Big Bet at Big Blue

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-08-15 Print this article Print

IBM, the first large systems maker to use the engine, provides its Hadoop-based InfoSphere BigInsights in basic and enterprise editions. But the company has even bigger plans.

Speaking to a Computer History Museum audience Aug. 4 in Mountain View, Calif., CEO Sam Palmisano said Big Blue is putting a heavy R&D emphasis on new generation data analytics, describing it as one of the company's "big bets"-a project that requires at least a $100 million investment. At the same event, IBM Fellow and Computer Science Research Director Laura Haas said that IBM Labs is far beyond the big data research mode and is into "exadata" analytics research. "We're working on some very, very interesting things in this area," Haas told eWEEK.

While Haas wasn't at liberty to discuss details of the plans, Palmisano revealed this in his Aug. 4 presentation: "In about a year from now, you'll be starting to see the fruits of our -big bet' on big data. The work we've been doing for the last several years with Watson [the IBM computer that won Jeopardy! matches against two human champions] will move into products that will be used for a great many purposes, including health care, science and financial applications.

"Our engineers say they're not far away from building a supercomputer about the size of a human brain that can fit into a shoebox." Now that's squeezing big data into a small package.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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