IBM Fluid Query 1.0: Efficiently Connecting Users to Data

by Rich Hughes

Launched on March 27th, IBM Fluid Query 1.0 opens doors of “insight opportunity” for IBM PureData System for Analytics clients. In the evolving data ecosystem, users want and need accessibility to a variety of data stores in different locations. This only makes sense, as newer technologies like Apache Hadoop have broadened analytic possibilities to include unstructured data. Hadoop is the data source that accounts for most of the increase in data volume.  By observation, the world’s data is doubling about every 18 months, with some estimates putting the 2020 data volume at 40 zettabytes, or 4021 bytes. This increase by decade’s end would represent a 20 fold growth over the 2011 world data total of 1.821 bytes.1 IT professionals as well as the general public can intuitively feel the weight and rapidity of data’s prominence in our daily lives. But how can we cope with, and not be overrun by, relentless data growth? The answer lies in part, with better data access paths.

IBM Fluid Query 1.0 opens doors of “insight opportunity”for IBM PureData System for Analytics clients. In the evolving data ecosystem, users want and need accessibility to a variety of data stores in different locations.

IBM Fluid Query 1.0 – What is it?

IBM Fluid Query 1.0 is a specific software feature in PureData that provides access to data in Hadoop from PureData appliances. Fluid Query also promotes the fast movement of data between Big Data ecosystems and PureData warehouses.  Enabling query and data movement, this new technology connects PureData appliances with common Hadoop systems: IBM BigInsights, Cloudera, and Hortonworks. Fluid Query allows results from PureData database tables and Hadoop data sources to be merged, thus creating powerful analytic combinations.

Fluid Query allows results from PureData System for Analytics database tables and Hadoop data sources to be merged, thus creating powerful analytic combinations.

IBM® Fluid Query Benefits

Fluid Query makes practical use of existing SQL developer skills. Workbench tools yield productivity gains because SQL remains the query language of choice when PureData and Hadoop schemas logically merge. Fluid Query is the physical bridge whereby a query is pushed efficiently to where the data resides, whether it is in your data warehouse or in your Hadoop environment. Other benefits made possible by Fluid Query include:

  • better exploitation of Hadoop as a “Day 0” archive, that is queryable with conventional SQL;
  • combining hot data from PureData with colder data from Hadoop; and
  • archiving colder data from PureData to Hadoop to relieve resources on the data warehouse.

Managing your share of Big Data Growth

Fluid Query provides data access between Hadoop and PureData appliances. Your current data warehouse, the PureData System for Analytics, can be extended in several important ways over this bridge to additional Hadoop capabilities. The coexistence of PureData appliances alongside Hadoop’s beneficial features is a best-of-breed approach where tasks are performed on the platform best suited for that workload. Use the PureData warehouse for production quality analytics where performance is critical to the success of your business, while simultaneously using Hadoop to discover the inherent value of full-volume data sources.

How does Fluid Query differ from IBM BigSQL technology?

Just as IBM PureData System for Analytics innovated by moving analytics to the data, IBM Big SQL moves queries to the correct data store. IBM Big SQL supports query federation to many data sources, including (but not limited to) IBM PureData System for Analytics; DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows database software; IBM PureData System for Operational Analytics; dashDB, Teradata, and Oracle. This allows users to send distributed requests to multiple data sources within a single SQL statement. IBM Big SQL is a feature included with IBM BigInsights for Apache Hadoop which is an included software entitlement with IBM PureData System for Analytics. By contrast, many Hadoop and database vendors rely on significant data movement just to resolve query requests—a practice that can be time consuming and inefficient.

Learn more

Since March 27, 2015, IBM® Fluid Query 1.0 has been generally available as a software addition to PureData System for Analytics customers. If you want to understand how to take advantage of IBM® Fluid Query 1.0 check out these two sources: the on-demand webcast, Virtual Enzee – The Logical Data Warehouse, Hadoop and PureData System for Analytics , and the IBM Fluid Query solution brief. Update: Learn about Fluid Query 1.5, announced July, 2015.

About Rich,

Rich HughesRich Hughes is an IBM Marketing Program Manager for Data Warehousing.  Hughes has worked in a variety of Information Technology, Data Warehousing, and Big Data jobs, and has been with IBM since 2004.  Hughes earned a Bachelor’s degree from Kansas University, and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Kansas State University.  Writing about the original Dream Team, Hughes authored a book on the 1936 US Olympic basketball team, a squad composed of oil refinery laborers and film industry stage hands. You can follow him on Twitter: @rhughes134

1 “How Much Data is Out There” by Webopedia Staff,, March 3, 2014.


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