Big Data and Analytics: Front and Centre at IOD 2013

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This was my first time attending the IBM Information On Demand 2013 which happened in Las Vegas a few week ago.  It was indeed a great opportunity to see IBM PureSystems in the big picture!

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Working in the lab in Dublin, and also with customers at the same time, gave me the opportunity to see the work being done on a product and also understanding the customers’ requirements. Attending the IOD gave me a good opportunity to understand the customers’ needs and requirements.

Unlimited Possibilities with Big Data

We are currently in a great moment of Information Management with all the possibilities being offered by both structured and unstructured data alongside Big Data and its potential. I think that now, more than ever, people know that they can get more value for their business and customers from the data they possess. With this in mind, it is easy to understand how most customers want to learn they way to use and capitalize from their data. From analytics to sports, banking to fraud management, retail to mobile, we can see how this is becoming one of the first interests for every customer.

These interests clearly match with the IBM PureSystems’ proposition, where customers can focus on their actual business needs, instead of spending time thinking about the systems needed for these.

Hands-On Lab and more!

During the week at IOD, I spent most of the time working for the Hands-On Lab programme. This programme gave attendees an opportunity to register for various sessions based on a presentation and a Hands-On Lab for a specific product. There were 2 sessions per day in 16 labs, so you can imagine how many sessions were delivered during the entire conference!

If you were not able to attend the sessions, you had the opportunity to do it as a drop-in lab. All attendees had to do was go to the front desk, select the session; and you could do it with the manual and the virtual machines just like you were attending the session!

Session on DB2 10 HADR/Tivoli SAMP

My session at the IOD was called “From Basic to Expert with DB2 10 HADR/Tivoli SAMP.” Along with me, Martin Schlegel spoke about the HADR feature in DB2 10, its functionality and other advanced features like multiple standbys and its use, combined with Tivoli Suite for Automation.

HADR in DB2 stands for High Availability Disaster Recovery. As the name suggests, it provides a high availability solution for recovery during partial and complete site failure. Let’s say that you have a database where you store all your important data. As you can imagine, you would need to protect your database during disaster recovery scenarios. With DB2 HADR, you can have all your database transactions replicated to a standby database located in a different location, away from your main data centre. And with a second copy of data on the standby site, you are protected from total failure at the primary site.

This is very necessary for companies that need to have their databases replicated to avoid data loss in case of a disaster. This could be something like a hardware failure or an outage in the primary data centre due to external causes. This feature of DB2 is frequently used by various customers from multiple sectors. In the public sector, it is often used by governmental departments where they need to guarantee the availability of data. It is also used in telecom, e-commerce and banking sectors, which needs to guarantee prevention of data loss in customer transactions and no service disruption due to an outage in the primary data center.

Interaction with customers and attendees during this session made us understand that this is a key feature for their database. Also, it is very important to have the proper scenario configured and ready for these kinds of situation, in case of a fall over of their application to the standby database. In fact, most of the questions during the session were related to the ability of the DB2 client to perform an Automatic Client Reroute (ACR). ACR enables the application to redirect its connections to the standby database after a disaster recovery situation in a transparent way, without a manual intervention from the application.

When compared to the equivalent feature from other vendors, DB2 HADR has the capability to replicate a database. It is very transparent, easy to understand, set up, manage and maintain. As HADR is completely integrated into DB2 database, it can be configured in a very short span of time.

These features have also been made available for pureScale environments, with high availability from pureScale combined with HADR as a Disaster Recovery Solution. The enablement of HADR for pureScale is also available for the PureData System for Transactions, including DB2 10.5 (FixPack 3). More information on how HADR can be configured in a PureData System for Transactions is available in this article.

IBM’s PureData and PureApplication Systems

This year, many sessions in the labs were based on IBM PureSystems: PureData System for Transactions, PureData System for Analytics and PureData System for Hadoop. Clearly, this year’s IOD was focussed on Analytics; many customers and business partners looked forward to attending the PureData System for Analytics sessions along with other PureData sessions.

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During my time at the PureSystems stand, I noticed that several people were interested in the PureSystems proposition. Just being there, I could see people asking for IBM PureApplication System, PureData System for Analytics, Hadoop and Transactions.

I also go the opportunity to speak to a few customers from Mexico. They were looking at the PureApplication System and the PureData System for Transactions and were very interested in the Patterns feature offered by both the systems. It would be a great step forward for them with PureSystems.

They work with system hosting and were looking for a system to deploy SAP and migrating actual database to IBM DB2. After the presentations at the PureSystems booth and our conversation, they seemed to look forward to understanding the benefits from these systems.

A good example on how these two systems can be used together can be found here.

During this year’s IOD, announcement related to the new size of PureData Systems for Transactions were also made. These systems will now be available in Extra Small, Small, Medium and Large size racks.

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From the engagements we had this year for PureData System for Transactions, few customers asked for less storage or less CPU as the specifications for the PureData System for Transactions Small rack size were too high for their workload. This Extra Small rack size offers a good opportunity for customers who want to get into the PureSystems world. This also allows theses customers to have more room for further growth, while maintaining the simplicity of a database deployment and high availability with PureData System for Transactions. More details are available here.


PureSystems Analyst Paper - IDCInnovative companies continue to look for ways to deliver business value by accelerating time to market, improving application performance, and reducing the staff time needed for many routine ongoing management and support activities. Learn how you can do that and more in this Integrated Systems Analyst Paper from the IDC.

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Marco Bonezzi

About Marco Bonezzi

Marco is a PureData System for Transactions specialist at IBM. He is currently a member of the Information Management PureData Ecosystem (IMPE) team based in Dublin. He has been working with databases from different vendors including DB2, high availability architectures and has also participated in Big Data projects. He has a Masters Degree in Computer Engineering. His interests include traveling, sports and working with his brother in small projects using Linux in embedded devices like the Raspberry Pi.
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