This week is the week of IBM Think 2021. Unlike in past years this isn’t being held in Las Vegas or San Francisco, but is, as it was in 2020, a virtual event. This time it is condensed to be just 5 hours long, being held on May 11th for the Americas, and May 12th for AP and EMEA. As Think is a chance to share both current and future plans about our products with our customers, we took the chance to do an early announcement letter for our 2Q release of Cloud Pak for Integration (2021.2.1).
This early announcement letter ensures that as we have announced there will be a 2Q release, that we can talk about it more freely, given we try to only talk about products and capabilities that will be definitely delivered. And this announcement ensures we can talk about a known deliverable. Given we are still early in our quarterly delivery cycle, there isn’t much included in the announcement letter at this time, so expect another letter later in June and closer to our actual availability date. This future letter will confirm some of the content we weren’t able to include in this letter.
What specific new features and capabilities were announced on May 4th when we released the announcement letter? At this point there were 3 new features or enhancements called out, and one of them has already been delivered.
The feature already available can be described as Integrated API Authoring. Let’s consider a requirement to build a new API to expose access to a business application or data. You need to define and build the API, but it needs access to the application and data it is designed to provide access to. And then in order to publish the API for use, you would need to apply security policies to it. In late April the App Connect Designer component of Cloud Pak for Integration was updated with a new Operator. This brought together the ability to perform all these steps in a simple and linked approach meaning you not only can do all these steps quickly and simply, but you can actually be done and ready in literally minutes, all from within the same tool. We can even show this working if you watch the webinar found at this link.
What else was in the letter? We also stated there are updates in the Automated generation of API Tests. The previous release (CP4I 2021.1.1) included new features to automatically generate tests to run against the APIs being built based on analysis of the OpenAPI calls. This automatic generation of test coverage speeds up deployment and can improve quality of deployed APIs. There will be further enhancement in this area to boost the generation and relevance of the tests for APIs.
And finally in this letter we talked about Storage. An important enhancement in the CP4I 2020.4.1 release was the inclusion of a limited entitlement to IBM Storage Suite for Cloud Paks. This provided an amount of Software defined storage for customers with entitlements to Cloud Pak for Integration. This type of storage can be helpful for customers who are deploying in Kubernetes environments to help ensure that their storage is able to provide the right quality of service when used in support of containerised deployments. The entitlement provided access to 12TB of OpenShift Container Storage, as well as a total of 12TB of storage provided by Spectrum Scale, Spectrum Discover or Spectrum Virtualise. Which storage environment is best suited to which component can be found in the CP4I documentation. In Cloud Pak for Integration 2021.2.1, this offer is being enhanced with the addition of 4TB of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus. As data is increasingly seen as critical, it becomes important to ensure that data is not only secure and available, but can be protected and resilient in case of disaster recovery, cyber security issues, and also meets data retention and compliance regulation needs. Spectrum Protect Plus is designed to protect your data in hybrid cloud environments, where you might need it most.
As mentioned, we can expect a further announcement letter later in June with more content to be announced as being delivered in Cloud Pak for Integration 2021.2.1. For now, I recommend you catch some of the sessions at IBM Think 2021. Maybe check out a couple of other webinars here (Smart Mapping) and here (new MQ innovations). Maybe even try out Cloud Pak for Integration today.