IBM Corp. continues to bolster its business analytics and big data initiatives across high-end server hardware, development tools and cloud platforms. The latest steps involve Watson Analytics in the cloud; Bluemix developer tools; and Power Systems hardware.

On the cloud front, IBM says more than 40,000 people have registered to use Watson Analytics since December 2014. An enhanced offering, dubbed Watson Analytics Professional, debuted today with collaboration functions. The new version allows data scientists to work simultaneously in a single Watson Analytics dataset.

Also in the cloud market, IBM is previewing in Big Storage Technology - a cloud archive service for clients to store large amounts of data and easily retrieve it on demand, at the lowest cost possible. Iron Mountain is involved in the pilot.

What's Next for Bluemix

Meanwhile, the IBM Bluemix cloud development platform gained new analytics and big data offerings today. They include:

  • location-based mobile apps;
  • integration with Microsoft .NET development capabilities;
  • ThinkData's platform, which aggregates and catalogues available open data into a single portal;
  • Cupenya Insights' analytics foundation, which allows developers to connect and monitor business activities across several Bluemix applications;
  • by Flow Corporation, which collects real-time data and provides complex event processing; and
  • Reappt from Push Technology, which rapidly delivers data over the Internet.

Big Servers

On the high-end hardware front, IBM introduced multiple offerings that seek to bolster big data and analytics performance. They include:

  • Power System E850 - A 4-socket system for cloud service providers or medium and large enterprises looking to deploy multi-tenancy workloads, while speeding access to data with larger in-memory databases with up to 4TB of installed memory.
  • IBM Power System E880 - This server now scales to 192 cores for data-intensive business workloads. IBM insists commodity x86 servers can't match the E880's scaling.
  • IBM PurePower System - A converged infrastructure system for compute, storage and networking.
  • IBM XIV GEN 3 - This represents IBM's answer to HP's 3PAR systems.

The Bigger IBM Picture

Taken together, the new offerings represent IBM's latest push beyond traditional IT hardware, software and services. CEO Ginni Rometty insists that IBM's big data, cloud, mobile and security offerings are starting to take hold with customers. Along the way, she's striving to transform IBM's revenue mix toward higher-margin analytics offerings, complex converged hardware, and recurring cloud services.

IBM revenues have been flat or fallen for roughly 12 consecutive quarters, though the company's analytics and cloud-related revenues have been rising swiftly.

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