Fujitsu launches big data software suite, targets US$1 billion in yearly sales

The Japanese IT conglomerate said it will also launch dedicated big data servers over the next year

Fujitsu said Monday it will release a set of software suite tools aimed at processing and analyzing huge sets of diverse information known as big data.

The company announced server software aimed at handling large, diverse file systems, quickly scanning volumes of data, and rapidly storing and reading information from databases. Fujitsu is also developing dedicated hardware for the new packages, which it will launch by the end of next March, said Kazuo Imada, head of the company's cloud platform development group.

"We're just starting from scratch, but eventually we'd like to achieve ¥100 billion (US$1.23 billion) in annual sales in this business," he told reporters at a press conference in Tokyo.

Big data is an industry buzzword that refers to the large amount of information currently being generated by Web sites, social networks, physical networks of sensors and other relatively new sources. While falling hardware prices and advances in digital storage have made storing such data possible, companies are now looking for ways to manage and analyze it. At company open-houses, Fujitsu engineers have demonstrated big data applications that sift through social networks such as Twitter to determine in real-time when crimes and disasters are unfolding.

Fujitsu's new software includes a product called Interstage Big Data Parallel Processing Server, which expands on the open-source Apache Hadoop platform for building filesystems across networks of independent servers. The company said its improvements make the software five times faster than Hadoop. It will be available from the end of this month on a processor-based license starting at ¥600,000.

The company is also releasing its Complex Event Processing Server, which can quickly comb large data sets for matches to a set of master files. Imada said it can be used to find trends in large sets of company data, and gave the example of analyzing customer complaints about a product.

Trials by Fujitsu showed that analysis of keywords that appeared in the complaints could allow companies to quickly identify when a product recall might be necessary, detecting shifts that are unrelated to basic measures such as the overall number of complaints. The processing server starts at ¥6 million on a processor-based license.

The new set of software packages have the same functionality as a set of cloud services announced by Fujitsu in January, but allow clients to build them into their own data centers.

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Jay Alabaster

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