Last week IBM made a major announcement in the data management space: a technology dubbed ‘BLU Acceleration’ that provides major performance and compression enhancements to the DB2 and Informix line of products.
Many of our IBM Champions were given privileged access to the launch and have shared their views on the implications of BLU:
As Philip Nelson explains, “we are being given a columnar data store integrated into the core DB2 engine, with potentially huge benefits for Business Intelligence workloads." He makes the point that database professionals need to be well versed in all the available storage options, from RDBMS to pureXML and beyond, and understand when it makes sense to implement each. He suggests the same is true of the new BLU technology: "Its obvious that not everything is right for BLU. But some things are absolutely right for it. Getting it right will be our challenge."
- A new level of data compression using in-memory columnar table data store technology
- Actionable Compression that preserves the data value order of information while compressed
- Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) technology which takes advantage of the latest manufactured microprocessor chipsets and “is like a drill sergeant issuing a command to entire platoon instead of to each individual serially”
- Data skipping for unnecessary or irrelevant data not needed for a SQL answer
James Taylor live blogged all sessions at the launch event but in one post centered around BLU Acceleration he explains the technical improvements announced: “10TB of data is compressed to 1TB in memory. The use of a column store means that only 10GB is accessed and data skipping focused on 1Gb. This is spread across many cores so each only handles 32MB and the single Instruction Multiple Data processing means that even this is handled more quickly."
Mike Martin from BTRG live-tweeted the event, and pointed to how the announcement dovetails to the current industry trends: “IT Mega trends: growing scale/lower barrier to entry, increased complexity/consumabilty, fast pace, contextual overload”