Climbing Toward the Future with IBM’s Common SQL Engine

People working for small, young organizations can sometimes take on an attitude of superiority — even arrogance — when it comes to their ability to click into the latest trends in technology. The implication is that large, established firms lack the will, initiative, or enthusiasm to keep pace with the times. It’s a perspective that’s become so pervasive that it obscures a simple fact. The fact is this: That perspective is dead wrong.

As IBMers know perhaps better than anyone, established organizations are eager to take advantage of the methods, tools, and infrastructure that will allow them to stay competitive. The people working for our client organizations — across industries from aerospace, healthcare, finance, and dozens of other sectors — know that innovation and new-found efficiencies are the key to their future. They also know that the data they’ve accumulated over the years gives them a huge advantage — if only they can turn that data into insight for the business.

That process can certainly seem daunting, especially as clients stare down the barrel of complex legacy data repositories. The prospect of doing a single simultaneous migration of all that data into a new clean unified system is simply a non-starter. They need a different approach.

Now and Later — at the Same Time

Rather than migrating the data all at once, IBM’s Common SQL Engine (CSE) inserts a single layer of abstraction that lets our customers manage data in any location — without having to know its origin or environment, regardless of platform or deployment model, and regardless of whether the data is structured or unstructured, in the cloud or behind the firewall.

By federating data across form factors — on-premise software/appliance, cloud, and Hadoop — the CSE lets data workers securely combine and query the data they need to power the analytics they’re building for the business. Typically, the Hadoop location is in the public cloud, but CSE is also supported for private cloud. As deployment models change — as they do inevitably — the new data can be integrated without disrupting the work of the analysts.

That approach lets clients jump into the process without months of infrastructure work up front. As they have the time and the need to migrate important data where it needs to be, they can do so invisibly behind the scenes using tools like IBM Lift and Db2 Load. For example, maybe some data needs to move from appliances to containers, or maybe some data needs to come out from behind the firewall in order to interact with IoT data on the cloud. Those choices are strategic, tactical, and time-sensitive. Clients need infrastructure that makes them easy and painless, without sacrificing security.

Analytic Converter

And because analytics is so key to the future, the CSE is woven into tools like IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS), BigSQL, and Db2, but the advantage isn’t just the tools themselves but their positioning. By co-locating CSE and analytics and machine learning tools within the IBM offerings, data processing and analysis happens at lightning-fast speed — 2x — 5x faster than the previous PDA generation.

IBM clients are poised to prove the naysayers wrong. Those clients — armed with the right tools, the right infrastructure, the right analytics, and the right strategy — are about to give the small, young organizations a serious run for their money.

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