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IBM Offers a Little Blue Insight

It has transformed one of its mainframes into what it calls Blue Insight

IBM Journal

IBM In the interest of selling more widgetry to more people, IBM has transformed one of its mainframes into what it calls Blue Insight, a private cloud packed initially with a petabyte of structured and unstructured data that 200,000 of its sales, product development and manufacturing people can access to make a sale.

IBM had no hesitation in labeling it the world's largest private cloud computing environment for business analytics, a petabytes after all is equivalent of 300 billion ATM transactions.

IBM has also created a version of the beast called Smart Analytics Cloud, for large clients to build their own private analytical clouds on the same cloud infrastructure as IBM's giant.

IBM says Blue Insight will gather information from ~100 different information warehouses and data stores and run analytics on the petabyte of data to find new growth opportunities and save money.

IBM imagines sales teams getting a deeper understanding of a client's relationship with all of IBM, not just their region or product group, and being able to predict better which products and services would sell; product development teams quickly analyzing sales information, industry trends and customer perceptions, and adjusting product planning and development specifications accordingly; and manufacturing engineers evaluating real-time data on the plant floor to identify trends and adjust manufacturing processes as needed to improve yields and reduce shipment delivery times.

The mainframe IBM is using for the project is a z10 with 48 processors (32 processors for production, 18 for test and development) outfitted with strong cryptography capable of handling up to 10,000 secure transactions a second, with redundant backup support.

The Smart Analytics Cloud IBM means to sell to large accounts will run z/VM to support thousands of Linux virtual machines and offload Cognos 8 BI workloads to the mainframe's cheap-to-run specialty processors for the multi-tenant operation.

IBM points out that business intelligence and analytics is currently a hot button with CIOs.

Besides Blue Insight, internally IBM's got a TAP Cloud in Connecticut to enable early evaluation of technology; a Research Cloud, called RC2, so its R&D people can access technical applications that IBM figures has saved it more than $500,000 in deployment costs the past year; and an analytics program or prospecting tool called On Target to identify additional client opportunities that it figures has already identified more than 100,000 sales leads for IBM.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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