I spent my first full day of this year’s IOD conference going back and forth between sessions on big data and analytics – and sessions on down in the weeds DB2 for z/OS issues. And I enjoyed the heck out of it.
The day began early with the general session where the theme of the data was “Thinking Big.” The host of the session was Jason Silva (@JasonSilva on Twitter) who has been described at various times as “A Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age,” or “The new Carl Sagan,” or as Jason calls himself a “Performance Philosopher.” At any rate, he gave a strong performance waxing poetic on the benefits of big data and analytics in a rapid fire delivery that made me think perhaps he ingested too much caffeine before coming on stage. But he was entertaining and informative.
My favorite quote from the general session is this: “What used to fit in a building will soon fit in your bloodstream.” It is pithy, to the point, and makes you think, doesn’t it? And even though I’ve heard similar sentiments, I also enjoyed his observation that “We’ve become immune to the fact that 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the last 2 years”… largely, I think, because it added the spin that we all know and embrace that reality.
Another Silva sound bite that captured my imagination was this one: “The Internet will be in your contact lens and you will blink to go online”… I blink a lot… but, then again, I go online a lot, too, so fair enough, I suppose!
Silva introduced Robert LeBlanc, Senior Vice President, Middleware Software, IBM Software Group. LeBlanc continued the conversation about big data and introduced statistics and research to back up the largely anecdotal information presented up to that point. He stated that a new era of computing started in 2010 focusing on big data analytics. Well, I don’t know if it started in 2010 or earlier, but it sure does seem to be upon us now!
LeBlance brought up Dr. Phil Anno of ConocoPhillips to talk about their big data challenges. He spoke about energy exploration in the arctic and the issues it creates. Evidently tracking ice floes is similar to tracking hurricanes. ConcoPhillips’ ice floe tracking in the arctic gathers over 1TB of data a day! Using big data and business analytics ConocoPhillips was able to extend its drilling season by one month, thereby saving $300 million per drilling season. Impressive!
In my opinion though, the highlight of the session was the announcement of the PureSystems PureData integrated system. When they rolled the box out on stage it was applauded loudly. More loudly, I think, than any of the humans on the stage. That had to hurt! But probably not, because PureData is very cool. It is the latest in IBM’s line if PureSystems appliances (I wrote about them earlier this year on my blog ). This one is focused on data management. But there is no way for a single appliance to be able to handle everything you might want to do with data. That is why IBM rolled out three PureData systems, one for transactions, one for analytics, and one for operational analytics. Learn more about PureData and PureSystems at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/puresystems/us/en/op-ad.html
I also attended a session on DB2 for z/OS access path management, which walked through the more recent features added to DB2 like plan stability, APREUSE, and the like. It was informative and well delivered. Jim Teng’s session on DB2 buffer pool management was also nice, but that will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever heard Jim speak. He is one of the original DB2 developers having worked on the buffer manager of DB2 since V1… at least that is what the free book “IBM DB2: The Past, Present & Future” says (I picked that book up at the IOD book store as well as a free book on DB2 10 for LUW).
The bottom line is that IOD offers up a cornucopia of useful information spanning anything and everything you might want to know about in the world of data and information. It is the place to be every October… and I’m looking forward to tomorrow, too. I have a book signing from 2:00 to 3:00 at the IOD book store where I’ll be inking my name to new editions of my DB2 book (6th edition) and DBA book (2nd edition). So stop by tomorrow and say “Hi” if you are here!