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December 9, 2014

Is IBM creating a new big data analytics system?

The firm patents two inventions to optimise the processing of real-time data.

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IBM plans to help clients optimise the processing of real-time data in the cloud, with inventions that are designed to perform real-time analysis on data as it is generated.

The hardware giant announced two patents that aim to improve cloud performance and efficiency, and reduce the cost of operations.

The first technique is called ‘Predictive Removal of Runtime Data Using Attribute Characterising’, which aims to direct and process data workloads in a cloud environment more efficiently.

The patent is designed to help companies create an "express lane" for processing data by performing real-time analysis on data, such as online transactions, financial quotes and video streams, as it is generated. It also does this by analysing metadata from previous operations, noting patterns in how data was processed and how long it took.

IBM Inventor Michael Branson, who co-invented the patented technique, in a statement, said: "Processing data in a cloud is similar to managing checkout lines at a store — if you have one simple item to purchase, an express lane is preferable to waiting in line behind someone with a more complicated order.

"Cloud customers don’t want data that can be analysed and dealt with simply to sit idle behind data that needs more complex analysis. Applying real-time analytics in a cloud can help ensure each piece of data gets the proper attention in a timely manner."

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The other patent is called "Routing Service Requests Based on Lowest Actual Cost within a Federated Virtual Service Cloud", which calculates the most efficient way of using available resources.

The technology pools cloud computing resources from disparate data centres, which IBM claims will help clients improve performance and save money. This is because it enables users to have more control over where and how their cloud workloads are run while improving use of a cloud infrastructure, according to IBM.

"We take pride in being recognised as the U.S. patent leader, but patents are only one gauge of innovation. Equally significant is the impact that our patented inventions have when they are used to enable solutions that help clients and societies solve problems," Bernie Meyerson, an IBM Fellow and vice president of Innovation, said in a statement.

"Furthermore, the broad range of inventions that these patents represent underscores the need for a patent system that equally and fairly promotes and supports innovation across all technical fields."

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