IBM revenues fall for third quarter in a row despite cloud surge


Keumars Afifi-Sabet

20 Oct, 2020

The revenues of computing giant IBM declined by 2.6% year-on-year during the third quarter of 2020, with the company reporting $17.6 billion of income fuelled chiefly by a surge in cloud revenue.

This dip represented the third quarter of consecutive year-on-year revenue decline for the company, with IBM’s systems division, global business services and global technology services and global financing sector suffering over the last three months.

The positive trend in terms of the firm’s cloud business also continued, following a 30% spike in cloud revenue during the previous quarter, and 19% growth in the three months before that.

The company’s cloud computing divisions, particularly its cloud and data platforms division, led by Red Hat, grew by 7% year-on-year, bucking the wider business trend. Within this segment, cloud and data platforms grew 20%, while cognitive applications grew 1%. 

These financial results have emerged only days after the company announced it plans to divide its business in half, spinning its infrastructure services unit into a separate entity while going all-in on the cloud.

“The strong performance of our cloud business, led by Red Hat, underscores the growing client adoption of our open hybrid cloud platform,” said IBM CEO Arvind Krishna. 

“Separating the managed infrastructure services business creates a market-leading standalone company and further sharpens our focus on IBM’s open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities. This will accelerate our growth strategy and better position IBM to seize the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity.”

The company’s plans to pour all its efforts into its cloud business will, on paper, be justified based on these most recent financial results, with the general health of cloud computing improving following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The firm’s global technology services division, which includes infrastructure and cloud services as well as technology support services, contracted by 4% year-on-year, with cloud revenue within this segment up 9%. 

The systems division, meanwhile, saw revenues of $1.3 billion, down 15%, driven by declines in IBM Z and Storage Systems. This is reflective of the impact of product cycle demands, the company said.

As part of the spin-off, IBM wants to create two separate companies by the end of 2021, with the to-be-cleaved infrastructure business, dubbed NewCo, making way for IBM to focus on AI capabilities and hybrid cloud.

Atlassian to end on-prem support by 2024 in major cloud pivot


Keumars Afifi-Sabet

19 Oct, 2020

Australian software company Atlassian will end support for all of its on-premise server products from 2024 as it plots a major shift to the cloud.

From 2 February 2021, customers will no longer be able to purchase or request a quote for a new server product, while prices will increase for a host of the company’s on-prem products, with a view to discontinuation three years later. 

The 10 services which will no longer be supported from 2 February 2024 include Jira Service Desk Server, Bitbucket Server and Jira Software Server, among other core Atlassian products.

“From staying ahead of the latest regulatory and security requirements to expanding our ecosystem with a new development platform and introducing flexible plans, we’ve continuously invested in our cloud tools so that your teams can work flexibly and innovate quickly,” said Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar.

“But, when it comes to our mission of unleashing the potential of every team – including yours – you need us to move faster and go even further.”

Atlassian will offer on-prem support in the form of bug fixes for server products until 2022, after which point only critical flaws will be addressed, through to 2024.

The company says offering three years of support and maintenance will help customers transition to the cloud, in addition to loyalty discounts for eligible customers to upgrade to its cloud or data centre products at a lower price.

The company’s Atlassian Migration Program (AMP) also provides customers with a step-by-step guide, free migration tools, a dedicated migration support team, and a free cloud migrationtrial for up to 12 months.

For customers for whom three years is not enough, the firm will also offer a robust self-managed enterprise edition, Atlassian Data Center. This will include new capabilities and integrations that makes it easier to use cloud and data centre products in harmony.

HPE to build Czech Republic’s most powerful supercomputer


Bobby Hellard

16 Oct, 2020

HPE has secured a deal to build a supercomputer in the Czech Republic in 2021, what is considered to be the fastest of its kind in the country.

The development is part of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, an initiative between the EU and the tech industry to coordinate and combine resources to develop world-class exascale supercomputers within the continent.

The new installation has the working title “Euro_IT4”, referencing the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center, an R&D facility in the Czech Republic, where it will be housed.

