IBM Watson Machine Learning Community Edition V1.6.1 helps you get started faster with a software distribution for machine learning running on an enterprise platform for AI

IBM United States Software Announcement 219-164
May 14, 2019

Table of contents
OverviewOverviewTechnical informationTechnical information
Key requirementsKey requirementsOrdering informationOrdering information
Planned availability datePlanned availability dateTerms and conditionsTerms and conditions
Program numberProgram numberOrder nowOrder now

At a glance

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IBM® PowerAI has been rebranded as IBM Watson® Machine Learning Community Edition (Watson™ ML CE) to better align with IBM's single AI integration strategy. Version 1.6.1 continues to build on three years of development with this AI development platform, providing an end-to-end deep learning platform for data scientists. It offers many optimizations that can ease installation and management, and can help accelerate performance:

  • Ready-to-use deep learning frameworks (TensorFlow, PyTorch, Caffe, Caffe2, ONNX, and Keras).
  • Powerful and scalable machine learning libraries (Snap ML and NVIDIA RAPIDS).
  • Distributed as prebuilt containers, or on demand through the Conda provisioning process.
  • Includes dependencies and libraries.
  • Easy updates: Code updates arrive from a repository.
  • Validated deep learning platform with each release.
  • Dedicated support teams for deep learning.
  • Designed for enterprise scale with multisystem cluster performance and large memory support.
  • Supported on accelerated IBM Power® Systems servers; and new in version 1.6.1, also supported on accelerated x86 architecture servers.

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Watson ML CE is an IBM Cognitive Systems offering that is designed for the rapidly growing and quickly evolving AI category of deep learning. Watson ML CE brings a suite of capabilities from the open source community and combines them into a single enterprise distribution of software that incorporates complete lifecycle management from installation and configuration; data ingest and preparation; building, optimizing, and training the model; to inference; testing; and moving the model into production. Watson ML CE takes advantage of a distributed architecture to help enable your teams to quickly iterate through the training cycle on more data to help continuously improve the model over time.

Watson ML CE is designed for enterprise scale, with software optimized for both single server and cluster deep learning training.

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Key requirements

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  • IBM Power System S822LC for HPC or IBM Power System AC922 servers
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux® 7.6 or Canonical Ubuntu 18.04

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Planned availability date

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June 14, 2019

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Install and configure a deep learning environment within hours

Designed to get you set up and operating as quickly as possible, Watson ML CE is delivered as a set of software packages that can deploy a functioning deep learning environment, potentially within hours, and usually in less than one hour. The software distributions contain a precompiled set of the software that is needed to build and manage a distributed environment, including the deep learning frameworks and any supporting software components that they require to run.

Reduce training times

Model optimization and training are compute heavy and iterative. Watson ML CE can help reduce the time that is needed to train models, enabling you to go into production faster or train by using larger data sets with the following features:

  • Software and frameworks that are optimized to take advantage of Power servers with NVLink CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs. Benchmarks have seen 50x improvements, potentially cutting training times from days to hours.
  • Distributed training enables jobs to be broken down and distributed over a cluster of servers so they can be processed in parallel.

Accessibility by people with disabilities

A US Section 508 Accessibility Compliance Report containing details on accessibility compliance can be found on the Product accessibility information website.

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Program number

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Program number VRM Program name
5765-PAI 1.6.1 IBM Watson Machine Learning Community Edition
Program number Maintenance 1-year program number Maintenance 3-year program number
5765-PAI No maintenance No maintenance

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Offering Information

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Product information is available on the IBM Offering Information website.

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Documentation for Watson ML CE is available from IBM Knowledge Center.

IBM Knowledge Center is a worldwide central repository of IBM technical publications hosted in a single application. You can find and navigate technical content more efficiently and easily with improved search, filtering, and user experience. Create your own collections of IBM documents with PDF output on-demand.

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Software Services

IBM Software Services has the breadth, depth, and reach to manage your services needs. You can leverage the deep technical skills of our lab-based, software services team and the business consulting, project management, and infrastructure expertise of our IBM Global Services team. Also, we extend our IBM Software Services reach through IBM Business Partners to provide an extensive portfolio of capabilities. Together, we provide the global reach, intellectual capital, industry insight, and technology leadership to support a wide range of critical business needs.

To learn more about IBM Software Services, contact your Lab Services Sales or Delivery Leader.

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Technical information

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Specified operating environment

Hardware requirements

Watson ML CE V1.6.1 is supported on:

  • Power System S822LC for HPC (8335-GTB) and Power System AC922 (8335-GTG, 8335-GTH, 8335-GTX, and 8335-GTW) servers
  • x86-based servers

Note: Orders for the x86 architecture cannot be placed in IBM Configurator for e-business (e-config). See the Packaging section for delivery options.

