Speed & Simplicity
March 12, 2014 Leave a comment
Larry Heathcote , Program Director, IBM Data Management
I’ve been thinking a lot about the database and data warehousing markets lately. Like “shower moment” thinking – you know when you’re really passionate about something, you think about it in the shower. Well, for me, yesterday I had a “highway moment.”
I was driving down one of the major roads in Raleigh, NC on my way to have dinner with my wife. And traffic started to get a little heavy, so everyone had to slow down, and slow down, and slow down some more. We didn’t stop, but we were moving painfully slow. We were all going somewhere, just not very fast. Frustration set in.
And at that moment, it hit me. I felt just like Joe. Joe is a data warehousing architect I met a few weeks back when I was out on a speaking trip (Joe is not his real name). Joe and his team have been working on a really important project for the past couple months, but they’ve run into some performance challenges that may jeopardize their delivery date. Every day they were making progress, very slow progress. And Joe was getting frustrated. Just like me sitting in slow traffic.
Joe’s company manufactures and sells products through a number of brick-and-mortar stores as well as online. A big percentage of their sales are to repeat customers. And recently, a couple of their products had some quality issues – which swamped their call centers for a few weeks. The merchandising managers now wants to find out if the quality issues in one of their product lines was having a ripple affect to other product areas. So they asked Joe to give them the data and the analytics they need to gain this insight. And they wanted answers, like now!
Joe and his team recently migrated one of the company’s core customer databases onto a larger server and bought more storage. Then they integrated call center logs from their support centers, but they found that they were not getting the query performance they had expected. They fixed a few problems and cut query times significantly, but when stress testing the system they could just not get the response times that the merchandising managers wanted.
And that’s when it hit me for a second time…Joe’s challenges are not unique. Increasing data volumes, upgrading infrastructures, mixing in new data types and doing new types of analytics – there are a lot of companies going through this right now to satisfy increasing demands from line of business managers.
What Joe needs is this – he needs speed and simplicity – a next-generation database for the big data era. One that can handle all data types, SQL and NoSQL, transactional and mixed analytics workloads, take advantage of modern technologies like in-memory columnar processing and other performance accelerating techniques. And one that is easy and fast to set up, deploy and manage; one that would take fewer resources to manage, so Joe and his team could focus on additional innovative projects to support his business managers.