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IBM is putting data warehousing into the cloud. Having formally launched IBM Cloud Data Services earlier this year, the company has been pulling together a broad proud portfolio of services, including the integration of Cloudant, a database-as-a-service provider it acquired in March 2014.

DashDB Enterprise MPP (massive parallel processing), is the first new major product for IBM Cloud Data Services, and uses in-memory technology to speed up analysis. It is a fully managed data warehouse that the company said gives an enterprises a method of analyzing their operations without requiring the resources to running something on-premise; customers can use it to either extend on-premises data warehouses to the cloud or build new, self-service cloud warehousing infrastructure.

DashDB is available on the IBM Bluemix portal of platform services while also tapping its suite of analysis technologies, such as the analytics libraries from Watson Analytics, Cognos, and Netezza. It can also be integrated with third-party business intelligence software from Looker, Aginity and Tableau. Cloudant integration includes the ability to ingest JSON documents to incorporate unstructured data into an organization’s analytics and business intelligence operations.

IBM is jumping into an increasingly competitive market for cloud data warehouse services as DashDB will be going head-to-head with Amazon’s Redshift and Microsoft Azure’s SQL Data Warehouse. Amazon, of course, has always been a powerhouse in the cloud services arena, but Microsoft is making gains as well. In a conference call with analysts last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella repeatedly called out Azure’s strong growth in the enterprise, as well as that of Office 365. The annualized run rate for Microsoft’s commercial cloud division, which includes Office 365, Azure and Dynamics, is at US$8 billion for its most recent quarter, up from US$6.3 billion in the previous quarter.

Intel could also be a factor in the long run, as it recently announced its Cloud for All initiative that is aimed at making public, private and hybrid clouds easier to deploy, regardless of size or type, but particularly for enterprises, where Intel said adoption has been stifled by complexity, lack of scalability and gaps in open source enterprise-grade features.

To address the latter, Intel is collaborating with Rackspace, the co-founder and leading operator of OpenStack, to establish the OpenStack Innovation Center, which will focus on driving enterprise features and scale optimizations into the OpenStack source code. The center will include the world’s largest OpenStack developer cloud consisting of two 1,000-node clusters that will be available to the OpenStack community-at-large to support advanced, large-scale testing of OpenStack performance, code and new features.

IBM is also looking support cloud developers with open source technologies, recently announcing it release 50 projects to the open source community to speed up enterprise adoption. Dubbed developerWorks Open, the cloud-based environment gives developers access to emerging IBM technologies and technical expertise, including downloadable code, blogs, videos, tools and techniques. Like DashDB, developerWorks Open will be available on Bluemix. The company also announced its Academic Initiative for Cloud, a program that will create cloud development curricula using Bluemix its platform-as-a-service to reach more than 20,000 students in more than 200 universities.

Just prior to launching DashDB, IBM announced it had acquired Compose, another DBaaS firm that provides MongoDB, Redis, Elasticsearch, PostgreSQL, and other DBaaS services for web and mobile app developers.

Recent research released by IDC, Cloud Computing: The Essential Foundation of Industry Digital Transformation — Worldwide and U.S. Cloud Forecast by Vertical, 2015–2019, public cloud computing will reach almost $70 billion in 2015 worldwide, with the top five verticals – discrete manufacturing, banking, professional services, process manufacturing and retail – accounting for approximately 45 per cent of the total spend for the market.

photo credit: 3D Cloud Computing via photopin (license)



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