IBM rolls out new cloud data services and features on Bluemix

As cloud adoption continues at a rapid clip, IBM is appealing to customers with promises of a smooth migration and ways to find value in unstructured data.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

IBM on November 18 is announcing new cloud data services and features on Bluemix, designed to give businesses an easy way to migrate their data to the cloud and, once there, collect valuable insight from it.

The new services come just a few weeks after IBM merged its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure with its Bluemix services, scrapping the SoftLayer brand.

At a time when cloud adoption is poised to accelerate, just about every cloud service provider is appealing to the enterprise with promises of an easy migration and new services. IBM's latest pitch is largely about helping customers make the most of complex, unstructured data.

"Cloud is the platform that enables cognitive intelligence," John Murphy, vice president of the IBM Watson Data Platform, said in a statement. "We're continuing to grow our catalog of cloud data services on Bluemix so that we can help developers and data scientists better manage and more quickly interpret data for business innovation."

First, IBM is offering Bluemix Lift, a data migration tool for the Watson Data Platform. The service encrypts data being transferred, securely moving it through capabilities that can operate at a rate of up to 225GB per hour -- IBM says that's 10 times faster than traditional offerings. It's designed to minimize downtime, so applications using the source database can run through the migration process. IBM also promises that the data transfer will continue even during an outage or connectivity loss.

Next, IBM is rolling out Decision Optimization on Cloud in beta on Bluemix. This service takes large amounts of data -- such as predictions, master and transactional data, business goals and business rules -- ingests all of those variables, and helps you make the best business decisions.

For instance, a clothing retailer could use Decision Optimization to consider whether or not it's worth restocking a low-inventory item. Factors like potential suppliers, shipping lanes and fees would all be ingested to give the most optimal decision, without any manual cost-benefit analysis. IBM points out it should be applicable in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, utilities, finance, and retail.

Decision Optimization on Bluemix includes the CPLEX Optimizer Engines and can run as a standalone. Alternatively, a customer can embed it in applications using a Rest API or use it from the Data Science Experience Notebooks.

Lastly, IBM dashDB for Transactions is a fully-managed SQL database service on IBM Bluemix. It's optimized for transactional and web workloads to help developers fuel new cloud-based applications. It offers high availability on selected plans, as well as pay-per-use units.

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