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Analytics Worth Analyzing

Analytics aren’t just for Monday-morning quarterbacking anymore. With the right hardware and software, IT can use analytics to not only view what’s happened, but to also predict what will happen.

The zEnterprise* EC12 (zEC12) features a new hardware capability called Advanced Workload Analysis Reporter, or IBM zAware, a self-learning analytics capability embedded into the firmware. Designed to analyze the zEnterprise system messages, this feature can help reduce the time to diagnose system issues before they escalate. It can help detect unusual or dangerous system behavior in near-real time, alerting IT so it can remediate.

Another hardware offering—a workload-optimized appliance called the IBM DB2* Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) V3.1—blends System z* and Netezza* technologies to help analyze business processes. Each node or blade in the IDAA is an independent server containing multicore CPUs, each of which has a dedicated storage drive, gigabytes of RAM and a hardware accelerator with multiengine field-programmable gate array. The combination helps IDAA V3.1 run queries in seconds instead of hours. Even unpredictable query workloads can now be run with better results faster and more reliably. The reason: IDAA is capable of up to 2,000 times faster query response times, according to IBM. It also helps reduce system downtime.

Several features enable this to happen. One new feature is a high-performance storage saver, which stores a DB2 table partition or full table of data solely on the accelerator. This eliminates the need for data replication on both the DB2 storage and the IDAA storage. Another new feature is query prioritization, which allows the most crucial work to be handled first without sacrificing throughput. In addition, the Incremental Update feature creates near-real-time currency for all business analytics so decisions are made on the most current information available.

—K.J.B.

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