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August 11, 2014

How GE adds speed and reduced costs to big data

The data lake software approach is expected to provide a "2,000x" performance improvement.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

General Electric has released what it calls ‘data lake software’ in efforts to make the storage and analysis of big data more accessible for large industry players.

Announced in collaboration with software firm Pivotal, the new service is said to have a "2,000x" performance improvement on analysis time, which would allow airlines, hospitals and railroads to spend less time and money managing big data.

The data lake approach is built on software provided by Pivotal that integrates GE’s PredixTM software.

"Big data is growing so fast that it is outpacing the ability of current tools to take full advantage of it," said Bill Ruh, VP of GE Software.

"Working with Pivotal, we have created a unique industrial data approach that merges information technology (IT) with operational technology (OT) to better match the productivity and efficiency needs of our customers so they get the most value out of their mission-critical information."

In a 2013 pilot, GE Aviation said it collected information on 15,000 flights from 25 different airlines at about 14 gigabytes of metrics per flight.

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The Connecticut-based firm said by using the data lake approach it was able to produce measurable cost savings of 10x and "significantly" reduce analysis time from months to days.

GE expects the data collection to grow to 10 million flights and 1,500 terabytes of full flight operational data by 2015.

Paul Maritz, CEO of Pivotal, added: "The new industrial data lake architecture answers the call for the fast and highly scalable management of the unique industrial big data that is helping global enterprises transform their operations and build a new class of applications."

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