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IBM Brings Real-Time Analytics to System z Mainframe

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Big Iron machines, like IBM's mainframe line, are still running transactions in today's data centers, and system makers continue to adapt these systems to today's technical standards. In this case, IBM brings real-time analytics capabilities to its System z mainframe allowing businesses to garner instantaneous insights from commercial transactions as they happen. Businesses can then use this data to enhance sales and perform real-time fraud detection. 

"Off-loading operational data in order to perform analytics increases cost and complexity while limiting the ability of businesses to use the insights in a timely manner," said Ross Mauri, General Manager, System z, IBM Systems & Technology Group. "Now there is an end-to-end solution that makes analytics a part of the flow of transactions and allows our clients to gain real time insights while improving their business performance with every transaction."

In recent years, the combination of high consumer expectation and the massive explosion of data, particularly data originating from mobile devices, places increased pressure on businesses armed with traditional systems that can only analyze this data after the fact. 

According to a 2013 Vanson Bourne study (PDF available here), more than half (55 percent) of enterprise applications utilize mainframe systems to complete transactions. IBM gives its System z mainframe line the ability to perform these analytics as soon as the data is acquired. A significant business advantage can be gained by insights about customers and averting fraud in real-time.

In an example given by IBM (PDF available here) showing applications of its accelerated analytics capabilities, an oil retailer is now able to query for relevant purchases for a customer in a fraction of a second that a point-of-sale transaction takes place. Additional retail items can be automatically displayed on a point-of-sales terminal, tailored to the current customer based on predictive analysis algorithms, to be used as up-sell or cross-sell opportunities. 

IBM System z analytics can integrate big data sources, such as social media streams, into its analysis in order to give businesses up to the minute feedback from their customers on how their products are performing.

In its announcement last week, IBM introduced four new offerings to help companies using mainframes tackle real-time analytics.

For Hadoop integration, IBM combines their own technologies with open source Apache Hadoop and introduces InfoSphere BigInsights for Linux on System z. Additionally, increases security and query response time with its DB2 Analytics Accelerator product.

Linux on the mainframe also gets a boost with IBM's Elastic Storage for Linux on System z, while IBM Cloud Manager with OpenStack for System z brings the mainframe up a notch and extends OpenStack management to the mainframe.

In a email from IBM, the company stated that the four products are available now through IBM mainframe clients' representatives.

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