IBM on Tuesday rolled out its first update of DB2 software in four years. With DB2 10, working with InfoSphere Warehouse 10, Big Blue aims to help clients "tame the data deluge" and speed up business processes so execs can make faster decisions on analytical insights.
According to IBM, the new software never stops crunching -- it continually accesses, compresses, and analyzes data. The goal is to free up IT staff to work on higher-value tasks such as Big Data and business analytics.
IBM is betting companies will see the value in DB2 10 and InfoSphere Warehouse 10 in the Big Data era that is witnessing organizations struggle to gain insights from information assets. New high-performance apps that demand instant access to new -- and massive -- types of data is growing exponentially. Big Blue specifically mentioned data from social networks, sensors and mobile devices, as well as internal business applications.
"Today's growing data volumes make it tougher for clients to access the right data when they need it to stay competitive," said Arvind Krishna, general manager of IBM Information Management. "IBM has advanced database and data warehouse technology to the point where data management can be automated and insights shared more broadly than ever before, freeing up decision makers and IT staff to focus on business growth."
IBM promises that DB2 10 and InfoSphere Warehouse 10 software will easily integrate with Big Data systems, automatically compress data into tighter spaces to prevent storage sprawl, and slice information from the past, present and future to eliminate expensive application code. And it's not just talk. IBM did testing.
During testing, clients performed data warehouse queries up to 10 times faster to speed up decision making, freed up storage space up to 90 percent to dramatically reduce storage needs, and easily migrated data from Oracle Database to IBM DB2 software with 98 percent code compatibility that didn't require changing the data or retraining staff, according to IBM.
Isn't All Data Big Data?
We asked Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, about the database competition between IBM and Oracle. He told us IBM has been successful in its pursuit to get some Oracle customers to migrate to DB2 over the last few years.
"Conventional thinking suggests that migrating a database from one platform to another is a horrendously complex process, and it certainly is not something that you jump into without serious preparation," King said. "But IBM has built some compatibility tools into DB2 that have significantly lowered the amount of custom code that needs to be written in a migration."
King recalls Steven Mills, senior vice president of software and systems at IBM, answering a question about the company's approach to Big Data with a quip: "I thought all enterprise data was Big Data." Although Mills' answer got a laugh from the crowd at the event, King said the new DB2 announcement shows that IBM is making progress with its approach.
"Rather than drawing a line between traditional databases and Big Data the way some companies are doing, particularly the Big Data specialists, IBM is really in the hunt to present a centralized view and common management tools across all database efforts no matter what kind of information is involved," King said. "I think we are going to see more of that."