5 Important Ideas from IBM Insight Conference

The IBM Insight conference was last week and on the long flight home I was thinking how this year’s conference was different from previous years’ events. Here are my five big takeaways from this year’s conference.

  1. There is way too much open source. With open source the landscape of file managers, DBMS, and other products continues to expand. Every computer science college senior thesis project expands the offerings with their twist on the computing world with dreams of venture funding and Google money. This is documented by the two great graphics from many different places that I saw in several presentations. The two graphics are at the 451 Research site here  and the Genealogy of Relations Database management system here. Take a look and see what I mean.
  2. Open source is being extended by every vendor and is NOT free. Every DBMS company is running scared as the various open source products take on the next new project at corporations around the globe. Only critical systems of record are being developed and tested on true relational databases. All the new IT kids on the block want to try and/or use the open source systems they used in college.

    This is leading all the DBMS vendors to embrace and extend open source into their own brand of open source proprietary system. HortonWorks, Casandra, and Big Insight are examples of Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM extending the open source Hadoop. Of course, each company’s take on extending Hadoop presents different forms and features with a premium price. Choose your extensions, pricing, and contract terms wisely because each is looking at securing your company into a long term contract. I like IBM approach because it shows value from the twenty years of DB2 SQL optimization integrated into its Big Insight Hadoop offering that I mentioned last week here.
  3. Specialized data is the new competitive advantage. With everyone trying to gain competitive advantage, data is the new resource that is the critical differential element in the competitive advantage equation. Last year IBM announced their relationship with Twitter and showcased this year how to engage with the Twitter stream to gain customer sentiment insights.

    This year IBM announced their agreement with the Weather Channel and its vast digital data produced every moment. Matching this Weather Channel data with all types of traffic, customer purchases, and all types of data brings context to everyone’s situation. It will be interesting to see the monetization of the weather and how companies leverage it for their advantage. What would additional Twitter and weather data provide for your company or your competitors?
  4. Big data is relative. One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor and small to one person is big to another. With the Internet of things (IoT) taking over I heard many presentations where data streams are producing billions of rows and hundreds of terabytes of data every day. Other continuous data streams of medical, traffic, personal, and other sensors are providing further insights into wear and tear on our bodies, cars, planes, and correlations between medications and exercise. What IoT data can help your company?
  5. Cloud is interesting, complex, and dangerous. While talking to some of the other 15000+ attendees, I learned opinions vary tremendously. Breakfast, lunch, and other networking opportunities along with the Expo hall were all very educational with what was being said and what wasn’t. Of course cloud computing was on everyone’s mind and the conversations discussed management’s imperatives, the technical consideration, and business objectives side of the equation.

    It was interesting because I found all types of management acceptance from totally going to the cloud to never going to happen because their competitors have been hacked or because of regulatory restrictions. The technical conversations were also interesting in respects to companies that have gone to the cloud and hated it because of bad SLA performance, bad governance compliance, loss of data, or bad overall experience from onboarding their data to incompatibility/complexity it added to their infrastructure.

    Two of the best cloud conversations pointed out how hard it was to switch cloud vendors even during trial period bake-off competition. Cloud contract agreements can be quite sticky and getting your data moved off a cloud can be very difficult. Also another person said that the cloud euphoria is quickly brought back to earth when performance or I/O performance is a problem. Another person said type “cloud failures” into Google or Bing and you will definitely get all the competitors’ failures at the top of the results list. For example, only through the Bing search engine can you see the stories about the August 2015 Google data loss in their Belgium data center here. Another attendee told me their terrible cloud experience and finished their story by saying that “the bloom is definitely off the cloud rose.”

Dave Beulke is a system strategist, application architect, and performance expert specializing in Big Data, data warehouses, and high performance internet business solutions. He is an IBM Gold Consultant, Information Champion, President of DAMA-NCR, former President of International DB2 User Group, and frequent speaker at national and international conferences. His architectures, designs, and performance tuning techniques help organization better leverage their information assets, saving millions in processing costs. Follow him on Twitter here (@DBeulke) or connect through LinkedIn here (https://www.linkedin.com/in/davebeulke).

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>