IBM Builds Apache®Spark™ into its Core Analytics and Commerce Software; Delivers Spark-as-a-Service for Developers on IBM Cloud

Oct 26, 2015

IBM INSIGHT 2015, LAS VEGAS - 26 Oct 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has redesigned more than 15 of the company’s core analytics and commerce solutions with Apache®Spark™- helping to dramatically accelerate their real-time processing capabilities. IBM also announced the availability of its Spark-as-a-Service offering –IBM Analytics on Apache Spark –on IBM Bluemix following a successful 13-week Beta program with more than 4,600 developers using it to build intelligent business and consumer apps fueled by data. 


Developed by the AMPLab at UC Berkeley, Apache Spark is known for its ease of use in creating algorithms that harness insight from complex data. By leveraging Spark’s in-memory processing that is ideal for frequently accessed information –and processes data sets faster than ever before –IBM was able to simplify the architecture of some of its most widely used software solutions and cloud data services, such as IBM BigInsightsIBM Streams and IBM SPSS.


For example, IBM reduced the code base of DataWorks –the company’s popular data preparation and data refinement service –by over 87 percent, from 40 million lines of code to 5 million lines of code, to simplify operations and dramatically reduce build and deployment times. DataWorks will now benefit directly from Spark's scalability, distributed programming model, and data source connectivity, as well as the frequent enhancements delivered to Spark by the project’s contributors.

Spark is an agile, fast and easy to use open source technology that can also help radically simplify the process of developing intelligent apps. Offered as a service for developers within the broader ecosystem of IBM’s fully managed cloud data services, IBM Analytics for Apache Spark easily integrates with open source, proprietary, and third party tools on the IBM Bluemix cloud platform. Developers will now be able to infuse analytics into their apps in real-time.

Nova Scotia-based SolutionInc provides managed, high demand, public Wi-Fi and wired access in hotels, conference centers, and hotspots across 50 countries. As a multinational Wi-Fi provider, SolutionInc needed to quickly analyze massive sets of Wi-Fi data from multiple data sources to identify traffic patterns and trends. Using IBM Analytics for Apache Spark on Bluemix, SolutionInc was able to extract relevant datasets such as peak volume times, busiest locations, route patterns and device types to provide actionable insights for their customers.

“With IBM Spark technology, we were able to explore over 240 million rows of Wi-Fi log information and identify device traffic patterns and data across multiple locations,” said Glen Lavigne President, Chief Executive Officer of SolutionInc. “These analytics are enabling us to better understand market demands and trends and provide a better service to our customers.”

“For data scientists and engineers who want to do more with their data, the power and appeal of open source innovation for technologies like Spark is undeniable,” said Rob Thomas, Vice President of Product Development, IBM Analytics. “IBM is committed to using Spark as the foundation for its industry-leading analytics platform, and by offering a fully managed Spark service on IBM Bluemix, data professionals can access and analyze their data faster than ever before, with significantly reduced complexity.”

“Cloud data services focuses on providing the tools developers need to bring applications to market quickly,” said Derek Schoettle, General Manager, IBM Cloud Data Services. “The availability of IBM Analytics for Apache Spark simplifies the process of getting started with Spark, letting data professionals focus on building apps instead of administering Spark clusters or managing operations. With integrations to key IBM Cloud Data Services, it's easy for clients to build a complete solution on Bluemix and draw more insight from more data with less work.”

Since announcing its commitment to the Apache Spark community in June 2015, IBM has made over 60 contributions to the Spark project, including Machine Learning and SQL, and the IBM Spark Technology Center has hired 35 Apache Spark contributors and trained over 310,000 data professionals with free online courses at

At global Hack Spark challenges hosted by IBM in cities including, Boston, San Francisco, Beijing and Shanghai, data professionals have created over one hundred different data products, including a project that leverages Spark to analyze video feeds of traffic for vehicles associated with Amber Alerts and a heat map that will be used by the San Francisco Police Department to help predict crime incidents.

See related study from IBM Institute for Business Value for more information: According to "Analytics: The Upside of the Upsurge," at least three-fourths of study respondents are currently planning or have implemented streaming or real-time data, self-service analytics and cloud-based data or analytics services.

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