Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Friday, June 5, 2020
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IBM Launches AIOps, 5G Network Edge, Financial Cloud Products at Digital Think 

IBM issued several product announcements this morning to kick off the company’s annual Think conference (this year called Think Digital) that include automated IT infrastructure monitoring and diagnosis (i.e., AIOps) across on-prem data centers and multi-cloud environments, as well as edge computing tools for 5G networks, and new services for integration with IBM’s financial services public cloud.

Watson AIOps is built on the Red Hat OpenShift container platform and uses Watson AI to self-detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in real time, according to IBM. It’s intent is to minimize IT outages that can cost approximately $260,00 per hour, according industry consultant Aberdeen. It also is designed to support introduction of automation at the enterprise infrastructure level and help “CIOs better predict and shape future outcomes, focus resources on higher-value work and be better prepared to build more responsive and intelligent networks that can stay up and running longer,” IBM said.

IBM's Rob Thomas

The offering is designed to run on hybrid cloud environments and uses the Slack and Box business collaboration and file sharing tools, along with IT monitoring solutions, such as Mattermost and ServiceNow.

“We all know that at times how quickly you (need to) address a problem in your technology infrastructure…, complexities are increasing, certainly things like COVID-19 is driving us to a distributed work environment, driving us to the cloud,” said Rob Thomas SVP of Cloud and Data Platform, IBM, at a pre-announcement press briefing. “CIOs needs a powerful AI – think of it as metaphorically sitting on their shoulder, helping to run the operation.

“We’re able to monitor everything that's happening in the infrastructure in real time,” he said. “CIOs no longer have to react to what's happening, they can act in advance... Watson AIOps is built on the latest release of Red Hat OpenShift. So it can run anywhere you want, public or private, and manage your IT infrastructure across all public clouds, private clouds.”

Today’s rollout includes Accelerator for Application Modernization with AI within the IBM’s Cloud Modernization service, designed to reduce the complexity and costs of application modernization. It offers tools for analysis and recommendations for architectural and microservices options, and utilizes continuous learning and interpretable AI models to adapt to preferred software engineering practices, according to IBM.

IBM Watson AIOps

In addition, IBM announced:

  • IBM Cloud Pak for Data, an integrated data and AI platform for automated access to business-ready data, including platform extensions such as IBM Planning Analytics, for planning, budgeting and forecasting; and DataOps capabilities such as IBM InfoSphere Master Data Connect, to access on-premises MDM deployments.
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Automation, software for building AI-based “digital workers,” which automate routine work and collaborate with human counterparts. It’s designed to simplify skills automation, such as data capture, task automation and business routing.
  • IBM Watson Assistant, the company’s AI-based conversation platform, has been updated to include a pre-built user interface that requires no development work to deploy and is designed with user experience-based best practices, according to IBM. It will include “auto-learning,” due this summer, designed to learn from prior customer behavior to provide relevant answers to new questions.

Of its new edge computing offerings for 5G networks, IBM said it is built on Red Hat OpenShift and will allow enterprises to autonomously manage workloads across high volumes of edge devices and enable telco providers to orchestrate virtual and container network functions to deliver new services.

New products include IBM Edge Application Manager, designed to enable AI, analytics and IoT enterprise workloads to be deployed and remotely managed with up to 10,000 edge nodes controlled simultaneously by a single administrator; and IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager, which orchestrates virtual and container network functions. Service providers can manage workloads on both Red Hat OpenShift and on Red Hat OpenStack Platform, IBM said.

The company also announced the IBM Edge Ecosystem for ISVs and GSIs and the IBM Telco Network Cloud Ecosystem, which include Cisco, Dell Technologies, Juniper, Intel, NVIDIA and Samsung, among other companies.

Finally, IBM announced extensions to its financial services-ready public cloud, developed by IBM with Bank of America and announced last November, designed to address financial services workload, security and compliance requirements. The extensions are designed for ISVs and SaaS companies that transact with financial institutions and serve banks, IBM said, “a prescriptive implementation and evidence process to guide each ISV to deliver their offerings through the financial services-ready public cloud.  This enables them to accelerate and simplify the engagement and evidence process between the ISV and participating banks.”

IBM said Assima, C3.ai, Finacle, Intellect Design and Thought Machine will deliver products through the platform.

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