November 10, 2020 By Hemanth Manda 5 min read

2020 has been a transformational year with the majority of enterprises either thriving or doing their best to adapt to the new normal. In order to not only endure, but to succeed, organizations must innovate by accelerating transformation and infusing intelligence and automation into their business processes.

The latest version of IBM Cloud Pak® for Data, IBM’s end-to-end data and AI platform, is packed with capabilities to drive this essential transformation. Combining a comprehensive set of IBM open source and third-party services within an integrated platform, the enhancements within version 3.5 build upon the existing benefits of the platform in two critical areas: (1) cost optimization and (2) innovation to drive digital transformation. Whether in the form of advanced automation; streamlined management and fully integrated services to optimize costs; or driving innovation with accelerated AI, improved governance and an expanded ecosystem; the platform provides the foundation for successful AI on any cloud.

Read more and join the virtual event to learn about the upgrades to IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

Cost reduction and optimization

Talent and skills are two of the biggest drivers of IT cost for enterprises today, but they also play a key role in competitive differentiation. The latest version of IBM Cloud Pak for Data automates and helps many of the time-consuming administration and maintenance tasks of delivering data and AI at scale, while also providing an enhanced user experience. Here’s an introduction to some of the key enhancements:

  1. Enhanced automation: The “IBM Cloud Pak for Data” Operator, based on the Red Hat® OpenShift® operator framework, simplifies installations and lifecycle management. Through automated provisioning, configuration management, seamless patching, upgrade and scaling with operational knowledge baked in, this upgrade helps enable “autopilot” management. The release also brings new workflows to help customers manage and automate critical processes within their business. The existing automated data discovery and quick scan features have also been optimized for performance and scalability within version 3.5.
  2. Simplified administration: The new platform management page provides an overview of all the services, service instances, environments and workflows deployed within IBM Cloud Pak for Data. It highlights any unhealthy or pending workflows, includes additional drill-downs for proactive troubleshooting and allows administrators to set and manage resource quotas down to the individual service level. Version 3.5 also includes a new concept called deployment spaces, which are a collection of runtimes making it easier for operations engineers to manage jobs and online deployments, regardless of where they are running. New CLI commands and APIs within this release help automate and manage service instances, enable programmatic access to assets, backup and restore IBM Cloud Pak for Data projects, and import/export platform metadata.
  3. Improved user experience: There are multiple updates to the platform navigation menu. As the culmination of 10,000+ hours of user interviews and design research these enhancements help improve end user productivity. Customers can now further customize the user interface both at the platform level and user level. The new “platform connections” capability provides an answer to a problem faced by many organizations—making it easier for administrators to define and manage data source connections across the platform. And building on the theme of simplified administration, IBM Cloud Pak for Data has a new “Data Management Console” to help you administer, monitor, manage and optimize all your IBM databases from a single web-based console. Finally, version 3.5 includes guided walk-me flows and product tours to help further accelerate user onboarding and drive self-service usage.

Drive innovation and digital transformation

Innovation and transformation are critical to business success during this turbulent time. IBM Cloud Pak for Data version 3.5 makes great strides towards the goal of providing the unique services and capabilities that customers need to spark this change.

  1. Accelerated AI: The IBM Watson® Machine Learning Accelerator available within IBM Cloud Pak for Data provides a deep learning service for data scientists with optimizations to help accelerate performance; improve resource utilization; and reduce complexities related to installation, configuration and GPU management. View this infographic for more details. The release also brings enhancements to existing AutoAI capabilities, which allow users to utilize multiple data stores as input for training experiments. Data scientists can combine data sets based on common columns, or keys, to build a unified data set that can then be used as input for the AutoAI experiments. Federated learning (Tech Preview) is another net new capability coming to the platform with version 3.5. This advancement allows enterprises to train and build models across distributed data sets helping ensure data security is maintained.
  2. Enhanced governance & security: version 3.5 introduces user groups, which allow administrators to easily manage large numbers of users who need similar permissions. When you create a user group, you specify the roles that all of the members of the group have and assign that user group access to various assets on the platform in the same way that you assign an individual user access. Security vault is another new feature within the most recent release which introduces a set of APIs to protect access and store tokens, database credentials, API Keys, passwords and certificates in one place.
  3. Expanding the growing ecosystem: Ecosystem is a critical component of IBM Cloud Pak for Data and version 3.5 has a number of new services both from IBM and third-party independent software vendors (ISVs) coming to the platform. It’s also now easier for customers to access IBM Cloud Pak for Data through the Red Hat and Tech Data Marketplaces, as well as support IBM Z® Systems.
  4. In keeping with our Hybrid, multi-cloud strategy version 3.5 also brings enhancements to our advanced data warehouse and analytics offering, Netezza. With this most recent release we are expanding our support to include Azure environments, meaning Netezza customers can easily deploy on IBM Cloud, AWS, Azure and premises deployments the IBM Cloud Pak for Data System or transition workloads across those environments as their business needs change.

IBM Cloud Pak for Data 3.5 also brings new services to the platform:

  • IBM OpenPages®, a premier governance risk and compliance offering that complements other IBM data governance capabilities
  • IBM Open Data for Industries, a new solution for the oil & gas industry vertical based on OSDU open standards that allows customers to inter-operate and exchange data sets across a wide spectrum of data types
  • Knowledge Accelerators including precreated curated industry-specific content to help jump start implementation while ensuring out-of-the-box compliance support for industry standards and regulations
  • There are also nine new ISVs coming to the platform with version 3.5 bringing the total number of third-party ISV services integrated within the platform to more than 50. Notable among these new additions are: Enterprise DB Postgres, a popular open source database; Hazelcast, an in-memory data grid for caching; and Trilio, a cloud-native backup and recovery solution tested and certified for IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

As companies everywhere adjust to the new market reality, enterprises taking the initiative and leveraging this opportunity to streamline, consolidate and transform their architecture will come out ahead in modernizing for an evolving and agile future. IBM Cloud Pak for Data enables just that.

Join the virtual event on November 18 to hear directly from the experts on the value of this new release, read Steve Astorino’s blog or read the product overview today.

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