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What does the perfect match sound like?

February 15, 2017 Leave a comment

ipad_mymatchesThe day after Valentine’s is also known as “Singles Awareness Day” and people flock to the stores for the left over candies now priced down to move. Some people who are looking today will go on a website to find their love ‘match’. But how does that really work in the background?

One website named “Plenty of Fish” is an online dating site that claims they are the largest online dating site, with over 90 million registered users. Every day 55,000 people from every corner of the Earth sign up on their website for help finding that special person.

Here are some staggering facts from their website:

  • PlentyOfFish has over 55,000 signups every day
  • 80% of usage on PlentyOfFish takes place via a mobile phone
  • Over 3.6 million people log on to PlentyOfFish every day
  • Every 2 minutes a couple confirms they met on PlentyOfFish
  • There are over 10 million conversations every day on PlentyOfFish
  • PlentyOfFish creates 1 million relationships every year

Now this is not a promo for the site but the data points are interesting. If you were looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with or just trying to make friends, some of the factors in you paying this site would be the speed and accuracy of their match making algorithm. When I talk to clients about technology and their pain points we talk alot about making the decisions faster with more accurate data. This is very similar to the data points above.

I saw this video on Youtube and thought it was pretty cool.

Categories: Flash, Uncategorized

IBM Spectrum Accelerate Upgrade V11.5.4

February 14, 2017 Leave a comment

IBM Storage announced today an update on their Spectrum Accelerate platform. This is part of the Spectrum Family which IBM has been selling under different names for over 20 years. The ‘Accelerate’ portion is based on the XIV grid technology and runs on VMware servers in a converged or even hyper-converged environment.

IBM Spectrum Accelerate V11.5.4 delivers the following functions with this release:

  • Data-at-rest encryption enables the use of SEDs to protect user data from exposure to unauthorized personnel
  • Hot encryption enables you to activate encryption at a later stage of the system lifecycle instead of at the time of installation
  • Support for VMWare vCenter/ESXi 6.0 enables VMWare-based systems to upgrade to a newer version of vSphere
  • Support for 450 GB and 15K rpm drives increases the diverse inventory of hard drives you can install
  • Hyper-Scale Manager is the next-generation, web-based GUI to deliver a holistic and intuitive user experience while sharing the same pane of glass with the whole A-line family: A9000, A9000R, and XIV Gen3

For more information about this release click here.

A great resource for all things on Accelerate, check out these Redbooks

Categories: Uncategorized

Software Defined Storage: Client Case

February 6, 2017 Leave a comment
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IBM Hyper Scale Manager: Where Can I Put My Data?

January 27, 2017 Leave a comment
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IBM Hyper Scale Manager: Volume Creation

January 26, 2017 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

How to Save Money by Buying Dumber Flash

October 19, 2016 Leave a comment

Quick and simple new way to look at storage. Stop buying flash arrays that offer a bunch of bells and whistles. Two main reasons, 1. It increases your $/TB and 2. It locks you into their platform. Lets dive deeper.

1. If you go out and buy an All Flash Array (AFA) from one of the 50 vendors selling them today you will likely see there is a wide spectrum not just from the media (eMLC, MLC, cMLC) but also in the features and functionality. These vendors are all scrambling to put in as many features as possible in order to reach a broader customer base. That said, you the customer will be looking to see which AFA has this or is missing that and it can become an Excel Pivot Table from hell to manage. The vendor will start raising the price per TB on those solutions because now you can have more features to do things therefore you now have more storage available or data protection is better. But the reality is you are paying the bills for those developers who are coding the new shiny feature in some basement. That added cost is passed down to the customer and does increase your purchase price.

2. The more features you use on a particular AFA, the harder it is to move to another platform if you want a different system. This is what we call ‘stickiness’. Vendors want you to use their features more and more so that when they raise prices or want you to upgrade it is harder for you to look elsewhere. If you have an outage or something happens where your boss comes in and say “I want these <insert vendor name> out of here”, are you going to say well the whole company runs on that and its going to take about 12-18 months to do that?

