Made in IBM Labs: Creating Analytics “Express Lane” For Cloud Data

IBM invention enhances real-time analysis, make clouds more efficient

ARMONK, N.Y. - 09 Dec 2014: IBM (NYSE: IBM) inventors have patented an invention that enhances the use of analytics for assessing and directing data in a cloud computing environment, enabling more timely and efficient application processing and management.

An "Express Lane" For Cloud Data

The IBM invention, U.S Patent #8,639,809, “Predictive Removal Of Runtime Data Using Attribute Characterizing,” can provide specific benefits for a cloud environment – as well as any IT system -- by more effectively analyzing data from a variety of sources to avoid performance inefficiencies and processing delays. Since not all data is equal and resources for processing, storing and managing information are finite, real-time analytics can be useful in expediting this process.

“Processing data in a cloud is similar to managing checkout lines at a store -- if you have one simple item to purchase, an express lane is preferable to waiting in line behind someone with a more complicated order,” said IBM Inventor Michael Branson, who co-invented the patented technique with John Santosuosso. “Cloud customers don’t want data that can be analyzed and dealt with simply to sit idle behind data that needs more complex analysis. Applying real-time analytics in a cloud can help ensure each piece of data gets the proper attention in a timely manner.”

Creating an “express lane” in analytics

This patented technique performs real-time analysis on data -- such as online transactions, readings from sensors, financial quotes, video streams, etc. -- as it is generated. It quickly determines how each piece of data will be processed, by identifying patterns in the data values that have correlated with slower processing in the past, to avoid situations where certain data values might delay the processing of all the data.

The cloud computing system then automatically channels each piece of data – also known as a tuple – down the right analysis path to ensure timely, efficient analysis. In essence, the invention creates an “express lane” for “normal” tuples ensuring that they are analyzed promptly, while tuples with values known to be problematic or that are very time consuming to analyze are sent down other analysis paths.

Applications for this invention in a cloud computing environment include:

  • Sensor-based highway toll collection systems, where some license plates images may be harder to analyze than others because of lighting, camera issues, etc.;
  • Intrusion detection on a data network system, where analysis can be made more efficient by identifying and rerouting malformed data packets for closer examination;
  • Analysis of audio files in a call center (“This call may be monitored or recorded for quality-control purposes…”), where some files may contain background noise or other audio quality issues that require more processing.

The invention can be applied across IBM's portfolio of servers and could be used to optimize IBM’s InfoSphere Streams software offering. IBM InfoSphere Streams is an advanced analytic platform that allows user-developed applications to quickly ingest, analyze and correlate information as it arrives from thousands of real-time sources.

For 21 consecutive years, IBM has been the leading recipient of U.S. patents. IBM inventors have patented thousands of inventions that are expected to enable significant innovations that will position IBM to compete and lead in strategic areas, such as IBM Watson, cloud computing, Big Data analytics – and advance the new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason and interact with people in more natural ways. IBM holds 1,560 cloud patents focused on driving innovation, with more than a third of these inventions originating in Systems and Technology Group.

IBM Systems and Technology Group offers a full range of offerings supporting public, private and hybrid cloud implementations that integrate with IBM's cloud software and services. This systems portfolio includes IBM Power Systems and System z servers, and IBM Storage solutions.


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