HPE will power the project with its Apollo 2000 and Apollo 6500 systems, which are purpose-built to support high-performance computing (HPC) workloads, such as modeling and simulation, with AI and other data-intensive applications. 

IT4Innovations has said it plans to use the system to boost weather forecasting, advancing drug discovery – including a cure for COVID-19 – and to develop greener and sustainable infrastructure.

“HPE is uniquely positioned to provide the complete infrastructure and services that the next era of supercomputing demands, and together we are delivering one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe that will benefit science, industry and society as a whole,” said Vit Vondrak, Director at IT4Innovations.

The Euro_IT4 will feature over 500 Nvidia A100 Tensor core GPUs and network for targeted AI performance. Once built, it’s anticipated it will sit somewhere between the 20th and 50th fastest supercomputers in the world, with an anticipated peak performance of 15.2 petaflops per second.

Nvidia itself has recently announced plans to build the UK’s most powerful supercomputer as part of its acquisition of Arm. The ‘Cambridge-1‘ supercomputer will also be aimed at medical research and would hypothetically rank as the 29th most powerful supercomputer in the global TOP500 list.

AMD’s ‘Hawk‘ supercomputer in Stuttgart, Germany, is thought to be the fastest general-purpose system for scientific and industrial computing in Europe. That installation consists of 44 racks and 5,600 computer nodes, providing around 25 petaflops per second of compute power.

That, however, pales in comparison to the world’s most powerful supercomputer, the ‘Fugaku‘, which is the number one listed by the TOP500 benchmarking index. Powered by Arm processors, the Fugaku reached 415.5 petaflops per second.

Google will start killing off Hangouts in 2021


Bobby Hellard

16 Oct, 2020

Google will begin transitioning customers from Google Hangouts to Google Chat starting next year, with the former set to be officially killed off.

Chat, a messaging service that was previously only available to paying G Suite users, will be made free as a service within Gmail but also as a standalone app.

The announcement signals the beginning of the end for Hangouts, which will slowly lose features and services as they are shifted over to Chat and other areas of Workspace, the company’s new G Suite desktop app.

The transition will start sometime in the first half of 2021, Google said in a blog post, as tools will be made available to help automatically move Hangouts conversations, contacts and conversation history to Chat. The details are still a little vague at this stage, but Google said it will share more guidance soon.

What we do know is that Hangouts will lose support for features such as Google Fi and Google Voice, early next year. It will also lose its call phones feature, to comply with new telecommunications regulations being introduced in the EU and US. The tech giant said it will send notifications to Google Workspace admins to detail the final migration stages in the “coming months”.

Google users won’t be surprised by the move away from Hangouts, as it was originally hinted back in 2018. According to The Verge, Google has said the switch will be gradual and will include a period of time where both Hangouts and Chat will both be available. However, eventually all free users and Workspace customers will be moved over to Chat where it will then fully replace Hangouts.

Killed by Google


Wayne Williams

15 Oct, 2020

It’s become a fact of web life that Google giveth and Google taketh away. Just as you’ve become reliant on one of its free tools for managing your photos, streaming your music library or getting your daily news fix, the search giant decides to put it permanently on ice.

Sometimes this happens because Google has launched what it believes to be (but often isn’t) a superior service, while at other times it’s simply because Google has lost interest in that product, even if its users haven’t. It is running a business, after all. 

Fortunately, few Google tools are unique, and there are usually good alternatives available for its abandoned products. In this feature, we round up the best free replacements for tools that have been consigned to the Google graveyard over the last seven years, or that are about to be killed off very soon.

Google Cloud Print

Lifespan: 2010-2021

Why Google killed it: Cloud Print, Google’s cloud-based printing solution, makes it possible to send web pages to printers from any device. Google announced plans to kill the service off late last year, with an execution date of 1 Jan 2021. The company didn’t give a clear reason for the closure, although it did say that Chrome OS, its cloud-based operating system, would be offering improved built-in printing controls.

What to use instead: Google suggests switching to one of its free printing partners, the best of which is PaperCut Mobility Print. There’s even a handy guide that helps you migrate to the service from Cloud Print.

