Big shout out to my colleague Beth O'Shea for thie intriguing and brief interview blog
Hope you like it too!
Interview with Manny Perez, IBM Distinguished Engineer and
Blane Rockafellow, IBM System x Market Solutions Manager
Q: What is IBM Cognos TM1 and how can it help my business?
Blane: Well I would tell you to ask yourself these three rudimentary performance questions. How are we doing? Why are we on or off track? What should we do to address performance gaps quickly? To answer these questions and anticipate the best course of action for your business, you need to plan, forecast and budget effectively. You have to get the right information to the right people in the form they need it, and be able to make changes quickly. It’s a coordinated approach that requires a flexible enterprise planning solution that aligns financial and operational targets in one solution. And that’s what Cognos TM1 is — enterprise software for budgeting, forecasting, analysis and reporting that facilitates dynamic planning and can help your finance department make timely decisions for better business outcomes. So the better question is can you afford to do without TM1?
Q: I’ve heard that memory is very important with Cognos TM1. Why is that?
Manny: TM1 is similar to a spreadsheet in some ways but it is much more advanced. It’s a powerful analytics engine that allows you to do on-demand queries and extremely fast calculations on large and complex data sets to radically change your planning, budgeting and forecasting process. As Blane said, the end goal is to have the information available to make better decisions. In order to return results quickly though, TM1 needs to keep all its information in memory. That means that as your data grows with analytic demands, you will often require additional memory in your server. If you don’t have enough memory, you may have to cut back on the detail of your TM1 data model, which can mean missed opportunities for insight that could have potentially helped you to gain a competitive advantage.
Q: Does Cognos TM1 run on x86 servers?
Manny: I’m glad you asked that. The answer is yes, the vast majority of TM1 installations — more than 90 percent — are running on x86 servers.
Q: Why should I choose an IBM System x server to run Cognos TM1?
Blane: Great question. The short answer is that System x servers have a definite advantage over the competition. Using the IBM MAX5 memory expansion unit, you can increase the memory capacity of your System x X5 servers for applications like TM1 without adding processors. So what does that actually mean? Well, adding more memory without adding more processors means reduced software license costs, savings from lower hardware costs, lower total energy consumption and fewer servers to manage. Look, we ran some performance tests running Cognos TM1 on the two-socket, 20-core IBM System x3690 X5 with the MAX5 memory expansion unit versus a four-socket, 40-core HP DL580 G7, and the x3690 X5/MAX5 combination was up to 29 percent faster! I want to make sure you heard that or should I say read that right. The IBM solution used 20 fewer cores than the HP system and was still faster. Plus, you can reduce your hardware costs and licensing costs up to 24 percent. And save on up-front memory costs. You can start out with a small amount of memory and add memory as you need it without adding processors. If you want more details, you can read the white paper.
Connect with Blane on LinkedIn
Connect with Manny on LinkedIn