Meet PureData, IBM’s New Big Box For Big Data

Two worlds exist when it comes to the enterprise. The new generation of cloud services represents one space. They rely on distributed infrastructures on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the rest of the vendors in that world. They don’t buy hardware until it makes sense to move off a cloud service and into their own data center. By that time, they have such high workloads that it makes more sense to develop an infrastructure of their own.

And then come the big giants that build their own hardware for big enterprise clients. IBM falls into this category. Today, the company introduced its latest massive system for data analysis. It’s called PureData System, and it represents the third big box in the IBM PureSystems family. PureFlex¬†and PureApplication System were introduced last spring.

Here’s the scenario that customers face. For the past 30 years companies have operated their own data centers. It’s a bit like having your own power plant. It costs a lot and is so specialized that it has become a business of its own to manage. So the trend is to downscale and get out of data-center management.

IBM, EMC and Oracle want to sell their big boxes to replace the old servers that their customers now use to run lots of legacy software. They call these boxes “converged systems.” They essentially are new age mainframes with state-of-the art compute, storage, and networking all in one system.

The PureData System is designed to manage petabyes of data. According to IBM, it can manage up to 100 databases and can perform analytics in a matter of minutes versus hours to understand consumer purchases and other data-intensive tasks, such as detecting credit card fraud. It focuses on transactional applications such as e-commerce, customer analysis and analyzing operations.

PureApplications is a platform system designed and tuned for transactional web and database applications. PureFlex combines compute, storage, networking, virtualization and management into a single infrastructure system. With PureData, analytics get fed into the PureApps System, which can then be integrated into applications.

The PureSystems family resulted from $2 billion in R&D and acquisitions over the past four years.