BI with BLU Acceleration, a simple recipe for high speed analysis

chefKeeping with the cookbook document theme, a pattern is in many ways the restaurant version of software. It’s like taking someone else’s recipe for making something great, trying to get the same ingredients, trying to follow the instructions, goofing up somewhere along the way only to be left with something expensive and just somehow wrong or charred and tasteless! This happens with software implementations too and just as we’ve accepted that some dishes are better made by someone else, sometimes its better to let someone else put your software together too – after all most of us don’t build our own cars and amateur dentistry is certainly not popular.

There are lots of ways to put together components of enterprise software in pursuit of the solution to a problem, and let’s face it, that’s why we do it – it’s not because it’s glamorous or makes our kids think we’re cool. The scope of IBM products and operations provide us with some unique insights into the variety of ways that clients use our products to solve their business problems and over the years we’ve noted that there are many common “patterns” of use. As we’ve moved to the cloud and spent increasing amounts of time in growth markets, we’ve seen an emerging trend to “skip the stuff in the middle” – clients increasingly view many of the parts of the software stack as details that are fundamentally less important than the goal of solving the business problem. This is where PureApplication Systems and patterns of expertise come in, a proven and predictable platform on which you can deploy your favorite solutions!

A pattern of expertise is what then? It’s a piece of software that wraps all the components you need into an integrated, interoperable unit that is designed to provide you with the core functionality you need to solve a problem. The scope of the problem addressed will vary by pattern but all patterns will have the following in common:

  • They will accelerate time to value.
  • They will simplify deployment of complex software.
  • They will enable you to better leverage virtualization in your environment.
  • They will do so in a repeatable manner.

Enter the IBM Business Intelligence Pattern with BLU Acceleration. The reason why this solution exists is to provide clients with a fast, proven, predictable way to stand up a complete Business Intelligence system with in-memory data acceleration. The pattern deploys the best of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence with Dynamic Cubes integrated with BLU Acceleration for fast on fast performance with fast time to value. One person and one hour is all it takes to get access to a data connection where you can begin loading your data and a completely functioning BI environment where you can start deploying projects, modeling or whatever you want to do. So let’s talk about what it’s for.

Data volume, query complexity and high user concurrency are challenges than any organization with a high awareness of the value of information faces. Everyone has lots of data, terabytes and terabytes of it, and now a lot of business users know you have it and want to use it. The questions an organization needs to focus on become the following:

  • How do you get correct, timely data to the right people?
  • How do you scale your organization to provide access to appropriate tools to rapidly moving groups of advanced consumers?
  • How do you ensure that this additional, volatile demand on your data warehouse does not impact the myriad of core business applications that rely on stability and performance?

Answers to these questions will vary. They will depend upon your IT resources and budgets, they will depend upon your ability to embrace change and new technology and they will depend on where you are in the business analytics journey.

Some clients will start from a relatively blank slate with limited information infrastructure and need to get started with business intelligence and a data mart. This is a great opportunity to leap to the front of the technology pack and embrace the latest in in-memory technology, enterprise BI, and PureApplication Systems to minimize your labor costs, reduce your implementation risk, and increase your chances of success.

Some clients will begin with significant infrastructure and a variety of business problems to solve. Some of these business problems are:

  • Timeframe to upgrade to latest versions for new functionality
  • Groups of disruptive users circumventing processes to extract data and causing performance issues in the warehouse
  • Applications with customized requirements that are incompatible with data governance in the warehouse.
  • Interactive exploration applications that are failing to deliver performance in other Business Intelligence tools due to large dimensions and fact data.
  • Existing MOLAP infrastructures that are no longer able to address data volume requirements.

These cases exemplify a small subset of the problems that the IBM Business Intelligence Pattern with BLU Acceleration was built to solve. Recently, we released an IBM RedGuide on this every topic. This red guide will be able to provide you more specifics on the problems and solutions mention above.

I am looking forward to hearing how you are implementing IBM Business Intelligence Pattern with BLU Acceleration to embrace in-memory acceleration to super-charge your applications in 2014.


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Rachel Bland

About Rachel Bland

Rachel Bland is a senior product manager from the IBM Business Analytics team. Rachel has 15 years of experience in implementation and product management of data modeling, warehousing and query processing for Business Intelligence. Furthermore, Rachel has been involved for several years working with IBM Business Partners developing patterns of expertise for the IBM PureApplication System. Rachel has shared her experiences as a frequent speaker at IBM Information on Demand and IBM Impact conferences and is the author of a number of whitepapers on the topic of modeling and query best practices with IBM Cognos Business Intelligence.