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From enterprise to edge: embeddable databases unleash new capabilities

Sr Offering Manager, Hybrid Data Management, IBM

Delivering meaningful analytics in an efficient, reliable way that takes data of all types into account remains a challenge for many organizations. This is particularly true for localized analytics performed at the Internet of Things (IoT) edge. Embeddable, small-footprint databases are making this task easier by providing distributed edge analytics with the reliability and security organizations require.

Patrice Favenecc of Hilscher spoke about an example at Think 2019. Hilscher will deploy its netIOT gateway for L'Oréal, which was looking for better packaging automation. Using the embedded IBM Informix database, Hilscher will help L'Oréal utilize the industrial automation data within the edge IoT gateways on its shop floor, helping deliver insights faster. This will promote greater operational efficiency. Having more rapid insight into the production line will mean L'Oréal could better adapt to meet changing consumer demand with higher quality.

Embeddable databases are upgrading to make processes smoother and even more valuable. IBM announced Informix V14.10 at Think 2019, revealing a host of new capabilities to clients and partners in attendance. Now, after beta testing with more than 25 customers and partners, it is available to the public. IBM Informix support for time series and spatial data, its reliability with continuous availability and cost-effective administration have been augmented to address database challenges and opportunities from the core of the enterprise to the edge of the network.

Less time wasted

Even databases with powerful analytics should be easy to install and use. Otherwise, database administrators (DBAs) waste time on low-value, repetitive tasks instead of more significant projects. To this end, automation, simplified processes and an intuitive user interface are key, particularly when the database must be installed and used across many distributed locations or edge devices.

With its support on Docker, IBM Informix helps developers get started without manual installation procedures through its Innovator-C and Developer editions. Once installed, support for SQL Common Table Expression helps application developers improve the readability and maintenance of complex queries and write powerful recursive queries, helping achieve deeper insights with less effort.

Monitoring databases and collaboration is also easier thanks to InformixHQ, which shows how key performance metrics change over time. It also tracks how efficiently IBM Informix is running workloads even when a user has stepped away from the screen. Customizable alerts can notify users of issues through email, Twilio, or PagerDuty. DBAs can focus on more important activities without fear of missing an important update.

Analytics, security and reliability

Whether a database is embedded across thousands of IoT devices or sits at the heart of a multibillion-dollar business, one thing is constant: powerful analytics delivered securely and reliably are essential. Having the wrong type of analytic capabilities or taking too long to process them could result in missed opportunities and lost revenue. Security breaches often result in significant delays and introduce other regulatory and consumer trust issues. Organizations can mitigate these potential issues from the start with analytic capabilities that match business needs and simplified or automated security and reliability functions that help organizations prepare for the worst with minimal effort.

IBM V14.10 aims to aid in this approach with:

  • Analytics capabilities for a wide range SQL, NoSQL, geodetic and time-series data
  • Support for IoT edge gateways running the 64-bit ARM V8 current platform
  • Enhancements for time-series data such as sub-second timestamps and a new function to find missing readings for a specific IoT sensor
  • Core and memory limit increases for the Workgroup edition of IBM Informix
  • Storage compression is included in the Enterprise edition, which is capable of introducing higher performance and greater cost effectiveness through storage reduction
  • Enhancement of log replay performance of remote secondary servers by up to a factor of five, which enables client applications to sustain near-zero latency between primary and secondary servers, allowing for faster recovery time in disaster scenarios

One beta client has already reported improved ability to scale and cluster resiliency with IBM Informix V14.10. Uptime has also been increased while maintaining simplified administration thanks to IBM Informix 14.10 allowing several in-place alter enhancements, renaming indexes and constraints, performing loopback replication for table reorganizations and code set conversions, and the ability to identify client sessions through the use of labels.

Security can also receive a boost thanks to additional automated support. Remote storage of encryption at rest keys in Amazon Key Manager is now possible, reducing DBA effort to encrypt data backups. Encrypting the encryption key itself provides even greater security. Transport Layer Security (TLS) support has also been increased to 1.2 for a higher level of network security.

Learn more about IBM Informix V14.10 and how it can help you take advantage of analytics opportunities within the enterprise or at the edge of your operations in our upcoming webinar.