CSC Big Data PaaS and Red Hat Linux: The platform for an open source, big data initiative.

A leading mutual insurance company is trialing telematics and big data to better understand the drivers it insures and to improve its pricing models, customer service and overall business strategy. Supporting the initiative is an open source, platform as a service (PaaS) computing solution from CSC that uses Hadoop and runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The company’s story is a great example of how big data, PaaS, Linux, OpenStack and the right IT partners can help enterprises reduce data complexities, more quickly and easily deploy scalable IT solutions and develop analytical applications—and it is featured in this Red Hat webinar.

“Better insight in less time—big data application development and deployment” is hosted by Tim Gasper, global offerings manager of big data and analytics at CSC, and in the webinar he details how to gain better insight in less time through big data application development and deployment by using CSC Big Data Platform as a Service, powered by the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

Gasper sets the stage early on in the webinar by pointing out that companies that want to leverage big data applications often face a number of challenges. Data is increasingly complex, as is integrating and enriching data that’s culled from multiple sources. In addition, many companies’ IT departments are facing a shortage of big data skills, Gasper said in the webinar. With a pay-as-you-go, managed PaaS running on Linux like the one CSC offers, companies can have access to big data talent so they can focus on their core business, he said. Because the PaaS solution is built on cloud operating principles, compute, storage and memory can be tailored to the workload, and it is highly scalable yet with the security features that CSC needed. And because it is built on an open source platform, it’s flexible and not tied to specialized hardware environments.

The CSC Big Data Platform as a Service includes the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, can be customized and combines the infrastructure, skills and expertise necessary to get the solution up and running in 30 days or less, according to Gasper. “There is very little big data expertise required,” he said. “Working with CSC and Red Hat means we can provide all the skills necessary.”

A variety of Apache Hadoop-based software is available as part of the PaaS solution, including software from Cloudera and Hortonworks, as well as other software. Customers pay a monthly service, and the solution can be deployed on premise or run in the cloud. Security features are built in, with such tools as perimeter security, access controls, encryption, audit logging, backups, disaster recovery and compliance support.

The CSC solution with Red Hat Enterprise Linux is driving the telematics and big data project at the mutual insurance company we mentioned at the top of this post. According to Gasper, the insurer was able to move twice as fast with the rollout of the underlying infrastructure and the platform as well as application itself. The overall operating costs for the big data project were lowered. And the project is directly impacting the insurer’s customers, Gasper said. The insurer has so far achieved greater than 10 percent savings per customer account, thanks to the new risk models that informed by the analytics and big data insights. “It’s really a net net, a very competitive capability that they are bringing in and what makes this use case even more exciting is that it is a use case that was really never before even possible,” Gasper said.

Gasper provides even more detail about the insurer’s roll out—and the CSC Big Data Platform as a Service, powered by the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform—in the webinar. It is available on-demand now, so do check it out. And let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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