With Big Data Offerings, IBM Helps Customers Address Emerging Challenges

IBM has introduced an array of new software, system and services offerings to help organizations manage big data projects. The technology is aimed at helping customers increase their confidence in their data, their speed in gaining business value out of their data, and sharpen their skill sets to address big data challenges.

The new big data solutions are intended to create a single environment for protection of all types of data, help identify suspicious activity and enable immediate response such as the blocking of access to data. Organizations have been very focused on leveraging big data capabilities but now they are trying to solve their data management problem, said Nancy Kopp-Hensley, a director in product marketing and strategy for Big Data Systems at IBM, in an interview. “It has moved from what people refer to as 'the science experiment' into our enterprises and we have to hold that data to the same standards, manage it, and govern it appropriately for the enterprise. You can’t drop those standards because it is unstructured data.”

The new big data products include Data Click, announced last year and extended to support unstructured sources, said Kopp-Hensley. Data Click provides business users self-service data provisioning for big data repositories, including Hadoop, JSON, NoSQL and JDBC data. “You can quickly provision sandboxes in just a few clicks. This allows us to provide self service business intelligence capabilities but maintain data lineage.”

In addition, an Information Governance Dashboard provides immediate insight into policy statuses for big data sources, such as machine data or social data, delivered through a visual dashboard that lets users know the level of trust in a data source. And, because the emergence of big data technologies has made it easier to access a broader range of information, new privacy and security capabilities allow an organization to monitor and mask sensitive big data in Hadoop, NoSQL, and relational systems, to prevent unauthorized access of sensitive data.

IBM also announced big data appliance called the PureData system for Hadoop, which will be part of its PureData family of products. The new PureData System for Hadoop is aimed at reducing complexity, addressing the skills issue, and enabling customers to deploy Hadoop within their enterprises faster, said Kopp-Hensley. The system includes built-in archiving tools, simplified administration and higher levels of security, according to IBM, than open source systems. The system also offers performance, usability, integration and analytics functions.

IBM is also launching a program called Big Data Stampede,intended to help address the need for Hadoop skills and resources to get big data projects off the ground.  “It is designed to bring all of the skills and expertise that you need to get these projects started but with a focus on skills transfer,” notes Kopp-Hensley.

The new product set includes a Business Value Assessment to identify the high value starting points with big data, IBM big data experts to guide the client through knowledge transfer of a specific use case, and access to IBM’s Big Data platform for the duration of the engagement to build out big data solutions. It also includes educational and training resources to ensure clients have self-sufficiency with big data projects. As part of the push on education, Kopp-Hensley noted, IBM is working with over 1,000 universities to move more of this training into the curriculum, and there is also IBM’s Big Data University online.

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