IBM drops $100m on big data research

IBM has committed to a multimillion-pound investment into researching and developing further services around the analysis of large, unstructured datasets.The $100m (£62m) outlay, announced on Friday, will be invested across a range of initiatives aiming to create better tools for enterprises wishing to amalgamate, study and process the data that they collect.

IBM has committed to a multimillion-pound investment into researching and developing further services around the analysis of large, unstructured datasets.

The $100m (£62m) outlay, announced on Friday, will be invested across a range of initiatives aiming to create better tools for enterprises wishing to amalgamate, study and process the data that they collect.

Big data refers to the huge datasets taken from disparate sources that form as enterprises seek to mine as much information available to them as possible.

Alongside the investment, IBM announced the launch of InfoSphere BigInsights and Streams software which can draw in and analyse data from tweets, blog posts, video frames, GPS readings, stock market data and other sources.

"The volume and velocity of information is generated at a record pace," Steve Mills, a group executive for IBM's software and systems division, said in a statement. "This is magnified by news forms of data coming from social networking and the explosion of mobile devices."

In total, IBM announced 20 new services based around big data that varied from cloud workload analysis tools to automated computer security systems.

Hadoop commitment

The company also cemented its commitment to the Hadoop open source data analytics tool, identifying it as "the cornerstone of [IBM's] big data strategy" in a statement.

Hadoop is an open source data analytics platform that was originally developed inside Yahoo. Components of Hadoop are logically similar to some of Google's internal tools for crawling and analysing the web, such as MapReduce and Google File System. Its development is administered by the Apache Software Foundation.

IBM is the latest in a line of enterprises to stress their commitment to Hadoop. Enterprise storage vendor EMC put a tweaked Hadoop distribution at the heart of a recently updated range of data analytics Greenplum appliances, while business intelligence company Jaspersoft announced plans to better integrate its products with Hadoop in February.

Incidentally, EMC's announcement sidelined Cloudera, which commercially packages a popular Hadoop distribution and had a prior partnership with EMC on integrating Hadoop with EMC hardware.

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