I bet your thinking well I need those functions because I have to protect my data or i get more storage out of them because I use this function, but what you can do is take those functions away from the media and bring it up into a layer above them in a virtual storage layer. This way you can move dumb storage hardware in and out as needed and more based on price and performance than feature and functionality. By moving the higher functionality into the virtual layer the AFA can be swapped out easily and allow you to always look at the lowest price system based solely on performance.

Now your thinking about the cost of licenses for this function and that feature in the virtualization layer and how that is just moving the numbers around right? wrong! For IBM Spectrum Virtualize you buy a license for so many TBs and that license is perpetual. You can move storage in and out of the virtualization layer and you do not have to increase the amount of licenses. For example. You purchase 100TB of licenses and your virtualize a 75TB Pure system. You boss comes in and says, I need another 15TB for this new project that is coming online next week. You can go out to your vendors and choose a dumb storage AFA array and insert it into the virtual storage layer and you still get all of the features and functions you had before. Then a few years go by and you want to replace the Pure system with a nice IBM flash system. No problem, with ZERO downtime you can insert the Flash 900 under the virtual layer, migrate the data to the new flash and the hosts do not have to be touched.

The cool thing that I see with this kind of virtualization layer is the simplicity of not having to know how to program APIs, or have a bunch of consultants come in for some long drawn out study and then tell you to go to ‘cloud’. In one way this technology is creating a private cloud of storage for your data center. But the point here is by not having to buy licenses for features every time you buy a box allows you to lower that $/TB and it gives you the true freedom to shop the vendors.

Storwize 7.7 Update

June 1, 2016 Leave a comment

From the press release…

IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software V7.7 delivers new software features for the Spectrum storage family

Spectrum Virtualize software delivers a powerful solution for storage virtualization, offering storage capabilities such as HA, real-time compression, EasyTier data tiering, encryption, distributed RAID, clustering for performance and capacity scalability, and enterprise local and remote copy services.

Spectrum Virtualize V7.7 adds the following new benefits:

  • Improved reliability, availability and serviceability:
    • NPIV (N_Port ID Virtualization) technology enables virtualization of the host port fabric of Spectrum Virtualize hardware which delivers continuous connectivity to hosts
    • Distributed RAID (DRAID) supports to encryption protection of data in DRAID volumes
    • GUI support to IP Quorum for easier setup and management of IP Quorum in HA solutions using Stretched Cluster or HyperSwap
  • Increased external virtualization flexibility through iSCSI, expanding the capability to support a broader spectrum of storage infrastructures
  • Higher performance with extended cache for read operations, potentially increasing cache hits and reducing disk reads
  • IP Link compression to improve usage of IP networks for remote-copy data transmission. This will reduce the volume of data that must be transmitted during remote copy operations, with compression capabilities similar to those experienced with existing real time Compression implementations.

Compression support is formally being added to the External Virtualization software package as a separate feature when used with Storwize V5030 and Spectrum Virtualize V7.6, and later. Support for compression is also included in the Full Feature Bundle under the External Virtualization PID with the Storwize V5030. Compression is not supported on first-generation Storwize V5000 machines.

The IBM SVC software licensing metric is being changed to Differential Licensing to help align the cost of SVC licenses with customer use cases. In Differential Licensing, licenses changes from per terabyte to per storage capacity unit (SCU).

SCU is defined in terms of the category of the storage capacity use case:

  • Category 1: Flash and SSDs
  • Category 2: SAS drives, FC drives, and systems using Category 3 drives with advanced architectures to deliver high-end storage performance
  • Category 3: Near Line SAS (NL-SAS) and SATA drives

Any storage capacity use case that is not listed above is classified as Category 1.

There are no changes to the licensing of SVC FlashCopy, SVC Remote Mirror, or SVC Encryption.

SCU licensing leverages current SW PIDs with new Part Numbers in Passport Advantage and Feature Codes in AAS.

