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Real-time analytics as a service

May 7, 2014

A ray of sunlight among the clouds

Cloud computing is gaining momentum for good reason—some consider it for overall IT cost savings. Others are drawn to the promise of reduced capital expense. Still others are looking to solve pressing issues such as a chronic shortage of data center space or overly long cycles for provisioning resources.

The growth of machine-to-machine communication (M2M) inside the Internet of Things (IoT) has also opened the door for cloud solutions. For example, North American-based large equipment manufacturers typically have North American-based data centers.  However, their equipment might be deployed globally. To support new services and M2M applications, large equipment manufacturers need cloud computing. Building a data center in China or Latin America doesn't make financial sense, so cloud computing is the best way to create a global reach and facilitate business operations.

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At its root, the as a service concept is simple: users can focus on their business needs and not worry about maintaining, improving and caring for a complex IT system.

Cloud computing and big data analytics offer the potential to place information, insights and decision-making at people’s fingertips, any time and anywhere. IBM has combined cloud computing and big data and analytics in a wide range of industries, resulting in benefits such as:

  • The discovery of life-changing medicines
  • More accurate prediction of weather patterns
  • Innovative energy-saving techniques
  • Insight into security anomalies
  • More efficient ways to use and conserve water
  • Deeper insight into customer preferences and trends
  • Real-time feedback on marketing campaigns

Specifically, stream computing in the cloud enables organizations to tap into data in motion easily and without massive investments in infrastructure or additional staff time. Stream computing in the cloud makes a good thing even better! Deploy real-time analytics in the cloud to store less, analyze more and make better decisions faster. IBM offers:

  • Real-time analytics. Dynamically update business rules and processes based on what’s happening right now. Deliver insights in milliseconds.
  • Real-time application development: Quickly ingest, analyze and correlate data as it arrives from thousands of real-time sources. Easily build applications with drag-and-drop operators, visual editors and performance monitoring. Dynamically add new data sources. Create, edit, visualize, test, debug and run applications in the cloud.
  • Analytic toolkits and accelerators: Deploy deep analytics developed by IBM Research such as geospatial, time series, R analysis, text analytics and much more.

Real-time analytics when you want it

The era of big data requires sub-millisecond response times and extremely high throughput rates to enable insight and action on millions of events or messages per second. InfoSphere Streams is able to pull any amount of data, from any number of sources, scaling up and down as needed. It also enables a breadth of deep analytics including text, geospatial, sensor and video. 

One of the beauties of cloud computing is the service model flexibility.

  • Development platform as a service (PaaS): Select your desired pricing and the service will dynamically provision an InfoSphere Streams cluster in minutes. You get a Virtual Network Computing (VNC) session complete with InfoSphere Streams development tooling (an instance of InfoSphere Streams Studio) and a sample application. This is a self-managed service that gives you control with flexible pricing options.
  • Geospatial analytics as a service (PaaS): Real-time geospatial analytic applications such as geo-fencing, location based marketing, tracking devices by latitude and longitude, and more. Users can store data and analytic results to other services. No programming required other than possibly customizing the services via a web interface. 
  • IBM SmartCloud: Real-time log analysis as a service. Developers and IT operations staff can collect large volumes of structured and semi-structured data and transform it through analytics into actionable intelligence. The result: better performance and optimized capability for enterprise IT assets.

Check out the following table for more cloud analytics use cases:

Industry

Cloud analytics use case

Insurance

Monitor unique sensor data such as temperature, wind and wave height, scaling up sophisticated analytics resources on the cloud during hurricane season instead of paying for resources all year. Benefit: keeps more people safe while managing costs.

Retail

Deploy real-time analytics on the cloud during key marketing campaigns such as holiday sales and dynamically adjust resources to sales traffic. Benefit: reduces costs and improves marketing effectiveness.

Government

Scale up cloud resources to increase surveillance monitoring and create social media watch lists during large public occurrences such as concerts or political events to find criminals hiding in the chatter. Benefit: enables proactive resource deployment, faster response times and better-informed first responders

Automotive

Send data from a connected car or other vehicle for real-time analytics to initiate actions such as automatically applying brakes, turning on windshield wipers, alerting emergency medical providers or notifying a dealer about engine trouble. Benefit: helps promote safe driving and enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty

Energy and utilities

Use the cloud to increase real-time monitoring and analysis of distribution networks during severe weather like droughts or the “polar vortex” to optimize load, recommend energy conservation measures and manage costs. Benefit: improve operational efficiency while managing costs

 

In this era of big data, you need solutions that allow you to easily and cost-effectively unlock the value of enterprise data. IBM delivers a dynamic cloud environment ready for big data analytics—and ready to propel your business forward.

What’s your cloud story? IBM can help you tell it. Learn more about how you can take advantage of InfoSphere Streams for your business.