Google Play Music

Lifespan: 2011-2020

Why Google killed it: Google currently has two music-streaming services – Google Play Music, which is the default music player on many Android devices, and YouTube Music – but it now only wants one. Google has been warning users for a while that it will be shutting down Play Music and, in a blog post in August, it confirmed that YouTube Music will replace the service by December 2020.

What to use instead: Although Google would like you to switch to YouTube Music, and is making it as easy as possible to do so, now is the perfect time to move to a better choice. Spotify has a huge library of songs, with both free and paid-for tiers – and, like Play Music, it lets you import and play locally stored audio files.

Hangouts

Lifespan: 2013-2020

Why Google killed it: Google has a number of different messaging apps and is trying to streamline its offerings. It shut down Allo last year (more on that later) and is killing off Hangouts Classic – its most popular messaging app, with more than a billion installs on Android – in December 2020. It might seem strange for Google to shut down its most successful service, but the company is focusing on business communication, which in the light of the pandemic-fuelled rise in working from home, seems like a smart bet.

What to use instead: Google wants you to communicate using Android’s built-in Messages app, or either of Hangouts’ direct successors – Google Meet or Google Chat (its Slack alternative for businesses). There are much better choices available, however. WhatsApp is packed with features including voice and video calls, is available for your phone, computer and the web, and your friends are probably already using it.

Google Chrome Apps

Lifespan: 2010-2020

Why Google killed it: Not to be confused with Chrome extensions, Chrome Apps are hosted or packaged web applications that run using Google’s browser. They are downloaded from the Chrome Web Store and look much like a typical desktop app. The chances are you don’t use these, and that’s the reason Google decided to pull the plug on them. Support for them on Windows, Mac and Linux will end in December 2020 (Chrome OS users will continue to have access), and they will be killed off entirely by June 2022.

What to use instead: Chrome Apps are a nice gimmick, but in truth they don’t serve any great purpose. Rather than installing an app and running it in your browser, just navigate to the actual online service. You’ll get pretty much the same experience.

One Today

Lifespan: 2013-2020

Why Google killed it: Google has a non-profit arm that aims to solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges. One Today was an Android app that made it possible for users to donate money to charities and see exactly how that donation was going to be spent. Google killed it off at the start of February 2020, explaining that “in the last few years, we have seen donors choose other products to fundraise for their favourite non-profits”.

What to use instead: Thinking of You is a free app for Android and iOS that lets you send a thought to someone you know, along with a donation to one of its many supported charities, including Shelter, Stroke Association, Make-A-Wish, Kidney Research UK, Parkinson’s and Children with Cancer UK. You can also donate directly to charities, and Thinking of You gives all transaction fees to the charities on its app.

Datally

Lifespan: 2017-2019

Why Google killed it: Google’s Play store is home to millions of Android apps, including many produced by the search giant itself. Datally was a useful free app (called Triangle when it originally launched in June 2017), that helped users manage their mobile data by viewing and blocking the activity of installed apps. Google never gave a reason for why it pulled Datally from the Play store in October last year, but it’s not the only app to vanish in this way.

What to use instead: Data Usage – Data Manager is a good free alternative for Android that can display daily data usage for apps you use and warn you if you go over your limit. It hasn’t been updated in over a year, but it still works fine with newer versions of Android.

Google Daydream

Lifespan: 2016-2019

Why Google killed it: There was a time when virtual reality seemed destined to be the next big thing, and if you couldn’t afford a full-fledged headset such as the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, you could just drop your Android phone into a VR headset like Google Daydream instead. Developers didn’t flock to it however, and consumers didn’t buy it in any great numbers either, so Google ceased development, stating: “There hasn’t been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset”.

What to use instead: If you can afford it, buy a dedicated headset; if you can’t, you can pick up cheap phone-based VR headsets from Amazon and eBay. There’s also Google’s own Cardboard viewer which costs from just £15 (it’s only made out of cardboard, after all) and works with both Android devices and iPhones.

Google Trips

Lifespan: 2016-2019

Why Google killed it: This app for Android and iOS was designed as a trip planner that could pull information on upcoming excursions from Gmail and offer day guides to over 200 major cities. Google killed off the Trips app, but still offers much of the same functionality in in Google Maps and on the web at google.com/travel.

