IBM's DB2 10 Launches, Promises Big Data Integration

By | Apr 20, 2012

IBM's update of their DB2 10 software brings automated database management to overburdened IT professionals by offering continuous data compression, analysis, and data access. In addition, the software accommodates both structured and unstructured information and promises ease of integration between analysis results from Hadoop-based systems with the analysis from structured sources. As described in an article from Sci-Tech Today, the software update offers a way to handle big data without creating "silos of analyses." This issue was caused by different types of data housed in separate database systems that, in the past, either were never integrated for further data analysis or that required time-consuming data integration before meaningful insights could ever be extracted.

Most data faced by midsize business, while unstructured and voluminous, is not true big data. But unstructured data by its nature shares many traits with big data. Applying traditional data analytics techniques to unstructured data is either impossible to do, does not yield great insight or is time consuming. Results, if any, are difficult to visualize. Separate database management and analysis tools to handle the different data types lead to other problems, including increased training and maintenance costs, something that many midsize businesses are not in a position to absorb, as well as data storage and integration issues and costs associated with that storage and integration.

A database-management tool that can handle both unstructured and structured data gives midsize businesses versatility in several ways. Large quantities of unstructured data can be speedily managed and contained, with data brought into a more structured space for further processing. IT spending and maintenance is also contained. Oftentimes, adding an additional IT analysis tool or database management tool means that costs go up exponentially rather than linearly, as staff training, programming, and maintenance costs also rise. Programming can become a significant cost, due to the complexity of querying unstructured data, merging the analysis results with that from structured data, and creating meaningful data visualizations.

With more sources of unstructured data, such as text data generated from social media, midsize business is faced with the challenge of managing it in a way that meets their budget and streamlines the data analysis and integration processes. IT shops will need to investigate how these new database-management tools, including DB2 10 and competing products from Oracle, will ultimately help them gain the clearest insight from all sources of enterprise data and how these tools will scale up when midsize business is faced with the challenges that truly massive and disparate big data will bring.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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