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Book Review: IBM InfoSphere: A Platform for Big Data Governance and Process Data Governance


Find out how IBM is addressing the challenges of big data.


Written by Thomas M. Stockwell


IBM InfoSphere is a product line under IBM's Information Management Software brand, announced in February 2008, which includes software products from its WebSphere and Information Server product lines. But over the last five years, IBM has enhanced this brand with a number of other solutions, leveraging InfoSphere into a big data platform. These enhancements include:


  • IBM InfoSphere Data ExplorerBased on IBM's acquisition of Vivisimo Velocity in 2012, IBM InfoSphere Data Explorer automates the discovery of big  data, regardless of its format or where it resides, providing a federated view of key business information necessary to drive new initiatives.
  • IBM  InfoSphere BigInsightsThis product is IBM's mature Hadoop-based solution for big data analytics.
  • IBM  InfoSphere StreamsThis high-performance computing platform allows user-developed applications to rapidly ingest, analyze, and correlate information as it arrives from thousands of real-time sources.

These new elements of InfoSphere sit atop IBM's renowned data warehousing and analytics solutions, providing a comprehensive enterprise-level platform to address the governance of big data in the organization. How these elements work together to create the IBM InfoSphere platform is the subject of Sunil Soares' book, IBM InfoSphere: A Platform for Big Data Governance and Process Data Governance.


InfoSphere was already a well-respected brand, but the special challenges of managing big data require more-powerful tools to handle the velocity and volume of big data initiatives and to establish new levels of data veracity as the services bring that data into a structure that provides real value to the organization.


In other words, IBM InfoSphere's specialty is transforming big data into useable and valuable information that can help drive the organization forward. IBM InfoSphere's architecture accomplishes this task, and Soares' intimate knowledge of that architecture enables him to give the reader a clear understanding of the technical underpinnings that make it all work together.


The book is divided into two complementary parts:


  • Part I provides a comprehensive picture of the necessary elements of any big data architecture, with a thorough examination of the essentials of the disciplines big data requires.
  • Part II introduces and examines the specifics of the InfoSphere big data platform and explains how it's architected to address the essentials explored in Part I.

The book offers Soares' ample experience in this burgeoning discipline, a thorough overview of the challenges of big data, and a detailed exposé of how this IBM platform is being used in retail, oil and gas enterprises, and healthcare.


This book is required reading for enterprise-level managers who need to know how IBM is addressing the challenges of big data with its InfoSphere platform. At the same time, it's also important reading for any Information Architect who is curious about this IBM solution and how it might be used in the enterprise to manage big data initiatives. At 100 pages, it provides both the necessary overview and a level of detail that will foster discussion and deliver insight into the realm of enterprise-level big data.


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