I have closet in my house that I keep all kinds of computer gear. Most are things from some fun project that I was working or a technology that is past is prime. There is everything from Zip drives to coax termination to a Ultra-wide scsi interface for an external CDROM. Why do I keep these things in a box in a closet? Great question that usually comes up one a year from some family member that sticks there head in there looking for a toy, coat or looking to make a point.
But on more than one occasion I have had to go to the closet of ‘junk’ to get something that helped me in completing a project. A Cat5 cable for my son’s computer, an extra wireless mouse when my other one died. Yes I could go through it all and sort it out and come up with some nice labels for it all, but that takes time. It’s just easier to close the container lid and forget about it until I realize I need something and its easy enough to grab it.
Now this is not a hoarding issue like those you see on TV where people fill their house, garage, sheds and barns with all kinds of things. Those people who show up on TV have taking the ‘collecting’ business to another level and some call them ‘hoarders’. But if you watch shows like “American Pickers” on the History Chanel, you will notice that most of the ‘hoarders’ know what they have and where, a meta data knowledge of their antiques.
When you look at how businesses are storing their data today, most are looking to keep as much as possible in production. Data that is no longer serving a real purpose but storage admins are too gun shy to hit the delete button on it for fear of some VMWare admin calling up to see why their Windows NT 4 server is not responding. If you have tools that can move data around based on the age or last accessed then you have made a great leap into making savings. But these older ILM systems can not handle the growth of unstructured data of 2017.
Companies want to be able to create a container for the data and not have to worry if the data is on prem, off prem, on disk or tape. Set it and forget it is the basic rule of thumb. But this becomes difficult due to the nature of data as it has many different values depending on who you ask. A 2 year old invoice is not as valuable to someone in Engineering as it is to the AR person who is using it to base their next billing cycle.
One of the better ways to cut through the issue is to have a flexible platform that can move data from expensive flash down to tape and cloud with out changing the way people access the data. If the user can not tell the difference where his data is coming from and does not have to change the way he gets to it then why not look at putting the cold data on something low cost like tape and cloud tape.
This type of system can be accomplished but using the IBM Spectrum Scale platform. The file system has a global name space across all of the different types of media and can even use the cloud as a place to store data without changing the way the end user will access the data. The file movement is policy based and allows admins to not ask the user if the data is needed, it simply can move it to a lower cost as it gets older/colder. The best part is because of a new licensing scheme, customers only pay the TB license for data that is on disk and flash. Any data that sits on Tape does not contribute to the overall license cost.
For example: 500TB of data, 100 TBs that is less than 30 days old and 400 that will greater than 30 days. If stored on a Spectrum Scale file system, you only have to pay for the 100 TBs that is being stored on disk and not the 400 TB on tape. This greatly reduces the cost to store data as while not taking features away from our customers.
For more great information on the IBM Spectrum Scale go here to this link and catch up.
The Super Bowl is over, March Madness is only a few weeks away and IBM is releasing more storage goodies. This latest round of software and hardware is the accumulation of hard work from our men and women that work in IBM research from around the world. But more than just shiny new objects, IBM is changing the story and becoming smarter with their solutions.
Our clients continue to grow and change the way they do business. We know the forces of cloud, analytics, social business and mobile computing are redefining business and creating IT challenges. Continuing with the promise to make the planet ‘smarter’ IBM is constantly listening to their clients and trying to solve their problems with real solutions. These solutions are based on 100 years of innovation and belief that IBM can really make a difference in your business.
Today, IBM is announcing Smarter Computing as the infrastructure that enables a smarter planet. This infrastructure is based on IBM products that are designed to help you transform your IT and meet the needs of what is coming next. There are products from each of our platforms including Power Systems, Pure Systems and of course Storage Systems. These platforms are designed to emphasize what matters most to our clients: Cloud, Data and Security.
Cloud is a term that is thrown around and can be defined by a variety of latest trends and jargon. Two of those that I think are important have to be efficiency and scalability. Data growth along with the demand to lower CAPEX/OPEX is fueling the cloud acceptance. For businesses, a smarter storage solution would demand a better efficiency that is virtualized and automated.
Two of the announcements today fit this profile. One is the IBM SmartCloud Storage Access. The self-service portal enables end-users to dynamically provision storage for use within minutes rather than requiring administer intervention which could take days. With a few clicks users can request and receive storage capacity, share files with other users and your storage administrators can easily monitor and report usage. The end user is guided through a catalog of services based on actual needs and is matched with a storage class that meets their needs.
The other cloud offering is based on a new model of the XIV family of storage. Last year IBM released its third generation of the XIV platform and today it makes that platform more efficient with 15% better energy efficiency. Also included is support for Windows 2012 server environments which includes space reclamation. Finally, this new model now offers 10GbE host ports that will offer up to a 5x sequential increase in iSCSI throughput compared to the previous generation 1GbE ports.
Data is the second design part of a smarter storage platform. As your data grows it is important to begin an automation and self-optimizing plan to accommodate data growth. One of the toughest concepts for businesses to achieve is increasing the speed of which data is gathered, processed and delivered while reducing costs.
Today IBM announces three pieces of IT infrastructure that will move customers closer to that goal. The first comes from our Real Time Compression Appliance. IBM announced a new model, STN7800, that doubles the performance from the previous model. This solution has beat all of the other compression models on the market and IBM is now adding even more performance on top. With RTCA customers can now save by storing more without having to purchase the storage up front and post process the compression. It also can update the data without having to uncompress the data which is unique to only IBM RTC.
Next is the addition of NFS connectivity to the ProtecTIER platform. This new interface enables users with NAS to backup data and dedupes it for better utilization. There was also improvement of the GUI and change in the upgrade to save time and unnecessary effort.
Last of the data design is the new XIV platform and some improved caching algorithms that our 300 mathematicians came up with. Yes IBM has the largest (and smartest) math department in the world. This improvement has been clocked to give a 4.5X performance bump for random workloads compared to previous versions.
Outside of the Smarter Storage announcements, IBM is releasing products in both the Power Systems and Pure Systems lines. Improving on the Power7 line, a Power 750 and 760 Enterprise server were announced along with Power Entry Servers and PowerLinux servers with Power 7+ processors and architecture.
Over on the Pure Systems side, a huge focus on MSP, VDI and interoperability are major topics of an all-day webcast. Other aspects around the Pure Systems platform include new models for entry x6 and Power based system.
IBM is very focused on meeting the needs of the customers with the infrastructure of a Smarter Planet. As customers look for ways to cut costs while dealing with the data growth, IBM is poised to take market share from those who still base their product on a 1992 technology.
To find more information about IBM Smarter Storage go here.