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November 09, 2011

IBM Introduces IDAA to Speed Analytics

Not that long ago, running a large report typically took a few hours, and that was fine. But given the critical role that business intelligence now plays in making business decisions, time is a luxury.

Reading this explanation of BI, I was reminded of some of my work in the area of tuning decision support queries. These queries eventually ran against a separate copy of the data known as a data warehouse to avoid impacting the operational data.

As the need to run analytic queries against operational data becomes greater, the fact that these queries are often still long-running (and can provide unpredictable response times) becomes a bigger issue. To streamline the process, DBAs are asked to analyze and tune the SQL, which of course, besides being time-consuming for us, doesn't always produce favorable results anyway. And when companies don't get favorable results, they may look to other platforms to provide their analytics.

Last year, IBM is came out with IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer (ISAO) for DB2 for z/OS V1.1, which ran on z/Enterprise 196 with zBX hardware. Now just 15 months later, IBM has unveiled IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS V2.1. IDAA runs on IBM zEnterprise 196 or 114 with IBM Netezza 1000-3 hardware. Simply put, this solution is designed to provide faster response times for long-running, unpredictable queries. IBM also touts it as a cost-saver, because it's intended to save DBAs from implementing expensive SQL tuning efforts that can require new indexes or materialized query tables (MQTs).

Like the zIIP engines, the IDAA is a workload-optimized platform designed for special purpose processing. As such, you don't need to change your application to take advantage of it.

If you have the opportunity to work with IDAA, please post a comment so others can benefit from your experience.