IBM PureScale System Links Servers, Software for Business Analytics

By Larry Barrett

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IBM is rolling out a new combined hardware and software offering for major enterprise customers like banks, utility companies and brokerage firms that have a serious interest in ramping up their business analytics horsepower -- and who are already running their applications in either x86 or mainframe computing environments.

Based on IBM's (NYSE: IBM) Power7 servers, Big Blue's new pureScale Application System promises an optimized and fully integrated software and hardware package for analyzing data in real time and swiftly processing data-intensive transactions.

The new offering marks another salvo in IBM's battle with Oracle, taking on the database giant's Exadata offering with a combination IBM expects to appeal to customers looking to rev up their data analytics while making more efficient use of IT resources.

IBM officials said enterprises running pureScale Application with Power7 and IBM's Smart Analytics applications will be able to manage analytics and transactional workloads up to 20 times faster than can those using competitors' individual components, while also reducing storage space for structured and unstructured data by up to 80 percent.

"Clients are increasingly investing in analytics to get business value and to differentiate themselves from their competitors," said Bernie Spang, IBM's director of product strategy. "These systems are pre-tuned, optimized already integrated to their software and hardware, enabling them to accelerate their solutions."

IBM pureScale Application System combines the Power7 servers with its WebSphere application server and DB2 pureScale software to give, for example, utility companies real-time data to ensure electricity is quickly and adequately delivered and monitored throughout the grid.

Spang said IBM's Smart Analytics Systems 5600 with System x is now available and the 9600 version for System z mainframes will be rolled out later this quarter, joining the already available 7600 version.

The new offerings include integrated Cognos and InfoSphere data warehousing software for reporting, analysis, giving customers the ability to analyze multiple business variables to discover previously unknown relationships between data sets.

The new System x and System z models will also offer customers a solid state drive option for improved processing speed.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.