The Mainframe Ate IBM Netezza

Sr. Product Marketing Director

Smart Consolidation recommends running workloads on the platform best suited to the purpose, and for many of the world’s largest organizations IBM’s System z – the mainframe – is the system powering their transactional heartbeats. The newly-announced IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) for z/OS brings the analytics performance of IBM Netezza into System z. To discover more, I spoke with two of my colleagues at IBM: Gary Crupi, Executive IT Specialist and Ola Mayer, Product Management Director.

“Gary, how does the Accelerator differ from a traditional data warehouse?”

“Successful businesses create revenue by making timely decisions on accurate data. The traditional model is to move data, commonly as nightly batch refreshes, from transactional systems to the data warehouse, where it is managed for analysis. Batching updates and then moving data overnight is too slow a process for many organizations. With Netezza now part of IBM we’ve taken the opportunity to locate a powerful analytics system close to the transactional system which reduces latency between data’s creation in operational applications and their consumption by analytic applications. By making decisions in near real-time, as events are unfolding, IBM’s clients improve their quality of customer service, differentiate themselves in their markets, lower costs, identify risks, and find new ways to generate value.”

“Ola, can you give a technical overview of the Accelerator?”

“We co-locate Netezza with System z and provide guidance via a graphical user interface on what data to replicate from the mainframe to Netezza. We then leave DB2’s optimizer to decide automatically – meaning transparently to applications and their users – on which system to run a query. One of our early adopting clients experienced a 16x improvement in report processing performance and some of their SQL processing is now more than two hundred times faster.”

“Ola, beyond query performance, does this Smart Consolidation offer other advantages?”

“By consolidating transactional and analytic capabilities within System z, we take advantage of the mainframe’s strengths - its single point of data management within a highly secure system with very high availability - and extend its capabilities to include a single entry point for both transactional and deep analytics. This consolidation has enormous benefits: its simplifies data governance and master data management; it removes the need for additional hardware, storage and software to run a data warehouse outside of System z; it frees-up mainframe cycles previously expended in copying data; and it reduces load on networks.”

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