New Insights Through Real-Time Analytics

By David Suh, Executive Director, Lenovo EBG Solutions & Ecosystem

New sensors, new devices, the Internet of Things. Social media creating new channels of communication. Zettabytes of digital content created every year. We’re talking about big data. Companies in all industries are taking advantage of big data to improve their business results. How do you turn big data into big-time results for your business? Through analytics. The pervasiveness of mainstream corporations running analytics workloads continues to grow. The level of investment in analytics confirms an increased awareness of its benefits in delivering business results. According to IDC, the worldwide business analytics market was $37.7 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow to $59.2 billion by 2018.

Real-Time Results

Traditional analytics often involves a batch process based on data from last week, last month or even last quarter. However, with increasing competitive demands, companies are looking for ways to make better decisions based on the latest data. The opportunity delivered by the ever-increasing performance of modern processors means data can be filtered, analyzed and turned to business insight in a matter of moments. For example, if your company is running a marketing campaign, wouldn’t it be useful to know in real-time how customers are responding and adjust the campaign to maximize results?

With real-time analytics, reports are updated continuously allowing companies to stop guessing. Experts develop an appropriate starting point and focus on what to measure.  Systems are then adapted, mixing expert intuition with the reality of the situation, as shown by real data from real customer behavior. The ability to adapt in minutes — sometimes seconds — can translate directly into business success.

Analytics-Driven Success

Success is driven by increased relevance of information to users. Mass personalization of web sites allows advertising to be targeted based on user behavior. Response rates improve. Fraud detection improves dramatically as new sources of information are leveraged in real time. Losses decrease. Healthcare facilities combine data from multiple sources and support the rapid decisions necessary in critical situations. Patient outcomes improve.

The ability to handle streaming data from multiple sources and the delivery of key insights in real-time, places unique pressures on the design of a computing system. The best insights are developed when larger data sets can be analyzed. Delivering sub-second response time requires intense compute power and low latency. Ingesting large volumes of data from multiple sources requires high scalability. Perhaps most important, is that systems critical in delivering key business insights must provide leadership availability.

Real-Time Analytics Tools

The tools to handle this onslaught of data rely on in-memory computing technology, holding the data entirely within main memory, rather than on solid-state or traditional hard drives. To deliver on the promise of real-time analytics, a computing system has to be designed to meet those requirements. System x X6 8-socket servers from Lenovo can support up to 12TB of memory and have self-healing RAS features that ensure extremely high availability. In a recent ITIC 2014-2015 Survey, System x was top-ranked in x86 server reliability.

The System x X6 family contains the Intel® Xeon® E7 4800/8800 v3 family of processors and delivers up to 56 percent more compute performance than previous generations. The latest X6 servers support both DDR3 and DDR4 memory and accommodate a variety of flash technologies.

Lenovo also has a large ISV ecosystem spanning thousands of applications. Lenovo combines its hardware infrastructure with ISV software to form analytics solutions that take the guesswork and lengthy time frames out of solution deployment. Clients recognize this benefit, as reinforced in the most recent customer satisfaction survey from Technology Business Research (TBR). TBR made note of the end-to-end solution capabilities of Lenovo System x servers and ranked System x first in customer satisfaction.

For more information on System x X6 servers and real-time analytics solutions, visit