5 Important Ideas from IBM World of Watson Conference

The rebranded IBM Insight conference (now the World of Watson conference) was last week.  This year’s conference was noticeably improved with a wide variety of tried and true DB2 z/OS and DB2 LUW presentations along with new Spark, innovative data management techniques, big data activities, embedded technology, and industry specific solutions for the more than 17,000 attendees.  All these attendees filled Las Vegas’s new T-Mobile arena for great thought provoking keynotes speakers.  Here are my five big takeaways from this year’s conference.

  1. IBM released and briefed everyone on the many new features in DB2 Version 12 for z/OS.  DB2 Version 12 for z/OS continues to extend its long traditional industry leadership for reliability, availability, and scalability.  One of most impressive new scalability DB2 Version 12 features is the fast insert algorithm that improves insert operations of unclustered data.  This feature, enabled and controlled by a new DB2 Version 12 DSNZPARM, provides huge insert performance improvements—up to 11 million rows per second in IBM testing.  There are new DB2 12 features/improvements in application enablement, DBA functions, OLTP performance, and overall SQL query improvements that I will detail in the future blogs.  Also DB2 development is going agile and will come out with new features faster as they are developed and tested instead of just a new version every couple of years.

  2. There were more great details on the DB2 LUW DB2 Version 11.1 improvements and features released earlier this year.  Now that the DB2 LUW Version 11.1 has been out there for a bit, more best practices and performance enhancements were highlighted.  For example, the general rule of thumb is to use 16 CPU cores for every 3 TB of raw uncompressed data.  These 16 CPU cores, matched with 16 GB of memory for each core, are also recommended for a well-balanced, high-performance environment which can provide great data warehouse workload performance.  These recommendation, along with other DB2 BLU success stories presented, show that BLU continues to be a huge success for DB2 LUW customers. 

  3. Cloud and storage are strategic imperatives.  The cloud presentations and lunch time conversations reflect the same two main themes that I highlighted from last year’s conference (http://davebeulke.com/ibm-insight-conference-2015/).  The themes were that the cloud is not secure, and data hacking or loss of data risk is too great for my company.  Also, the cost of cloud is really more than you expect and performance problems can be extra difficult to fix due to dealing with many cloud variables.

  4. Big data and data analytics are transforming every business and are the new frontier for new business enhancements.  One example suggested that data could be created as a new combination developed from multiple sources.  A fitness tracker which has all the data of runners and their paths, combined with weather data, shows new or different routes runners use during bad weather.  Offering previous runners routes to new arrivals or out-of-town travelers provides recommended alternatives as well as those routes to avoid..  By crowd sourcing the data, the application provides deeper insight to the preferences and habits of the runners worldwide.  Big data and new combinations of data bring profitable situations to all types of businesses.  We all just need to think of them and determine how to leverage them for profitability.

  5. IBM CEO Ginny Rometty is making a huge investments in Watson Analytics, and through IBM’s partnership with GM, Slack, and Teva Pharmaceutical, is expanding its reach.  Through partnerships with both GM and Honda, IBM Watson provides a huge treasure trove of analytics about automotive internal and external workings.  This rich data can provide deep insights for the manufactures to improve durability, luxury, performance, and provide a better experience overall.  Through the GM partnership, On-Star IBM Watson provides further analytics that help the owner and passengers fully engage in permissible activities—from scheduling appointments and paying for gas to other social, mobile, and e-commerce activities.

There were many new types of subjects presented at the World of Watson conference.  Topics like the ethics of data management, security for social networks, and data privacy best practices to name a few that explored topics beyond technology.  IBM reinforced its “Think” slogan and many presentation asked attendees to think differently about their data and applications, to expand their company’s horizons with IBM technology and the World of Watson.

Dave Beulke is a system strategist, application architect, and performance expert specializing in Big Data, data warehouses, and high performance internet business solutions.  He is an IBM Gold Consultant, Information Champion, President of DAMA-NCR, former President of International DB2 User Group, and frequent speaker at national and international conferences. His architectures, designs, and performance tuning techniques help organization better leverage their information assets, saving millions in processing costs. Follow him on Twitter  or connect through LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>