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IBM Cloud Pak for Data v4.0.3 - What's New

By Justin Rhee posted Wed December 01, 2021 03:32 PM


IBM Cloud Pak for Data v4.0.3 is now generally available. This release includes a variety of new functionalities and features ranging from security to compliance. Some of these new functionalities include enhanced monitoring and management of license usage, such as the License Usage Management feature integrated into IBM Cloud Pak for Data and IBM Software Central on the Red Hat Marketplace.

Vault support is also included in this release, enabling users to leverage external vaults to manage secrets and sensitive information in IBM Cloud Pak for Data. There is also a new Data Privacy service centered around protecting sensitive data that is used by various services within IBM Cloud Pak for Data. This release also introduces a limited set of supported services on IBM Power9 and Power10. 

New features and enhancements in this release include:

  • License Usage Management
  • IBM Software Central support
  • Vault support
  • Data Privacy
  • Select services supported on IBM Power9 and Power10

Learn more about each of these new features and enhancements below.

License Usage Management
Cloud Pak for Data is now enabled to better support clients in their Software Asset Management goals. IBM Cloud Pak for Data v4.0.3 introduces an integrated License Usage Management feature that helps your organization better manage its software by supporting data-driven license asset management decisions. This feature measures both IBM software licenses and license deployments and displays the data to your organization in a dashboard on IBM Software Central by Red Hat Marketplace.

This helps your organization to:

  • Monitor license deployment across your organization with greater transparency to proactively manage license compliance
  • Allocate license resources to specific departments, projects, applications, or other internal organizations to right size procurement
  • Plan for future license needs based on historical usage data
  • Gain greater insight into software environments usage profilesOverall License Usage Management via IBM Software Central helps your organization achieve these goals by:
  • Aggregating IBM containerized software license data via IBM License Service
  • Deploying and configuring a Red Hat OpenShift Certified Operator from the Red Hat Marketplace to submit usage data for visualization in a unified dashboard
  • Identifying and displaying VM-based IBM software deployments, allowing you to evaluate workloads for modernization to containers
  • Providing customized tagging of license deployments to specific departments or projects

Learn more about IBM Container Licensing here.

IBM Software Central (Usage Metering Dashboard)
In this release, Cloud Pak for Data is supporting IBM Software Central. This software provides customers with a way to meter usage of their IBM hybrid cloud software across their organization. It aggregates and displays data from the IBM License Service and IBM License Management Tool (ILMT) in a single and unified view, consolidating license metrics and consumption data to be viewed in a convenient and simple manner. As briefly mentioned above, IBM Software Central also leverages the enhancements from the License Usage Management feature to consolidate and manage license usage.

IBM Software Central also displays additional metadata - such as what software is deployed, what the usage looks like, and who is using it - to provide greater insight into your current usage. 

With IBM Software Central, customers will be able to:

  • Manage license deployment
  • Allocate license resources to specific departments, projects, applications, or other internal organizations to right size procurement, and identify utilization rates
  • Plan for future license needs based on historical usage data

Learn more about IBM Software Central here.

 Image: Usage Metering Dashboard of IBM Software CentralImage: Usage Metering Dashboard of IBM Software Central

Vault Support
Security is critical when services use secrets such as database access credentials, SSL certificates, API keys, and authentication tokens. Customers are also subject to regulatory compliance that requires reporting and auditing of privileged credential usage, and forensic analysis of access. Storing and accessing credentials in plain text on applications and services poses a serious security risk. Users need tools that provide access and secrets management, both for system identities and user identities.

Users can now configure Cloud Pak for Data to integrate with external vaults where secrets with sensitive information are stored, and then use those secrets in Cloud Pak for Data. Cloud Pak for Data also includes an internal vault that you can use to store secrets. For enhanced security, secrets that are stored in a vault for credentials and for SSL certificates can also be used.

The Vaults and Secrets Management APIs introduce a centralized mechanism that is hardened by data encryption, secure access control, authorization checks, and auditing, which addresses credential management in Cloud Pak for Data across all services. Users can securely store and tightly control access to secrets (such as passwords, tokens, API keys, encryption keys, and certificates) to protect access to sensitive data; store credentials such as passwords, API keys, tokens, certificates, or other sensitive information within a vault; and access vaults by using Python in notebooks, scripts, and other code to store and retrieve secrets.

Learn more about the vault support feature here.

Data Privacy
The Data Privacy service is now available on Cloud Pak for Data v4.0.3. Data Privacy is a service that enables users to de-identify sensitive data. Integrated with Watson Knowledge Catalog (WKC), Data Privacy can dynamically de-identify cataloging data or generate static masked data copies according to user defined policies.

Some of the features include advanced masking options such as one-way tokenization, reversible encryption, and the ability to maintain data relationships. Users are also able to define the amount of data to mask when creating a masking flow to generate masked data copies, such as entire datasets or smaller subsets within their data. The masked data can also be added to catalogs and projects to ensure controlled access and security.

Ensure that your data is secured and protected in your machine learning and data cataloging workloads with the Data Privacy service.

Learn more about the service here. 

Image: Masking Sensitive Data on the Data Privacy Service
Image: Masking Sensitive Data on the Data Privacy Service

Select Supported Services for IBM Power10 and Power9

IBM Power9:

  • Watson Machine Learning Accelerator, Db2, and Watson Knowledge Catalog are supported for IBM Cloud Pak for Data v4.0.3

IBM Power10:

  • Watson Knowledge Catalog and Db2 are available for IBM Cloud Pak for Data v4.0.3 - this support does not take advantage of Power10 optimization capabilities

Learn more in the What's new topic in the Cloud Pak for Data documentation. 

1 comment



Wed January 05, 2022 06:20 PM

The new update is very complete since, as you mentioned, there is a very important point for customers, which in this case would be the IBM Software Central Support and the new data privacy service focused on the protection of confidential data.