What to use instead: TripIt is a very similar app available for Android and iOS that helps you organise your travel plans (when you have some again). Just forward your confirmation emails to TripIt and it will build a master itinerary for you, and provide travel stats and carbon footprint details. It also helps you get around and lets you keep colleagues and friends informed of where you are.

Inbox by Gmail

Lifespan: 2015-2019

Why Google killed it: Inbox by Gmail provided a different way to access the search giant’s webmail service, and was designed to cut through the junk in a busy inbox and present you with only what’s important. You could even snooze emails for a later time. In shutting down Inbox, Google said it had been “a great place to experiment with new ideas”, but it now wants to focus on just Gmail.

What to use instead: If you miss Inbox’s clean design, then you can bring it back by installing Simplify Gmail. This Chrome extension was created by Michael Leggett, Gmail’s lead designer from 2008 to 2012, and the co-founder of Google Inbox.

Google+

Lifespan: 2011-2019

Why Google killed it: Google+ was the search giant’s attempt to take on Facebook and Twitter, and although Google did everything possible to push it – including integration with the company’s other services, such as YouTube and Google Drive, and continual redesigns to make it easier to use – few people were interested and Google eventually threw in the towel, citing “low user engagement”.

What to use instead: Facebook or Twitter would be the obvious choice, but there are lesser-known services to consider such as the currently invite-only Webtalk or MeWe, which is a privacy-focused social network with no ads.

Goo.gl

Lifespan: 2009-2019

Why Google killed it: Google’s URL shortener was a useful service for shrinking long, unwieldy web addresses and making it easier for people to share links and measure traffic. Despite its popularity, Google made the decision to shut it down in 2018 (bit.ly/3kmiica) due to competition from other services and people moving from “desktop web pages to apps, mobile devices, home assistants, and more”.

What to use instead: Bit.ly is our preferred choice of URL shortener. It lets you shrink long URLs, customise the links, and view the number of clicks for each one – so you can quickly see how many people have looked at things you’ve shared. It’s free to use, but the paid-for version offers extra features.

Google Allo

Lifespan: 2016-2019

Why Google killed it: Rather than be put off by the surfeit of mobile messaging apps, in 2016, Google decided the world needed two more and rolled out Allo – with Google Assistant baked in – and Duo (for video calling). While Duo still exists (for now), Google killed off Allo in 2019 to focus instead on its Messages app.

What to use instead: You could use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or any of the many other available chat apps. Telegram is a good alternative to Allo, but focuses more on speed and privacy.

Chromecast Audio

Lifespan: 2015-2019

Why Google killed it: Although Google’s Chromecast is best known as a device that can stream video content directly to your television set, there was also a version that could be used to cast audio directly to your speakers from an iPhone, iPad, Android device or PC. It cost £30 and came with a 3.5 mm analogue stereo patch cable and power adapter, but was killed off after the company introduced its own range of Google Assistant-powered smart speakers. The technology lives on in the main Chromecast, however.

What to use instead: A smart speaker such as Amazon’s Echo or Google’s own Home/Nest is great for playing audio, but if you want to ‘cast’ music from your other devices, then the Roku Express streaming media player (£25 from Amazon) is ideal. It can stream video at up to 4K Ultra HD, and also lets you cast music (and photos) to your TV. 

For a software solution, try Nero Streaming Player for Android or iOS. The free app can cast music (as well as photos and videos) to your smart TV or any other UPnP/DLNA compatible Media Player.

YouTube Video Editor

Lifespan: 2010-2017

Why Google killed it: YouTube Video Editor was a web-based tool you could use to edit and enhance your movies and apply some effects before sharing them on YouTube. While it was a great idea, YouTube says as few as 0.1% of creators bothered with it (many probably didn’t know it existed in the first place), so Google decided to drop it.

What to use instead: It’s better to edit video directly on your PC rather than in the cloud, and Shotcut does this with no fuss. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux, this free tool can handle all the main media formats and the editing is done on a multi-track timeline. When you’ve finished making your movie, go to the Export tab and select YouTube to upload and share your video in MP4 format. See page 28 for details.

