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IBM Puts Big Data, Analytics & BLU In The Cloud

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Last week, IBM announced new offerings that put cognitive computing, predictive analytics tools, and big data into the cloud.

According to IBM, their big data technologies are meant to "help organizations transition to a new era in computing where systems can learn, reason, sense, predict and enhance decision making.  Cognitive systems, such as IBM's Watson, can 'understand' the context within users' questions, uncover answers from big data, and improve performance by continuously learning from experiences." 

No, that's not an ad for a sci-fi show.  IBM has invested over $16 billion dollars to boost its analytics capabilities since 2005.  Now IBM wants to aim that analytical power to help businesses find and take advantage of the possible gems, (or avoid potential booby traps), hidden in the massive amount of untapped data created and accumulated by business.

Two areas IBM believes will benefit from analytics are IT operations and cloud storage. 

IT systems generate data.  A lot of it.  Much of it is ignored unless there's an actionable alert or a problem that needs to be solved.  Otherwise, network traffic, system management and system monitoring applications, operating systems, and other applications that constantly generate operational information are ignored.

That data most likely has some clues into how the network or applications could be optimized or might contain early warning signs that a critical problem is about to happen.  The problem for administrators is finding time to analyze all of that data, every day, in order to see the trends that would let them predict and intervene before potential problems became real ones.

IBM SmartCloud Analytics - Predictive Insights looks (in real time) for inconsistencies in data (for example, log files, alerts and alarms from applications, configuration file changes, network traffic, and performance metrics from other monitoring systems), and then reports on anomalies it finds before they have a chance to become critical.

IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center is designed to tackle the analysis of data usage and determines what the best type of storage is for the business' data. It handles moving data around without interrupting either the application or users.  According to IBM, using this automated storage tiering applications reduced its cost per terabyte of storage by nearly half at its Boulder, Colorado location.

Both of the SmartCloud products are supported by IBM owned SoftLayer cloud infrastructure which IBM states is "fast becoming the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio". 

IBM is also making a cloud version of IBM's BLU Acceleration software technology for big data available for early preview and access.  According to IBM, this new big data service is geared towards business analysts and technical professionals and provides simplified self-service capabilities that are fast and simple to use. The new cloud version will also be available along with IBM's PureSystems line-up of systems, a combination designed to extend the capabilities of in-memory performance when processing data.

Other new IBM big data technologies announced by the company include:

About the Author

Bill Oliver has been working in Healthcare for the past 30+ years in a variety of management roles including Material Management, Purchasing, Nurse Registry, and IT. In the past 12 years his focus has been on the business end of IT Contracts, Software Licensing and Purchasing.

More by Bill Oliver

  • New exploration capabilities added to their InfoSphere Data Explorer tool.
  • A data anonymizer tool to stop unauthorized access of confidential information stored in Hadoop called InfoSphere Data Privacy for Hadoop
  • IBM PureData System for Hadoop now includes archiving tools, enhanced levels of security (compared to the regular open-source version of Hadoop), and simpler administration. Also, according to IBM, in a recent audited benchmark test, InfoSphere BigInsights performed an average of 4x faster over open source Hadoop.
  • An Information Governance Dashboard gives decision makers a user-friendly way to view confidence levels of data sources.
  • IBM's PureData System for Transactions has a smaller configuration with no change in performance.

The short version: IBM is taking its analytics experience and tools even further into the cloud.