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LAS VEGAS - 04 Nov 2013: Today, at Information on Demand Forum (#IBMIOD), IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced a variety of new offerings that leverage cognitive computing and predictive analytics technologies to help companies more easily predict and respond to opportunities and challenges hidden in data. IBM is also helping clients to harness massive amounts of data with new high speed analytics software by expanding IBM's BLU Acceleration portfolio.
New software will enable clients to apply foundational elements of cognitive intelligence throughout their information technology (IT) infrastructure. This will enable employees to gain insights from Big Data instead of focusing on how to cope with its sheer volume. Such insights can help predict and prevent IT downtime, improve productivity and generate cost savings.
Today, organizations are increasingly faced with managing a complex IT system of servers, networks and applications. Combined with the proliferation of mobile and cloud computing environments, these systems can generate more than 1.3 terabytes of data per day, including log files, software error alerts, IT service tickets and network configuration updates. This can result in more than one million “events” or system alerts per day, some of which are critical to performance and others that are irrelevant, which can bog down systems administrators.
These are IBM's latest Big Data technologies 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.
“As the value of data continues to grow, the differentiator for clients will be around predicting what could happen to help transform their business with speed and conviction,” said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, software and systems at IBM. “IBM’s latest set of solutions allow clients to help predict customer behavior and outcomes with speed and ease, all delivered from the cloud.”
Cognitive Computing and Predictive Analytics Soar into the Cloud
Organizations typically discard or archive IT operations data, preventing them from tapping a valuable business resource. Now with IBM SmartCloud Analytics - Predictive Insights, they can sift through terabytes of IT operations data in real time, spotting only the trends that are critical to IT network performance. The software’s cognitive computing capabilities learn, reason and sense an organization’s IT systems. As business and performance conditions change, the software adapts, updating settings and eliminating inadvertent but costly errors caused by poor system configuration. This new technology will run on the SoftLayer infrastructure, which will be the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio.
Working with IBM, Consolidated Communications, a leading telecommunications company, expects to save $300,000 annually in reactive costs alone by analyzing IT operations data. The company sets and monitors more than 80,000 performance standards, such as connectivity speed and television frequency levels for each of its 500,000 clients. The cognitive intelligence in the IBM software learns and predicts normal usage and performance standards, automatically setting and monitoring the metrics that are the most important for each client. The intelligent software also helps the company recognize minute yet critical abnormalities amid massive volumes of data, spotting potential network problems before they occur.
“By working with IBM to apply cognitive technologies to our IT operations data, we are able to learn what defines good service for each customer’s connection and then determine instantly when critical deviations happen, no matter how small,” said Chris Smith, director of network tools and automations, Consolidated Communications. “With the IBM software, we are able to tailor our services to individual clients, improve overall network efficiency and spot and stop issues before they happen.”
IBM is also applying machine learning and analytics to storage with a new version of SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center. Now, organizations can save time and money by automating complex storage tiering decisions and moving to cloud storage. By analyzing data usage patterns, this intelligent software identifies the type of storage best suited for an organization’s data, and automatically makes the change without interruption to the user or applications. The software learns key usage patterns over time, adapting and shifting data as business needs change. IBM deployed this automated storage tiering capability at its own Boulder, Colorado data center and reduced per terabyte of storage costs by nearly 50 percent.
IBM SmartCloud Analytics--Predictive Insights is one of the 100-plus IBM software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings that infuse analytics into line of business and IT operations that will be supported by SoftLayer infrastructure in the near future. SoftLayer is fast becoming the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio, adding more than 1,000 new clients since IBM acquired the company in July, 2013.
IBM Expands Big Data Portfolio
IBM is also announcing an expansion of its BLU Acceleration portfolio to help clients harness Big Data and analytics. IBM is introducing an early access preview of BLU Acceleration for Cloud (bluforcloud.com), a solution that will offer IBM’s advanced technologies powered by BLU Acceleration in-memory database and business analytics technologies, for powerful, agile warehousing delivered with cloud simplicity. This offering provides fast and simple self-service insight for business analysts and technical professionals. This news comes on the heels of the recently announced IBM BLU Acceleration Solution - Power Systems Edition which exploits POWER7+ processor-based technology for 8x to 25x faster reporting and analytics and 10x storage space savings. IBM is also delivering BLU Acceleration capabilities as part of its IBM PureSystems family of expert integrated systems. The new IBM Business Intelligence Pattern with BLU Acceleration (BI-BLU) works with IBM PureApplication System to make it simple and fast for organizations to benefit from high speed analytics using advanced in-memory technologies.
Additional new technologies announced as part of the IBM Big Data portfolio include:
- New Big Data exploration capabilities for InfoSphere Data Explorer, a search-based Big Data exploration tool that helps clients distinguish different forms of data through data exploration and discovery, and helps clients visualize structured and unstructured data from multiple diverse sources.
- InfoSphere Data Privacy for Hadoop allows clients to anonymize data in Hadoop, NoSQL and relational systems. With data activity monitoring capabilities, the technology can also help organizations prevent unauthorized access of confidential information stored in Hadoop systems.
- IBM PureData System for Hadoop simplifies deployment of Hadoop systems by allowing users to get up and running in hours, rather than days or weeks. Enhancements include built-in archiving tools, simplified administration and higher levels of security than open-source systems. In an audited benchmark conducted by STAC, the Securities Technology Analysis Center, InfoSphere BigInsights for Hadoop has been found to deliver an approximate 4X performance advantage on average over open source Hadoop. This is a critical milestone for clients in a variety of industries who are looking to visualize, access and analyze Big Data to stay competitive.
- The release of an Information Governance Dashboard, which displays confidence levels in data sources in a business-friendly interface. Decision-makers can see confidence levels in their data visualized in a user-friendly way, such as governance policies and data lineage, which fosters trust and greater usage of data and insights.
- A new, smaller configuration for IBM PureData System for Transactions for continuously available transactional databases. The new model offers the same leading performance and appliance simplicity for a fully active, highly available and scalable database platform for the Big Data era.
About IBM Big Data & Analytics
Each day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated by a variety of sources -- from climate information, to posts on social media sites, and from purchase transaction records to healthcare medical images. At IBM we believe that data is emerging as the world’s newest resource for competitive advantage, and analytics is the key to make sense of it. IBM is helping clients harness Big Data & Analytics to provide insights needed to make better decisions, create value, and deliver that value to customers and society. IBM has the world's deepest and broadest portfolio of Big Data & Analytics technologies and solutions, spanning services, software, research and hardware.
For more information about IBM Big Data & Analytics, visit http://ibm.co/bigdataanalytics.
Follow IBM Big Data & Analytics on Twitter @IBMbigdata and @IBMAnalytics.
For more insights on Big Data & Analytics visit IBM’s Smarter Planet blog.
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