Internet of Things (IoT) and Informix at IBM Insight 2014

By Dennis Duckworth, 

IBM Insight (TAFKA “Information on Demand” or IoD) is quickly approaching. In case you’ve missed all the recent announcements about things like Watson Analytics, there is a lot of cool new stuff going on at IBM and this year’s conference will offer some incredible learning opportunities and yes, even new insights, for attendees.

One of the products that I’ve recently been learning more about myself is Informix. I happen to be the current IBM representative on the International Informix User Group Board of Directors and, while my position in IBM Data Warehousing and Data Management has given me some visibility across all our DW/DM products, the IIUG and our Informix customers have demonstrated to me what a powerful and capable product Informix is and what tremendous business value it offers. It has also been experiencing something of a rediscovery recently because, as it turns out, some of the major strengths of Informix make it an ideal database for a rather hot new market called the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

As if Big Data wasn’t big enough with just the data that people are generating, it gets huger still with the data that non-people (like sensors) are generating. I recently installed a Dropcam at my summer house and I love tapping in and watching what is happening on the beach outside the house (or what happened last week – the high-def video stream gets stored in the cloud), no matter where I am in the world. I haven’t installed a smart thermostat yet or a smart refrigerator or any of the other smart devices that are working their way into our homes and our lives, but I can definitely see the appeal of the remote sensing and control. There are companies like Shaspa and Cisco and Intel that are betting on the rapid proliferation of smart devices by creating or enabling different pieces of the IoT fabric, like smart hubs – centralized command/control/communications for all the smart devices in the home…or in your car.

The IoT will be a hot topic at IBM Insight this year — there will be lots of opportunities for attendees to learn more about the IoT and to see how IBM products and technologies can help businesses and individuals benefit from the rising IoT tide. There will even be an IoT Hackathon going on for any conference attendees who want to take a crack at creating their own IoT application, with great prizes for the best submissions.

Obviously there will be some good breakout sessions focused on IoT and Informix as well and I will highlight just a few of them here. Unfortunately two of the sessions I want to attend myself are scheduled for the same time slot (Monday, 10/27, 10:15AM – 11:15am) so I guess I’ll have to flip a bitcoin:

  • In IWM-5982A (Banyan F), How IBM Informix Warehouse Improves Business across Industries, Vaibhav Dantale (IBM, Senior Software Engineer) and Kiran Challapalli (IBM, Informix CTE) will talk about the key benefits offered by the Informix Warehouse Accelerator (IWA), particularly in two rather interesting industries: commodity trading and medical diagnostics.
  • In IWM-6787A (South Seas J), In-Memory Query Acceleration for JSON and SQL Data, Fred Ho (IBM, Chief Technologist-Informix Warehouse) will combine several of the hottest topics in data warehousing/data management today: in-memory, MongoDB, and JSON and talk about how neat new technologies and features such as SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data), vector processing and columnar architecture allow IBM to accelerate analytics for JSON documents using the MongoDB API. You can have your existing Mongo application run against an IBM Informix and experience the high performance benefit of these features, without rewriting any code.
  • And speaking of JSON, I must also put in a plug for the session of my fellow IIUG Director, Art Kagel (ASK Database Management, President). In IDI-4213A My Data is Relational But My Coders Want to Use JSON!  Help! Art takes on the challenge that CIOs and development managers face in this new world of mixed structured/unstructured/semi-structured data and suggests there is a better way of dealing with that than frequent (and often complex) ETL, or needing to limit new applications from accessing legacy data or complicating them by requiring them to tap into multiple data sources.  Art’s session is Wednesday, 10/29, 01:45 PM – 02:45 PM in Banyan F.

I hope you can make it out to Las Vegas October 26-30 for IBM Insight. I’ll be there staffing the PureData System pedestal so if you do make it, come say “Hi” and we can talk about IoT (or any other TLA).

About Dennis Duckworth

Dennis Duckworth, Program Director of Product Marketing for Data Management & Data Warehousing has been in the data game for quite a while, doing everything from Lisp programming in artificial intelligence to managing a sales territory for a database company. He has a passion for helping companies and people get real value out of cool technology. Dennis came to IBM through its acquisition of Netezza, where he was Director of Competitive and Market Intelligence. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University but has spent most of his life on the East Coast. When not working, Dennis enjoys sailing off his backyard on Buzzards Bay and he is relentless in his pursuit of wine enlightenment. You can follow Dennis on Twiiter 

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