“Pure”-ified Thoughts from the Road on PureData

For those of you who didn’t already know this, last week IBM announced the latest addition to the IBM PureSystems family of “expert integrated systems” — focused on data-centric workloads and use cases. The PureData system today is composed of three models – optimized for transaction processing, analytics and reporting, and operational analytics.

Last week’s launch was a pretty big deal – with more than 100 events touching over 45,000 folks (clients, partners, prospects and influencers), over 1000 media pickups and huge social media outreach and positive reaction. But that’s not what this blog is about. It’s about my personal reflections on what the PureData System is all about – with specific emphasis on the two data analytics-based models.

As a Netezza-ite, the primary concepts and values of PureSystems are near and dear to me; “built-in expertise”, “integration by design” and a “simplified experience” that transcends the system itself and extends to the pre-purchase, ordering, support and product lifecycle. How could those not warm the cockles of a guy’s heart who has been steeped in appliance simplicity for nearly nine years?

One of the great things about the kickoff last week was that I got to talk to the Boston audience about the analytics models. When I had completed the presentation some asked how I thought it went and my first comment was that it felt like, “an old-time Netezza briefing”. That’s how consistent the values of PureSystems are with the Netezza outlook.

But now, it’s MUCH bigger and so is the impact. The PureSystems family cuts across infrastructure, applications, transaction processing and analytics. It’s a globally-available product set and it is built on a common mindset on delivering the kind of focused performance, simplicity and business agility that our customers need to compete and succeed.

The ability to bring systems that are built and optimized for a particular purpose into your data center and have them up and ready to load data in hours not weeks, is just one very tangible benefit of what the simplicity of operations does for customers. Rather than teams of people managing, tuning, partitioning and customizing, their systems and organizations are focused on the applications and results that can drive their business.

And customers are seeing some amazing stuff in their deployments of these systems:

We recently issued a press release  on breakthrough research in battling Multiple Sclerosis that’s being conducted by researchers at the State University of New York in Buffalo. They are using the Netezza predecessor to the PureData System for Analytics to perform advanced analytic processing, in-database, that’s delivering the kind of analytic performance that they need to progress research and to change lives. The researchers at SUNY-Buffalo say they’re now performing analyses on terabytes of data that literally require quintillions (1018th) of operations. And they say they’re completing those analyses in minutes for what formerly took them more than a half-day to process.

[And for a little perspective, here’s what 1 quintillion looks like: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.]

A global credit-card issuer is dealing with over 80 million new transactions per day (about 5 terabytes of fresh data inflows daily) and performing real-time analysis to determine if an individual transaction may be fraudulent. That’s something that should be important to all of who have either had our identities or credit card numbers stolen, or know people who have.

They’re using the earlier version of the PureData System for Operational Analytics  to do that, while supporting about 2,500 analysts performing deeper analytics on the same system.

A US-based travel booking company served as one of the motivating client models for the PureData System for Transactions , providing support for more than 86,000 operations per second through it’s high-volume online travel website – supporting travelers needs to search for travel options and create, update, cancel or simply view their reservations, in real-time. It’s a model that as revolutionized the travel industry through easy, self-service access to the best-available travel options.

Using DB2 pureScale, the predecessor to the PureData System for Transactions, not only can they support thousands of online users accessing the system concurrently, but with “five 9s” availability on transactional databases that are well over a terabyte each. And the system allows them simple scalability to respond to surges in member usage through an “on demand” model.

The stories, and how they’re changing business outcomes, the quality of life and our security for the better are too numerous to mention and admittedly self-serving to do so. But I think we’re making some real changes, for the better.

With today’s PureSystems – and more to come, I believe IBM are well down the path of not only making a difference in how people deploy technology effectively, efficiently and with agility to respond to the rapidly changing requirements and the challenges of Big Data. Yes, that translates to business success and fast time to value, but when I look at how some of our clients are deploying these systems, I see the real “difference making” impacts in people’s lives and security.


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Phil Francisco

About Phil Francisco

Phil Francisco is IBM’s Vice President of Netezza Product Management & Product Marketing. As such, Phil leads heritage IBM Netezza team and the new IBM PureData for Analytics team in the development of new products. In his posts, Francisco divulges insights on new products in the IBM Netezza and IBM PureData families and the customers that leverage them.