Monday, October 24, 2011

IBM Information on Demand 2011: Day Two (#IODGC)

As promised, here is the second of my daily blogs from the IOD conference in Las Vegas. Today it was reported that the attendance at the event was the highest ever for an Information On Demand conference; there are more than 11,500 registered attendees.

The second day of the conference is when things really start humming with news and in-depth presentations. The day kicked off with the general session delivered by a host of IBM executives and customers. Big data, business analytics, and gaining insight into data was the theme of the session. The opening session was peppered with lots of interesteing facts and figures. For example, did you know that 90 percent of the world's data was created in just the last two years? Me neither... but there was no attribution to that nugget of information, so...

Other highlights of the day included the announcement of Cognos Mobile for the iPhone and iPad (a free trial is available on the iTune store)… and the other big product focus of the day was IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, a Hadoop-driven big data solution that can process huge amounts of data very quickly and accurately. For more details on that offering check out my Data Technology Today blog where I cover a customer implementation of this solution.

I also had the opportunity to chat with IBM's Bernie Spang, Director of Marketing, Database Software and Systems. We chatted about various things, starting with the uptake of DB2 10 for z/OS. Earlier in the day it was stated that the uptake of V10 has been faster than for V9 and I asked Bernie why that was. His answer made a lot of sense: skip-level migration support coupled with a clear performance boost out-of-the-box without having to change the database or the apps. I asked if he had metrics on how many customers had migrated, but he didn't have access to that. He said he would get back to me and when he does I will share that information with you all.

We also chatted quite a bit about the recently announ ced DB2 Analytics Accelator. Bernie thinks this is probably the announcement he is most excited about. For those of you who haven't heard about this great piece of technology, it is the second iteration of the Smart Analytics Optimizer (but that name is now dead). The DB2 Analytics Accelerator is built on Netezza technology and can be used to greatly improve the performance of DB2 for z/OS analytical queries without changing the SQL or any application code. There are multiple value points but Bernie pointed out the application transparency and the ability to keep the data on the z platform (no movement required) while accelerating the performance of analytical queries.

IBM views the competition as Oracle Exadata and Teradata, which makes sense. I asked Bernie if there were plans to incorporate the Oracle compatibility features of DB2 LUW in a future iteration of DB2 for z/OS, and he said that made sense. Of course, no one from IBM will commit to future functionality of an as yet to be announced  version, but perhaps Vnext??? (that was me speaking there, no Bernie!)

Then I think I blew his mind when I passed a thought of mine past him. With Netezza being used as a component of an accelerator to improve DB2 analytical processing, has IBM given any thought to using IMS as a component of an accelerator to improve DB2's traditional OLTP processing. Not sure if that is even possible, but it should be worth a research project, right? Especially with IBM announcing IMS 12 at the conference today and the IBM boast that IMS 12 can achieve 61,000 transactions per second. That is impressive! But can the mismatch between relational and hierarchical be overcome in a useful manner to do it?

Finally, we chatted about Informix. As a DB2 bigot I am always at a loss for when to direct people to Informix instead of DB2. It just doesn't sound like something I would do! But Bernie offered a brief overview of Informix time series as something unique that certain customers should look into. An Informix customer uses time series for smart meter management of over 100 million smart meters. A month's worht of data - 4 terabytes - can be loaded and processed in less than 8 hours. And some queries perform from 30x to 60x faster.

OK, even to this DB2 bigot that sounds like an impressive capability. Kudos to Informix.

Finally, I'd like to direct my readers over to the video blog that I am hosting in conjunction with SoftBase Systems. I'll be interviewing DB2 luminaries daily, so tune in there at to view each daily submission!

Until tomorrow...


Brenda said...

Good discussion, Craig. Thanks for posting.

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