Spectrum Virtualize encryption restrictions were reviewed. Optional Encryption software (PID 5641-B01 or 5725-Y35 for Passport Advantage) is not available in the following countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrzykhstan, Russia

Software requirements

  • SAN Volume Controller V7.7 (5641-VC7, 5641-CP7, 5725-M19, and 5725-H04) has the same software prerequisites as SAN Volume Controller V7.6.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for SAN Volume Controller Encryption Software V7.7 (5641-B01 and 5725-Y35) requires PID 5641-VC7.
  • Storwize V7000 V7.7 (5639-CB7, 5639-XB7, 5639-EB7, 5639-VM7, 5639-EV7, 5639-RM7, and 5639-CP7) has the same software prerequisites as Storwize V7000 V7.6.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software V7.7 is not available for Flex System V7000. Flex System V7000 V7.2 (5639-NZ7, 5639-EX7, 5639-RE7, and 5639-CM7) has the same software prerequisites as Flex System V7000 V7.1. Storwize V5000 V7.7 (5639-CT7, 5639-XT7, and 5639-ET7) has the same software prerequisites as IBM Storwize V5000 V7.6.
  • IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V5010 V7.7 (5639-SV1) requires the base software feature. All other features are optional.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V5020 V7.7 (5639-SV2) requires the base software feature. All other features are optional.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V5030 V7.7 (5639-SV3) requires the base software feature. All other features are optional.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V50x0 Expansion V7.7 (5639-SV4) requires the base software feature. There are no optional software features on the expansions.
  • For all current storage systems and host environments supported with the FlashSystem V840, go to the IBM FlashSystem V840 website.
  • For all current storage systems and host environments supported with the IBM FlashSystem V9000, go to the IBM FlashSystem V9000 website.

Hardware requirements

  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for SAN Volume Controller requires at least one pair of M System Storage SAN Volume Controller (2145-DH8, 2145-CF8, or 2145-CG8) storage engines for installation.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for SAN Volume Controller Encryption Software V7.7 (5641-B01 and 5725-Y35) requires the Encryption Enablement Feature ACE2.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V7000 requires at least one Storwize V7000 Control Enclosure (2076-524, 2076-112, 2076-124, 2076-312, or 2076-324) for installation.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software V7.7 is not available for the Flex System V7000. Storwize Family Software for Flex System V7000 V7.2 requires at least one Flex System V7000 (4939-A49, 4939-H49, or 4939-X49) Control Enclosure for installation.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V5000 requires at least one Storwize V5000 control enclosure (2077-112, 2077-124, 2077-212, 2077-224, 2077-312, 2077-324, 2078-112, 2078-124, 2078-212, 2078-224, 2078-312, 2078-324) for installation.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V5010 V7.7 (5639-SV1) requires at least one Storwize V5010 control enclosure (2077-112 or 124, 2078-112 or 124) for installation.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V5020 V7.7 (5639-SV2) requires at least one Storwize V5020 control enclosure (2077-212 or 224, 2078-212 or 224) for installation.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V5030 V7.7 (5639-SV3) requires at least one Storwize V5030 control enclosure (2077-312 or 324, 2078-312 or 324) for installation. The compression feature for V5030 requires the 64GB cache feature (#ACHD) on models 312 and 324 for machine types 2077 and 2078.
  • Spectrum Virtualize Software for Storwize V50x0 Expansion V7.7 (5639-SV4) requires at least one Storwize V50x0 expansion enclosure (2077-12F or 24F, 2078-12F or 24F) for installation.
  • FlashSystem V840 Software V7.7 (5639-FS7) requires an FlashSystem V840 Storage System (9846-AC1 and 9846-AE1, or 9848-AC1 and 9848-AE1) for installation.
  • FlashSystem V9000 Software V7.7 (5639-RB7) requires at least two FlashSystem V9000 Control Enclosures (9846-AC2 or 9848-AC2) and at least one FlashSystem V9000 Storage Enclosure (9846-AE2 or 9848-AE2).

Current support summaries, including specific software, hardware, and firmware levels supported, are maintained at their

respective support websites.

Planned availability date: June 10, 2016. Optional Encryption software (PID 5641-B01 or 5725-Y35 for Passport Advantage) is not available in the following countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrzykhstan, Russia

Categories: Uncategorized