IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - July 2018 - 19
INTO DATA LAKES
The LC922 server helps enterprises extract business
value from unstructured data
By Kristin Lewotsky k Illustration by Daniel Hertzberg
nterprises have access to
an unprecedented volume
and variety of data. Big data
dominates the business headlines,
if not the thinking of executives
around the globe. Data alone isn't
enough, however. The strategic
advantage lies not in the data itself
but in the ability to draw actionable
insights from it in a timely fashion.
That task was difficult
enough back when the bulk
of an organization's data
was maintained in the rows
and columns of a relational
database. Today, the data pool
has broadened and deepened. It
now includes unstructured data
such as documents, texts, emails
and social-media posts. The most
effective tool for managing and
learning from this data is a data
lake, an updated approach to
storing information that has the
potential to enhance context and
help create business value.
Whether a business realizes
that potential depends upon how
effectively it can execute a cognitive
strategy. That, in turn, depends
upon the effectiveness of its data
lake. The IBM Power Systems*
LC921 and LC922 servers are
designed for data lake applications.
They combine storage-rich
hardware with fast I/O and a
processor that's purpose built for
machine learning/deep learning.
Using this targeted platform,
organizations can present
customers with the right offer at the
right time, more rapidly develop
new products and services, and
substantially drive business value.
What Is a Data Lake?
Relational databases store
data in a very specific structure
designed to be sorted in ways
that highlight the relationships
among factors. A retailer might use
a relational database to monitor
revenues on a store-by-store basis,
or analyze sales figures from the
previous year to determine what to
order for the back-to-school season.
With the rise of social media,
that same company might want
Data lakes are repositories that store mixed
data types in their raw (native) formats.
Unlike data warehouses, data lakes don't
require structured formats, making them
useful for storing unstructured data.
With the increasing importance of big
data, data lakes provide a way to make
nontraditional data rapidly available to
conventional analytics packages.
The Linux technology-based LC921 and
LC922 models are optimized for data lake
applications and feature up to 40 TB or 120
TB of storage space, respectively, as well
as up to 2 TB of RAM.
Interconnects can be configured to operate
at 192 Gb/s (PCIe 4.0 x 48 lanes) or 300
Gb/s (25G x 48 lanes).
Hadoop, the distributed-computing
framework used for big data, takes
advantage of the new servers by assigning
workloads to the hardware node with
the optimal combination of speed and
In benchmarks, LC servers have demonstrated
2x price-performance improvements
compared to commodity servers.
ibmsystemsmag.com JULY 2018 // 19