The vision for Db2

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At the Think 2019 conference, IBM hosted a plethora of data-management-focused sessions with several announcements that will undoubtedly impact the data management strategy of many businesses. Here are essentials about each announcement below, including what’s next for Db2 as well as news about IBM Db2 Event Store, IBM Informix, IBM Db2 on Cloud and more.

The future of Db2
One of the most exciting announcements in hybrid data management is the introduction to the vision for IBM Db2. IBM Db2 is becoming the AI database that will help power today’s cognitive applications, accelerating AI development and enabling more data management automation. That’s only the beginning. There are plans for new features throughout the year such as the abilities to:
• Build AI applications using Db2 data for the first time with support for popular data science language and framework drivers.
• Use an internet-search-like experience to explore data sets more quickly without needing to know SQL, thanks to natural-language querying and faceted search technologies found in IBM Db2 Augmented Data Explorer.
• Create cognitive applications within Db2 using both on-premises and cloud data using IBM Watson Studio.
• Perform more complex modeling and visualization with Db2 Graph.
• Improve performance with a machine-learning-based optimizer.
• Automatically manage resources and schedule workload execution with adaptive workload management.

Now is the perfect time to explore how Db2 can lead your organization into the AI future as part of the IBM Hybrid Data Management Platform (HDMP). With a single HDMP license, an organization can select and switch between Db2 and a variety of warehouse, data lake and fast data solutions that span both on-premises and cloud deployment options.

Event Store becomes more integrated
The team working on IBM Db2 Event Store is also excited to announce several features designed to make it easier to integrate as a part of business and architecture. Event Store will now support the common SQL engine that underlies the IBM family of Db2 products.

Sharing a common SQL engine in this way means that queries and applications can be written once and work across the Db2 family of offerings. However, the benefits extend beyond IBM solutions. The common SQL engine’s built-in data virtualization helps organizations access non-IBM data sources including Oracle, Teradata, Microsoft SQL Server, Amazon Redshift and open source options such as Hive. Other Event Store announcements include:
• Additional language support including C++, C#, Perl, Ruby on Rails and many others so that more developers can use the skills they already have
• Up to five times improvement in scan speed for better performance

IBM Informix launches a new version
The customer-acclaimed IBM Informix is announcing the release of version 14.1. Several features and improvements were added, building upon Informix’s legacy as a cost-effective, embeddable database that provides the power and reliability necessary for enterprises and mission-critical environments.

Performance of online transaction processing (OLTP) was enhanced, along with time series granularity and spatial projection systems. Part of this performance enhancement is support for common table expressions which can be used to improve readability and maintenance of complex queries by dividing them into simple, ad hoc, logical building blocks.

Data security also received a boost for the remote storage of encryption at rest keys in Amazon Key Manager, helping to reduce DBA effort and increase protection. A new graphical administration tool, InformixHQ makes Informix even simpler to use with collaboration enhancements and custom alerts for email, Twilio, or pager duty.

Multicloud support for Db2 Warehouse on Cloud and elasticity for SMP
The flexibility of IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud has been expanded even further with the announcement of multicloud functionality. While organizations can still choose to rely on the trusted IBM Cloud, those wishing to use Db2 Warehouse on Cloud on AWS now can.

Customers with data on AWS will be able to gain increased performance by running their warehouse next to the data without sacrificing the elasticity of IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud. The built-in common SQL engine will also help to make sure that queries and apps can be written once and run across any Db2 Family product while also providing virtualization for external data sources. With access to an even wider range of data sources, businesses will be more capable of delivering meaningful machine learning and artificial intelligence projects that draw upon a more complete knowledge base.

In addition, IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud has continued its pattern of introducing more elasticity by bringing the ability to scale storage up and scale compute up or down to the SMP configuration. This means the already economical SMP option becomes even more cost-effective by helping customers to more exactly meet the needs of the business as they happen and avoid paying for excess performance when it isn’t needed. So, whether you need the elastic SMP configuration or an elastic MPP configuration (announced last year), IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud has you covered.

Think 2019 was a key moment for hybrid data management. We look forward to seeing what clients are able to achieve with the innovations and improvements which were revealed. For a deeper look into many of the products listed here, take a look at the IBM Hybrid Data Management Platform, which provides a simple way to gain access to and switch between database, data warehouse, data lake and fast data solutions using one license.

Kevin Oliver is Portfolio Marketing Manager, Hybrid Data Management at IBM.