Software requirements

Watson ML CE V1.6.1 is supported on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 operating system and Canonical Ubuntu 18.04 operating system.

Planning information


Watson ML CE V1.6.1 is distributed through electronic download. Both POWER® and x86 download distribution options are available and linked from Downloading Watson ML CE 1 in IBM Knowledge Center (active June 14, 2019).

Included are:

  • IBM International License Agreement for Non-Warranted Programs, in multiple languages
  • Required installation files

No physical media is available.

Note: The above download sites will be active upon general availability on June 14, 2019.

1 From the main page select the desired release level, then select "Planning" under "Getting Started" to access the download link.

This program, when downloaded from a website, contains the applicable IBM license agreement and License Information, if appropriate, which will be presented for acceptance at the time of installation of the program. For future reference, the license and License Information will be stored in a directory such as LICENSE.TXT.

Security, auditability, and control

Watson ML CE uses the security and auditability features of the system on which the program is installed.

The client is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.

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Ordering information

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Consult your IBM representative.

Charge metric

The charge metric for this licensed product can be found in the following License Information document:

Program identifier License Information document title License Information document number
5765-PAI IBM Watson ML CE V1.6.1 L-AMDS-BAVNJY

Select your language of choice and scroll down to the Charge Metrics section. Follow-on releases, if any, may have updated terms. See the License Information documents website for more information.

System Program Order (SPO)

An order for SPO 5692-A6P is mandatory for electronic shipments of program distribution. The individual licensed program orders are for registration purposes only. No shipment occurs under those orders.

To receive shipment of downloadable machine-readable materials, the order needs to include SPO 5692-A6P and the following feature:

Program number Program/Function name Supply feature number
5692-A6P IBM Watson ML CE, V1.6.1 2334

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Terms and conditions

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The information provided in this announcement letter is for reference and convenience purposes only. The terms and conditions that govern any transaction with IBM are contained in the applicable contract documents such as the IBM International Program License Agreement, IBM International Passport Advantage® Agreement, and the IBM Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance.

License Information number

The following License Information document applies to the offering in this announcement:

Program identifier License Information document title License Information document number
5765-PAI IBM Watson ML CE V1.6.1 L-AMDS-BAVNJY

Follow-on releases, if any, may have updated terms. See the License Information documents website for more information.

Limited warranty applies


Money-back guarantee

Not applicable.

For clarification, note that for programs acquired under any of IBM's On/Off Capacity on Demand (On/Off CoD) software offerings, this term does not apply since these offerings apply to programs already acquired and in use by you.

Volume orders (IVO)


Passport Advantage applies


Software Subscription and Support applies

For operating system software, the revised IBM Operational Support Services - SoftwareXcel offering will provide support for those operating systems and associated products that are not available with the Software Subscription and Support (Software Maintenance) offering.

This will ensure total support coverage for your enterprise needs, including IBM and selected non-IBM products. For complete lists of products supported under both the current and revised offering, go to the Supported Product List website.

Variable charges apply


Educational allowance available

Yes. A 15% education allowance applies to qualified education institution clients.

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Statement of good security practices

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IT system security involves protecting systems and information through intrusion prevention, detection, and response to improper access from within and outside your enterprise. Improper access can result in information being altered, destroyed, or misappropriated or can result in misuse of your systems to attack others. Without a comprehensive approach to security, no IT system or product should be considered completely secure and no single product or security measure can be completely effective in preventing improper access. IBM systems and products are designed to be part of a regulatory compliant, comprehensive security approach, which will necessarily involve additional operational procedures, and may require other systems, products, or services to be most effective.

Important: IBM does not warrant that any systems, products, or services are immune from, or will make your enterprise immune from, the malicious or illegal conduct of any party.

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For additional information and current prices, contact your local IBM representative.

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Order now

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To order, contact the IBM Digital Sales Center, your local IBM representative, or your IBM Business Partner. To identify your local IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, call 800-IBM-4YOU (426-4968). For more information, contact the IBM Digital Sales Center.

Phone: 800-IBM-CALL (426-2255)

Fax: 800-2IBM-FAX (242-6329)

For IBM representative:

For IBM Business Partner:

IBM Digital Sales Offices
1177 S Belt Line Rd
Coppell, TX 75019-4642, US

The IBM Digital Sales Center, our national direct marketing organization, can add your name to the mailing list for catalogs of IBM products.

Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.


Watson is a trademark of IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

IBM Watson, IBM, Power, Passport Advantage and POWER are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both.

Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

Terms of use

IBM products and services which are announced and available in your country can be ordered under the applicable standard agreements, terms, conditions, and prices in effect at the time. IBM reserves the right to modify or withdraw this announcement at any time without notice. This announcement is provided for your information only. Additional terms of use are located at

Terms of use

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