techniques, such as Hadoop, stream computing, data exploration, analytics and enterprise integration, to create an integrated solution to address these critical needs.

IBM’s announcement also included the following new versions of IBM’s big data solutions:

  1. A new version of InfoSphere BigInsights, IBM’s enterprise-ready Hadoop offering, makes it simpler to develop applications using existing SQL skills, compliance security and high availability features vital for enterprise applications. BigInsights offers three entry points: free download, enterprise software and now an expert integrated system, IBM PureData System for Hadoop.
  2. A new version of InfoSphere Streams, unique “stream computing” software, enables massive amounts of data in motion to be analysed in real time, with performance improvements, and simplified application development and deployment.
  3. A new version of Informix includes TimeSeries Acceleration for operational reporting and analytics on smart meter and sensor data.

All the offerings will be available in the second quarter of 2013, except the PureData System for Hadoop, which will start shipping to customers in the second half of 2013.

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Originally published on eWeek.