Google Now

Lifespan: 2012-2016

Why Google killed it: Google Now was a card-based search system for iOS and Android that let you view all sorts of relevant information. Cards would appear when you needed them, and it integrated with your installed sites and apps. Google Now also served as the first iteration of its digital assistant, and was summoned by tapping your phone’s button or by saying “OK, Google”. It was eventually replaced by Assistant, which offers two-way spoken interaction.

What to use instead: If you’re heavily invested in Google’s ecosystem, use Google Assistant. If Apple is your preferred choice, then Siri will be more suitable. For everyone else, Amazon Alexa is the digital assistant you should opt for. It’s embedded in a number of Amazon products, such as Echo and Fire TV, and can do everything from answering questions and giving you the news to controlling your lights and reading you audiobooks.

Picasa

Lifespan: 2002-2015

Why Google killed it: Picasa was a big favourite for many people, and provided an easy way to organise and edit your photos. It included lots of fun extras such as face recognition, collages and filters, but was eventually replaced by its cloud-based successor, Google Photos.

What to use instead: While you can (and probably do) use Google Photos to back up your phone’s photos to the cloud, there are desktop services that are more in keeping with Picasa’s original design, features and spirit, such as DigiKam, which was recently updated and now lets you organise your photos by face. See last issue’s Workshop 1 for details.

Orkut

Lifespan: 2004-2014

Why Google killed it: Before Google+ became Google’s main focus, the search giant had Orkut, an online community that was created by employee Orkut Büyükkökten. It was designed to help users stay in touch with friends and was hugely popular in India and Brazil. 

It’s not hard to guess why Google closed it. As the company’s engineering director Paulo Golgher said in a blog post: “Over the past decade, Facebook, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to bid Orkut farewell.”

What to use instead: While the obvious choices are Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you should also consider the Android/iOS app-based Hello, which is a new social network founded by Orkut Büyükkökten and a small group of ex-Google engineers. It’s different from other services in that it aims to tie people together, based on their common interests.

Google Reader

Lifespan: 2005-2013

Why Google killed it: Subscribing to RSS/web feeds using Google Reader could save you a serious amount of time and effort, especially if you visited a lot of websites on a daily basis. Instead of having to go to each site individually, Reader would fetch all the latest headlines for you, aggregating them in an easy-to-read layout. Also, because it was web-based, you could view your subscriptions from anywhere, including on your phone. 

Sadly, in 2013, Google made the shocking decision to kill off Reader, stating: “While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined”. 

What to use instead: In the run-up to Reader’s closure, plenty of rival services surfaced as potential successors, but many have since fallen by the wayside. One that has continued to serve users well is Feedly, which lets you add and organise feeds and tweets, has light and dark modes, and offers mobile apps and browser add-ons. The free version is perfectly adequate for most users, but there’s a paid-for Pro edition with extra features and speedier feed updates from $6 (around £4.50) per month. 

Zoom adds support for in-meeting apps and live events


Sabina Weston

15 Oct, 2020

Zoom users will soon be able to enjoy in-meeting apps from the likes of Trello, Dropbox, Slack, and many other collaborative tools.

The video-conferencing platform has announced the launch of ‘Zapps’ – apps made just for Zoom which will power workflows during and in between meetings.

According to Zoom, Zapps was designed to provide developers with a fast and flexible web view canvas to create apps, viral distribution, as well as IT deployment and manageability.

So far, 36 platforms have announced demos of their ‘Zapps’, including popular collaborative tools such as Trello, Docket, and Slack, as well as Dropbox and Salesforce.

Zapps are to become generally available by the end of the year and will be open to developers soon after.

The announcement was made during Zoom’s virtual conference Zoomtopia 2020, where the company also revealed that it would be launching an online event platform for Zoom users to create and host free, paid, and charity events. Called OnZoom, the new platform will become available internationally from 2021. It is currently available as a public beta for US users.

Additionally, Zoom has added new enhancements to its SDKs, aiming to help developers and companies enrich their own custom video-based applications with Zoom’s platform. The feature is now available on Android, iOS, and web.

