Good news as 2020 comes to a close with the announcement of Cloud Pak for Integration 2020.4.1 and you can read the announcement letter here. The release date is December 11th 2020.
With one release of Cloud Pak for Integration every quarter, you are never far away from good news. And just in time for the end of year holidays, there are lots of glad tidings to be had when you read the latest updates about what has been improved.
The first item to cover is that this release is built on Red Hat OpenShift 4.6 EUS. We should explain what that means. Red Hat’s support lifecycle is primarily built around a continuous delivery model where releases are delivered rapidly, but the support on a particular release ends after there have been 2-3 follow on releases. Their lifecycle is explained here. The exception to this rapid cycle is the EUS (Extended Update Support) release which is supported for around 18 months. As Cloud Pak for Integration 2020.4.1 is built on the OpenShift 4.6 EUS release, IBM have announced that the 2020.4.1 release will be supported by IBM for a longer period, with fixes being made available until the end of March 2022.
Another major change in this 2020.4.1 release of Cloud Pak for Integration is the inclusion of entitlement to a limited version of IBM Storage Suite for IBM Cloud Paks. For offerings like Cloud Pak for Integration which are deployed on Kubernetes, there is a need for software defined storage to support storage which can be used for container deployments. Storage Suite for Cloud Paks includes a range of different storage options, and as part of the Cloud Pak for Integration entitlement some of these capabilities are included. There is entitlement, at no extra cost, to 12TB of allocated storage with Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, and also 12 TB of allocated storage that can, in aggregate, be used in IBM Spectrum Scale, IBM Spectrum Discover and IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud. These storage allocations can be used for 36 months, starting when the License is first accepted for the Cloud Pak for Integration 2020.4.1 release, and is limited to one period per customer ID. Should additional storage capacity be needed, or if the storage is needed beyond the 36-month time period, then customers should purchase additional entitlement to the Storage Suite for Cloud Paks offering, which also includes additional storage options. There is a blog dedicated to the Storage Suite inclusion here.
There are other enhancements to Cloud Pak for Integration 2020.4.1. The DataPower Gateway Virtual Edition now also includes the Integration Module which was previously only available to standalone DataPower deployments. And there are further enhancements and additions to other features such as improvements to the Operators, more connectors including a Kafka Connect. Along with this Kafka connector, it is fast to create Event Driven flows in App Connect Designer and then deploy them.
As part of the continuing investment in Kafka that IBM is making, the choice for Kafka has been extended with a strategic relationship with Confluent having been announced.
Finally, for deployment on AWS, there is now Quick Start for Cloud Pak for Integration on AWS available to help deploy a highly available instance of Cloud Pak for Integration on AWS in minutes.
As we contemplate the end of 2020, which has been an unusual year, we can at least see the benefits of the ongoing enhancements to the Cloud Pak for Integration, with plenty more to come in 2021.