This week’s big news in the IBM i world is of course the announcement of Technology Refresh 6 (TR6). We’re sure our fellow bloggers Dawn May and Steve Will will give you the lowdown on the wonders within over the coming weeks - but we were drawn to one of the less vaunted items that we spotted in the partner and press briefing materials.
The title of this new offering is “IBM i for Business Intelligence” and we think it has a lot of potential for IBM i shops under pressure to move data off the box. Data is at the heart of any system and it is IBM i’s capability deliver that data reliably day in day out that makes it the “secret weapon”* of many companies. Many IBM i shops are pressured to move that data off i onto other platforms in order to “mine” it for the underlying information it contains. This offering takes the position that if you are going to analyze your data on another box then why not make that other box an IBM i?
Think of it as a Solution Edition package for DB2 Web Query. By that we mean it is a complete package consisting of discounted hardware, software and service offerings all designed to get you up and running as quickly as possible. The packages start as low as $40K and with the amazing horsepower of the new POWER 7+ hardware behind them we’re sure that many customers will find that even the smaller boxes meet their needs for data analytics without disrupting the production system. Not only that, but even the smallest of the packages has more than enough horsepower to also be able to act as a development box, or experimental home for introducing new Web technologies, or ... well you get the picture.
In part our interest in this new packaging stems from the fact that we have chosen data analytics as a focus area for our upcoming Summit event under the banner of “Keep Your i on the Data.” If you know you need to do more with your data then check out the details of some of the sessions listed here. Now that we’ve seen this announcement, we know why our IBM speakers were so keen to suggest these particular sessions!
One other item that piqued our interest was news of the new mobile tooling from Zend. Having watched the video, we have decided that we want to have a chance to play with it some before we talk more on the topic. If you are using PHP, or considering doing so, it is well worth a look.
* Ever wondered why you don’t see IBM tell the world about the huge corporations who build their success around IBM i’s legendary reliability? Fact of the matter is that many of those companies won’t let them. They would much rather see their competition waste millions of dollars in ill-fated attempts to use a “more modern” platform. Wouldn’t you feel the same way in their position? Sad though.