The company also developed new functionalities for its core unified communications platform, such as enhanced voice command options and a suite of whiteboarding enhancements.

Lastly, Zoom said that it will begin rolling out Phase 1 of 4 of its end-to-end encryption (E2EE) offering, almost four months after first committing to the technology, which will first be available as a technical preview from next week.

Zoom users, regardless of whether they pay for the platform or not, will be able to host up to 200 participants in an E2EE meeting on Zoom, providing increased privacy and security for your Zoom sessions.

Speaking at Zoomtopia 2020, CEO Eric S. Yuan said that the “one thing we’ve learned in this challenging time is that remote work does work”.

“The future will bring a hybrid of the best of in-person and virtual communications. The announcements we make today at Zoomtopia demonstrate that Zoom is built for this moment and beyond. We have the platform to support what the world needs – today, tomorrow, and well into the future,” he added.

Google Glass now supports Meet video calls


Bobby Hellard

15 Oct, 2020

Google Cloud has announced the integration of Google Meet and Google Glass that allows remote teams to see through the eyes of workers in the field.

The integration is available now in beta on the Enterprise Edition 2 of Google Glass, but only for customers with a paid Workspace account.

Workspace is Google’s new desktop UI that allows users to access G Suite apps, such as Gmail, Drive and Meet, via one platform, rather than endlessly cycling between each one.

This now includes an integration with Google Glass and Meet to provide more support for those still working on-site. The cloud giant has tested its Meet for Glass app in data centres, given the reliance on on-site maintenance, allowing for repair work to be carried out by a single on-site engineer with the support of others watching virtually.

With the Meet for Glass integration, users can connect with a remote team and diagnose issues, review physical equipment, and potentially train employees without being in the same place. Google suggests this is far easier than simply connecting via a laptop or “bulky” webcam as it lets technicians work hands-free and gives the remote participants an optimal view of any situation.

“Our mission has never been more critical than in today’s remote work environment,” the company said in a blog post. “Many businesses are adapting to new policies and procedures that keep workers safe. As a result, on-site essential workers – those whose roles cannot be carried out remotely – have had to pivot the ways they work and collaborate.”

This is an idea that Microsoft worked on with the very first HoloLens demos in 2015, using the Skype app to video call a walkthrough for fixing a light switch. The Skype for HoloLens app has since been discontinued and the company uses its newer Dynamics 365 Remote Assist program instead.

Nokia embraces Google Cloud as it shifts to “cloud-first” strategy


Sabina Weston

14 Oct, 2020

Nokia has signed a five-year deal with Google which will see the Finnish telecom giant migrate its on-premise IT infrastructure to Google Cloud

Although the terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, the migration, which includes data centresservers, and various software applications, is already underway and is expected to take between 18 months and two years.

The decision is said to be driven by Nokia’s operational shift to a “cloud-first IT strategy”, which aims to “enhance collaboration and innovation” among its staff as well as accelerate the delivery of its services to customers.

According to the company, the deal with Google Cloud will see Nokia lower its energy consumption as well as new hardware costs.

Nokia’s VP of Global IT Infrastructure Ravi Parmasad said that the company is “on a digital transformation path that is about fundamentally changing how we operate and do business”. 

“This is crucial for how our employees collaborate so that we continue to raise the bar on meeting the needs of our customers. We are very pleased that Google Cloud, with its engineering and operational excellence, is joining our transformation work to help us deliver on the many goals we have set.

Given Nokia’s digital ambitions and plans, this is an ideal time for Nokia to be taking this step with Google Cloud to accelerate our efforts; and doing all of this in a secure and scalable way,” he added.

Meanwhile, Google Cloud’s president Rob Enslin said that it’s an honor to work with Nokia to help modernize its infrastructure on Google Cloud”. 

“We look forward to bringing our leading networking, data analytics, AI/ML, and other technologies to empower Nokia to deliver a cloud-first strategy and better serve its customers,” he said. 

