Simply put, data is revolutionizing the way companies use technology. It’s not surprising, then, that IBM Think 2018 spent a lot of time focused on how to best manage and gain insights from all the data companies are collecting.
The conference was new this year, and merged several IBM events that were held separately in the past, including PartnerWorld, InterConnect, Edge, and World of Watson. This made it the perfect opportunity to learn about the company’s ideas on everything from data archiving to data analysis.
There was a lot to take in, so we wanted to highlight four announcements and topics that jumped out at us from the week in Las Vegas.
Cloud Object Storage gets faster
By now, everyone knows the benefits and drawbacks of the cloud. One of the major issues is how to get large files — backups, images, etc. — uploaded to, and downloaded from, the cloud in an acceptable amount of time. Since the Internet is generally optimized for download, uploading has emerged as a more pressing concern.
With this in mind, IBM announced new services for its Cloud Object Storage, including a new high-speed, secure data transfer offering, Aspera. Storage Review reports that IBM customers are seeing transfers that are hundreds of times faster, with 100 TB moves taking as little as 24 hours.
Cloud Object Storage gets archiving
Of course, the cloud is becoming an indispensable option for archiving data that isn’t necessarily used frequently, but needs to be retained for any number of reasons — compliance, business continuity, or other legal reasons. IBM Cloud Object Storage will now offer an archiving solution for this growing data.
The archive solution works within IBM Cloud Object Storage, and can be used to automatically archive data after a certain amount of time as part of a larger data retention policy. It’s IBM’s lowest cost option, so, of course, restore time is a bit slower than other services — up to 15 hours — but it retains the security and encryption that other IBM storage provides.
Improving private cloud
With hybrid cloud coming to the forefront as a data management strategy, it’s no surprise that IBM is touting its own private cloud option. The company actually released Cloud Private for Data in the fall of 2017, but it was featured prominently at Think 2018.
According to ZDNet, Cloud Private keeps with cloud-native design principles by using containers and microservices to run services like data lifecycle management, database, data cataloging, and reporting.
AI goes mainstream
As CEO Ginni Rometty said in her keynote, 20 percent of the world’s data is searchable. It’s that other 80 percent that companies can really use to innovate and disrupt. It’s no surprise, then, that there was a heavy focus on AI. With data loads continuing to grow, and companies questioning how to best use that data, the opportunity for AI has never been greater.
IBM is including AI into a wide range of its products, including the cloud, with the goal of making AI more accessible. Things like Watson Studio aim to make developing and deploying AI models easier, while Watson Machine Learning looks to ease the development of self-learning models and smart applications.
IBM Think 2018 certainly provided a lot to think about when it comes to your data and how to use it. Since no two companies are the same, the more options available to efficiently manage and analyze data, the better. We look forward to seeing how these options develop, and how customers use them to improve their business, in the future.
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Director of Marketing
Key Information System