IBM releases Hadoop box and database technology for quicker data insights

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Credit: Jordan Novet

IBM (s ibm) talked up the latest ways in which it has sped up databases and introduced a Hadoop appliance at a press and analyst event in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday. The developments aim to bring enterprises closer to running analytics on more types and greater quantities of data as close to real time as possible — a higher and higher priority as big-data projects proliferate.

In the long run, as more and more data piles up and in greater varieties, IBM wants to help to prevent its customers from drowning in the deluge of data and instead give them tools to get better results, such as more revenue, said Bob Picciano, general manager of information management at IBM Software. That’s why tools have to be fast, capable of working on huge data sets and easy to use.

Toward that end, IBM announced BLU Acceleration. When a user of an IBM database such as DB2 runs a query, BLU quickly slims down a big set of data to the amount needed for analysis and spreads tiny workloads across all available compute cores to give a result. One feature of BLU — data skipping — essentially fast-forwards over the data that’s not needed and hones in on the small area that is. And with BLU, data can stay compressed for almost the entire duration of the analysis. IBM claimed BLU produces results a thousand times faster than a previous version of the DB2 database without BLU in some tests.

The IBM PureData System for Hadoop appliance.

The IBM PureData System for Hadoop appliance.

PureData System for Analytics

Look for IBM to offer more big-data hardware and software. The company has spent $16 billion on big-data and analytics acquisitions, and it wants to “spend as much organically as well as inorganically to figure out what clients need in this space,” said Inhi Cho Suh, vice president of information management product strategy at IBM Software. Meanwhile, Picciano said IBM will soon come out with a way to do for many servers what the BLU Acceleration does with the processors inside a single server.

The new IBM products sound like they could speed up analytics. If enterprises don’t believe the need is there now, they will as data gets bigger.

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