“We are excited to help Nokia revamp its IT infrastructure with our backbone network and our approach to data security, using advanced software-defined networking. We look forward to providing the full menu of our capabilities to help Nokia deliver on its cloud-first strategy and reach its performance requirements.”

The announcement comes weeks after it was revealed that Nokia was chosen by BT to replace Huawei as its 5G radio access network (RAN) vendor, making the Finnish telecom its largest infrastructure partner and equipment provider. The partnership will also see Nokia replace Huawei in BT’s 2G and 4G networks.

IBM updates Cloud Pak with ‘industry-first’ security tools


Sabina Weston

14 Oct, 2020

IBM has announced updated capabilities for its Cloud Pak for Security platform, including an “industry-first” built-in data security hub.

Launched almost a year ago, Cloud Pak for Security focuses on delivering security solutions for multi-cloud and hybrid environments.

IBM has announced that the platform will soon receive a new built-in data security hub which aims to provide analysts with additional insight on the location of their sensitive data across hybrid cloud environments.

This “industry-first” tool will also show who has access to it, how it is used, and the best way to protect, and will facilitate data breach responses which, according to a new report by The Ponemon Institute and IBM Security, currently take over six months to identify and contain.

IBM also announced that Cloud Pak for Security will soon feature pre-built integrations for five additional threat intelligence feeds from third-party sources: AlienVault OTX, Cisco Threatgrid, MaxMind Geolocation, SANS Internet StormCenter, and Virustotal. This list is expected to be expanded further as early as 2021.

Additionally, IBM announced the launch of new dedicated security services that will aid organisations in updating their security operations using Cloud Pak for Security. This will include end-to-end threat management, managed security services, as well as strategy, consulting, and integration support.

All three features are expected to become available in the final quarter of 2020.

IBM Security VP Justin Youngblood said that the company “will be the first in the industry to bring together external threat intelligence and threat management alongside data security and identity, helping organizations to modernize their security operations and create the foundation for a zero-trust security strategy”.

“Complexity is the greatest challenge facing our industry, forcing resource-strapped security teams to manually connect the dots between disparate tools and sources of security data,” he said. “Cloud Pak for Security is built on open, cloud-native technologies from the ground up to connect any tool within the security ecosystem.”

The announcement comes days after IBM revealed plans to split its business in half by spinning off its infrastructure services unit into a separate public company.

IBM updates Cloud Pak with ‘industry-first’ security tools


Sabina Weston

14 Oct, 2020

IBM has announced updated capabilities for its Cloud Pak for Security platform, including an “industry-first” built-in data security hub.

Launched almost a year ago, Cloud Pak for Security focuses on delivering security solutions for multi-cloud and hybrid environments.

IBM has announced that the platform will soon receive a new built-in data security hub which aims to provide analysts with additional insight on the location of their sensitive data across hybrid cloud environments.

This “industry-first” tool will also show who has access to it, how it is used, and the best way to protect, and will facilitate data breach responses which, according to a new report by The Ponemon Institute and IBM Security, currently take over six months to identify and contain.

IBM also announced that Cloud Pak for Security will soon feature pre-built integrations for five additional threat intelligence feeds from third-party sources: AlienVault OTX, Cisco Threatgrid, MaxMind Geolocation, SANS Internet StormCenter, and Virustotal. This list is expected to be expanded further as early as 2021.

Additionally, IBM announced the launch of new dedicated security services that will aid organisations in updating their security operations using Cloud Pak for Security. This will include end-to-end threat management, managed security services, as well as strategy, consulting, and integration support.

All three features are expected to become available in the final quarter of 2020.

IBM Security VP Justin Youngblood said that the company “will be the first in the industry to bring together external threat intelligence and threat management alongside data security and identity, helping organizations to modernize their security operations and create the foundation for a zero-trust security strategy”.

“Complexity is the greatest challenge facing our industry, forcing resource-strapped security teams to manually connect the dots between disparate tools and sources of security data,” he said. “Cloud Pak for Security is built on open, cloud-native technologies from the ground up to connect any tool within the security ecosystem.”

The announcement comes days after IBM revealed plans to split its business in half by spinning off its infrastructure services unit into a separate public company.