IBM Touts BLU Acceleration Big Data Technology Now in DB2

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-07-02

IBM Touts BLU Acceleration Big Data Technology Now in DB2

IBM recently announced strong client and business partner support for the new version of its DB2 database software.

Now generally available, the new software—which represents the work of hundreds of IBM developers and researchers in labs around the world—adds IBM's hot new BLU Acceleration technology that makes it simpler, more economical and faster to analyze massive amounts of data.

BLU Acceleration enables users to have much faster access to key information. Among the companies worldwide that have experienced strong results from the new IBM software is the large northern Europe bank Handelsbanken.

"We were very impressed with the performance and simplicity of BLU," Lennart Henang, an IT architect at Handelsbanken, said in a statement. "We found that some queries achieved an almost 100 times speedup with literally no tuning. We were seeing average acceleration of 7.4 times, with some queries going from 28 seconds down to sub-zero response time."

Yonyou Software Co. in Beijing, an enterprise management software and cloud service provider, also had positive results with the technology. According to Jianbo Liu, IT performance manager at Yonyou, "ERP [enterprise resource planning] and accounting software applications run a lot of reports. We used DB2 BLU Acceleration and saw our reports run faster by up to 40 times. This type of technology is an ideal fit for Yonyou's big data analytic services."

IBM says the new IBM DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration aims for analytics at the speed of thought with a range of made-in-IBM-Labs advances to significantly speed analytic workloads for databases and data warehouses. These innovations include dynamic in-memory technology that loads terabytes of data in random access memory, which streamlines query workloads even when data sets exceed the size of the memory. Another such innovation is "Actionable Compression," which allows analytics to be performed directly on compressed data without having to decompress it; some customers have reported as much as 10 times storage space savings.

In addition, IBM provides the simplicity to allow clients access to blazing-fast analytics transparently to their applications, without the need to develop a separate layer of data modeling or time-consuming data warehouse tuning, as well as the ability to take advantage of both multi-core and single instruction multiple data (SIMD) features in IBM Power and Intel x86 processors.

"The incredibly positive feedback we're hearing from clients and partners illustrates that we're meeting a major need in the market—an innovative and powerful yet simple solution that can ingest huge amounts of data and apply insights from all this data at the point of impact. And do so with unparalleled speed," Bob Picciano, general manager of IBM Information Management, said in a statement. "IBM's work with beta clients and internal tests show unmatched speed and simplicity. In one example, BLU Acceleration was shown to be 10 times faster than another well-known in-memory database system. Some queries that took 7 minutes were shown to have dropped to 8 milliseconds, thanks to the innovations in BLU Acceleration."


IBM Touts BLU Acceleration Big Data Technology Now in DB2

Meanwhile, IBM also delivered an innovative advance in database technology that allows DB2 to process both row-based and column-based tables simultaneously within the same system. This allows much faster analysis of vast amounts of data for faster decision making.

Moreover, IBM provides integration with IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Dynamic Cubes to provide breakthrough speed and simplicity for reporting and analytics. Companies can analyze key facts and freely explore more information faster from multiple angles and perspectives to make more informed decisions.

"The whole concept behind DB2 with BLU Acceleration is really quite fascinating," Andrew Juarez, a lead database administrator at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, said in a statement. "I really appreciate the approach of giving me all the benefits of a columnar database in harmony with a row-store within the same database.

"What IBM also has done that's so special with BLU Acceleration is it enables us to deliver strong performance, even if the entire data set won't fit into memory. That's important because in a big data world, I might not be able to fit all of my data into memory, even with very high compression ratios. DB2 gives me a single solution for a vital business goal: deliver faster analytics to our users," Juarez said.

Coca-Cola moved from the Oracle Database to DB2 in April 2008. "Before moving to DB2, our database was 950GB and sustained a 35GB-per-month growth rate," he said. "Just by moving to DB2, the growth rate slowed to 15GB per month. Today our database is smaller than it was in 2008. Just when I thought things couldn't get any better, BLU Acceleration came along."

Some IT executives who moved to DB2 10.5 found the results surprising.

Iqbal Goralwalla, head of DB2 Managed Services at Triton Consulting of Norwich, U.K., said, "I was quite anxious when I installed DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration on my Linux Intel server, which really does not have a large amount of RAM, nor does it have the latest processors. The results surprised me. My analytic workload ran 45 times faster. This is because with BLU Acceleration, not only can the data be larger than the amount of available RAM, but DB2 is also very effective at keeping the data in memory and was performing the data analytics directly on compressed data."

IBM said the breakthrough speed and simplicity of BLU Acceleration is a complement to the existing transactional performance leadership of DB2 on Power System. DB2 takes advantage of Power System's industry-leading multi-threading, cache size and memory bandwidth to deliver top speed and processing efficiency for both transactional and analytics workloads.


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