IBM, Microsoft announce new cloud data services, features

IBM announces application database, graph processing, predictive analytics and public data set services, while Microsoft's Power BI learns to share and Azure IoT Hub goes GA.

As an increasing amount of data originates in the cloud or on IoT "edge" devices, cloud analytics platforms are likewise increasing in popularity and utility. Perhaps because of this, both IBM and Microsoft have each announced new cloud data service offerings.

Four new, from Big Blue
For its part, IBM has stated that it now offers over 25 cloud data services, four of which were announced today. IBM's Compose Enterprise, derived from IBM's July, 2015 acquisition of Compose (formerly known as MongoHQ), aids in the deployment of open source databases, inlcuding MongoDB, for applications. IBM Graph provides a cloud-based implementation of the Apache TinkerPop (incubating) graph database. IBM Predictive Analytics is a self-service machine learning service for building predictive models. The IBM Analytics Exchange is a catalog of publicly available data sets, initially enumerating more than 150 such sources of data.

IBM's Cloud Data Services group was anchored by IBM's acquisition of Cloudant, back in 2014. That foundation, combined with IBM's initiatives around Apache Spark, announced at last year's Spark Summit in San Francisco, not to mention all of its Watson-branded products and services, constitute big momentum for Big Blue around data and analytics in the cloud.

From Armonk to Redmond
But the enterprise cloud overall has been dominated by offerings from Amazon and Microsoft. Microsoft's Power BI, which got a big reboot last year, has been launching new features on a continuous delivery cadence. As covered by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley earlier today, the Redmond, WA software giant announced that Power BI users can now share their visualizations publicly, even to the point of embedding them in other applications, using the "Publish to Web" feature, now in preview. This feature has been highly requested by customers of the service; now that it's available, Microsoft may be able to give Tableau Public somewhat of a run for its money.

Another Microsoft analytics offering, Azure IoT Hub, which entered public preview this past October, was released into general availability today, as covered by ZDNet's Liam Tung.

Come together
Bringing Azure IoT Hub to GA and enhancing Power BI are both important, as each service is a constituent component of Microsoft's Cortana Analytics Suite. And just as IBM likes to promote its full range of 25 cloud data services, Microsoft is keen to bundle its many disparate such services under a single brand and umbrella as well.

Such aggregation of services is a necessary first step to simplification of the major cloud data stacks, which still have quite a few moving parts. Cloud providers will need to do more in the way of integration if they want to see broader adoption of their services.


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