Global Data Science Forum

Why You Should Check Out IBM Z Day, September 15

By Tim Bonnemann posted Fri September 11, 2020 04:40 PM

On Tuesday, September 15, come and experience IBM Z Day, a free one-day virtual conference for anyone and everyone interested in IBM’s enterprise platform for mission-critical applications. Hear from global thought leaders about industry trends and innovation.


We checked in with Elizabeth K. Joseph, an IBM Developer Advocate for IBM Z, to provide a little bit of background and share with us which parts of the program might be of particular interest to the Data Science Community.

For starters, she recommends the following two sessions:

  • Demo: IBM Watson Machine Learning for z/OS overview and demo
    Maggie Lin, IBM
    “IBM Z” track, 3pm Eastern
  • Machine Learning on IBM Z – Student Innovation & Winning Solutions
    Akshey Nama, President of SacHacks & Kavihesha Kanagalingam, Student at University of California Davis (UC Davis)
    “Voice of Z” track, 3.30pm Eastern
A little bit of background on IBM Z:
When mainframes were first developed, the only organizations that needed computers were ones that were doing complex calculations or collecting processing vast amounts of data. While they are capable of so much more today, the core workloads on IBM Z are often still data-focused, and even the processors are specifically designed with large caches so that they are incredibly fast at data processing.

This starts with merely storing and processing data with specialized software that's been doing this job for decades (and improving all the time!), and extends to things like hardware-driven compression, decompression, encryption, and decryption.

One of the latest software releases, which came out with the IBM z15 hardware release, was Data Privacy Passports. These are kind of like access controls for data, so anyone accessing the data needs to call back to make sure they have permission to access the chunk of data. Check out this great techie article over on IBM Developer (includes a Jupyter notebook in the example): Store and share data safely with IBM Data Privacy Passports for developers
By the way, there will be a session about this topic:

  • Demo: Securing data as it moves – How can you do that?
    Roy Panting, IBM
    “IBM Z” track, 11am
More from Elizabeth:
On the more research-y data side (and maybe a bit of a stretch, but hey), Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) now exists for IBM Z. Pretty cool!
Of course, there’s a session about that, too:

  • Fully Homomorphic Encryption meets the mainframe
    by IBM researchers Flavio Bergamaschi & Eli M. Dow
    “IBM Z” track, 11.30am Eastern
Last but not least, one more pointer from Elizabeth:
Finally, at a Datathon at the University of California Berkeley in November, students hooked up Jupyter notebooks to an IBM Z environment that was prepared for them, and that’s where they did their data crunching. It was very fast. The event was written about over on the IBM Z and LinuxONE Community, and the diagram of how it worked is worth having a look at: Datathon for Social Good: IBM Z & UC Berkeley
Hope we piqued your interest. In case you get a chance to attend the event next week, please feel free to let us know in the comments how you liked it. Thanks!