A new family of systems, launching from IBM at the end of October, is designed to help enterprises stay afloat in the data flood.
A bit of background: In its fifth annual Digital Universe Study, published last year, the marketing intelligence firm IDC estimated that 1.8 zettabytes of data currently exist. That's 1.8 billion terabytes, if you're used to dealing with terabytes. And that's, well, too much data, and the volume is predicted to grow fifty times by 2020.
What's more, as we all know, much of this data is unstructured, unclean in its raw state, and arrives at blinding velocity.
So what's the good news for enterprises? For one thing, no business is interested in all data everywhere (unless it happens to be an ambitious data aggregation project like Factual). Operational and transactional data, and sales and marketing information, together with the 24/7 social feedback loop, make for plenty to chew on.
Another good-news item: Vendors conscious of the critical importance of enterprise data are offering focused analytics solutions to reduce the cost and complexity of managing the information tidal wave. Enter IBM's PureData System family of tools.
Building on the Expert Integrated Systems concept, also known as "engineered systems," the PureData System family comprises three workload-specific models:
- PureData System for Transactions
- PureData System for Analytics
- PureData System for Operational Analytics
The first of these provides a scalable platform to handle transactional workloads of any volume or speed. The second performs outward-looking analytics on market data. The third directs inward-looking analytics toward warehousing and supply chain operations.
Conforming with the general Expert Integrated Systems approach, these are ready-to-run platforms, delivered essentially as assembled chassis, with built-in "patterns of expertise" to facilitate deployment and management.
Premier Healthcare Alliance, a network comprising tens of thousands of hospitals and non-urgent care sites, has adopted PureData System to handle the data from millions of daily clinical transactions, and billions of dollars worth of purchasing. IBM also expects the packages to appeal to enterprises engaged in large-scale payment processing.
PureData System may not be the right solution for every enterprise, but it provides a fairly clear indication of the analytics future: ready-to-go packages deployed like apps, which have the flexibility and scaleability associated with cloud platforms, and which are already tuned to managing enterprise workloads.
They provide the hope, at least, of stemming, and then filtering, the data tide.
— Kim Davis , Community Editor, Internet Evolution