Big Blue is Cool as Ice

For those who feel locked in their tower, a chill deep inside, there is good news today. IBM has made a virtual snowstorm of announcements which should have the whole palace rejoicing.

First up is IBM’s cloud development platform, BlueMix, built on the standards of the Cloud Foundry initiative, for building new applications and scaling them on-the-go. New functionality includes:

  • Embedded reporting (via Cognos)
  • Time-series (courtesy of Informix)
  • Geospatial Analytics (with InfoSphere Streams)
  • Internet of Things APIs (to BlueMix)
  • Discovery, masking, and monitoring (using InfoSphere Guadium and Optim)

These will complement the existing portfolio of:

  • A SQL database (on DB2)
  • BLU Acceleration (for in-memory, columnar analytics)
  • A JSON database (using Cloudant)
  • A Mobile datastore (for mobile data, natch)
  • MapReduce (Hadoop with InfoSphere BigInsights)

While clearly all good advances, this does highlight the number of distinct components that might be needed to build a solution. BlueMix serves to bring all these together for a developer, but the diversity of tools may still pose a challenge to master all together.

Many people consider true big data to be Hadoop powered, so the expanded InfoSphere BigInsights with BigSQL 3.0 is interesting on its own. There are many more SQL developers than Hadoop experts today, so giving Hadoop access with the more common language is definitely a plus. Most distributions are going down this road today, but IBM does seem to have a solid entry with:

  • Broad support for SQL data types and functions
  • Performance optimization features
  • More integration with other apps
  • Management, security, and federation capabilities

InfoSphere Streams also gets better with a number of enhancement around real-time social and mobile data analytics, support for updated versions of Hadoop and Watson Explorer, and availability on the new IBM cloud marketplace.

And there was something about a new generation of Power8 servers purpose-built for the big data and cloud age, bringing more processor speed, more memory, and more bandwidth. This is more than an incremental jump, and should be compelling to those choosing a hardware platform for the volume and velocity of big data.

If all this news is giving you brainfreeze, well, let’s close out with a song for all the parents out there. Please sing along to the tune of Frozen’s “Let It Go”:

Make it BLU, DB2,

Analyze like the break of dawn,

Make it BLU, DB2,

That query just runs on.

Here I stand,

In-memory to-day,

Let the search rage on,

Oracle never bothered me anyway.

Topics: Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI