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A day after Microsoft pledged an “extensive commitment” to large-scale data processing engine Apache Spark, IBM today announced Data Science Experience, a fledgling cloud-based develop512px-IBM_logo.svgment environment for near-real-time analytics, using Apache Spark.

IBM described the environment as a place online where data scientists can simplify data ingestion, curation and analysis using its own open-source resources, as well as those from H2O, Jupyter Notebooks and RStudio.

IBM began investing in Spark a year ago and has put $300 million toward making it an “analytics operating system,” IBM said in a prepared release. Digital Science Experience is “the killer enterprise app for Apache Spark,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president of IBM Analytics, in the release.

IBM customers already using applications built on Apache Spark include Bernhardt Furniture, which created a virtual showroom for iPad devices; USA Cycling women’s team, which processes data on rider performance and positioning; and the SETI Institute, which is working with NASA to analyze six terabytes of data for patterns indicating intelligent life.

“Computer science went mainstream with the introduction of the PC,” Picciano said in the release. “With today’s announcement, customers can access and work with large data sets more easily, eliminating a major hurdle.”

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