IBM has announced 55 new and updated server and storage technologies that can help clients gain actionable insights from data, increase IT capacity and deliver new services faster to create profitable business opportunities. This blog post offers a short summary of all the announcements by area of interest. The new and enhanced offerings include affordable business analytics systems, automated tools for implementing security and compliance standards, and starter kits for establishing private clouds.
As the world’s increasing demand for data and services puts a strain on IT resources, organizations become trapped in a vicious cycle in which a rigid IT infrastructure and lack of trusted data leads to reactive or risky decision making. Attempts to overcome these challenges through additional IT investments often result in a more sprawling and costly infrastructure.
The new offerings, highlighted below, address these challenges with smarter computing technologies for business analytics, integrated storage, optimized systems and virtualized data centers.
Designed for Data
Companies that handle vast amounts of information need to be able to analyze that data to make better business decisions in real time. IBM is delivering new entry-level business analytics systems, accelerated database analytics and expanded data storage options. Highlights include:
- IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator incorporates the Netezza data warehouse appliance into the IBM zEnterprise System for faster analytic responses. The blending of Netezza and System z technologies enables the merging of online transaction processing (OLTP) systems, which facilitate and manage transaction-oriented applications typically for data entry and retrieval transaction processing, with analytics into a single platform for operational business analytics. The appliance plugs into IBM DB2 for z/OS database on zEnterprise 196 (or z114) and is designed to speed response time for a wide variety of intensive analytics, which ultimately can provide faster business analysis. At a time when organizations are demanding access to customer purchase histories, customer behaviors and real time sales trends, IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator helps clients sift through this massive amount of data and make the information relevant and actionable in a timelier manner.
- IBM Smart Analytics System 9700 and IBM Smart Analytics System 9710 utilize innovative technologies to deliver an end-to-end data warehouse and business intelligence solution on IBM zEnterprise System. The new systems can support a data distribution hub, transactional analysis platforms and modernized reporting systems, or provide a framework for comprehensive predictive analytics. IBM clients can now build a mainframe-based operational business analytics solution at an entry-level price.
- IBM POWER7 processor-based IBM Smart Analytics System 7710 and x86 processor-based IBM Smart Analytics System 5710 are single server, all-in-one systems that deliver business analytics and reporting services faster and at a lower cost than previous IBM integrated solutions. Engineered for the rapid deployment of business-ready solutions in days and not months, they offer a breadth of capabilities including business intelligence reporting, analysis, dashboards, data mining, cubing services and text analytics.
- IBM Storwize V7000 Unified midrange disk system brings efficiency and simplicity to data storage with file and block storage located on the same system with a world-class graphical user interface. It provides automatic policy-driven movement of files to the desired drive type to help manage costs and simplify administration, the ability to either scale within a system or scale out by clustering two systems together, and enhanced remote mirroring options.
- IBM System Storage DS8000 Release 6.2 enterprise disk systems introduce greater performance and improved capacity optimization capabilities that allow organizations to manage diverse workloads efficiently and automatically without administrator involvement. Easy Tier enhancements include automated data migration across three-tiers of storage, as well as automated data rebalancing within a single tier, which can help clients improve performance where and when it’s needed. Moreover, with only two parameters to set, Easy Tier is easy to set up and manage.
- IBM XIV Storage System Gen3 enterprise disk system was introduced in July with an advanced hardware upgrade that can improve performance for the most demanding workloads. Now, IBM is adding support for 3TB disk drives that increase capacity by 50 percent in the same physical footprint and enable an increase in usable capacity of up to 243TB per rack (based on IBM internal measurements). IBM is offering several other innovations such as the IBM XIV Mobile Dashboard, an Apple iPad application available at no cost that enables XIV system status to be monitored from anywhere. Separately, IBM this week announced the first Storage Performance Council (SPC) result with the XIV Storage System as part of the SPC’s announcement of the new energy extensions for SPC-2 (SPC-2/E) and SPC-2C (SPC-2C/E). XIV Storage System produced an SPC-2/E result which demonstrated its ability to handle Big Data as well as providing associated energy use data. The SPC-2/E result shows the XIV Storage System provides outstanding enterprise price-performance, in addition to Large File Processing (LFP) performance that is faster than all SPC-2 submissions from competing vendors to date.(1)
Tuned to the Task
Systems that are optimized across the infrastructure and tuned for specific tasks enable businesses of all sizes to achieve superior economics. IBM is providing new technologies that automate security and compliance of virtualized environments and multi-system virtualization capabilities to reduce cumbersome IT sprawl. Highlights include:
- IBM PowerSC technology provides automated tools for security and compliance of virtualized environments on Power Systems running PowerVM virtualization technology. Centrally managed reporting for compliance measurement and audit can reduce the cost of cloud computing security in virtualized data centers. Clients can automatically apply security profiles and generate reports about compliance, which can reduce administrative costs involved in configuring and auditing systems that require particular industry standards.
- IBM z/VM 6.2 offers new multi-system virtualization capabilities within the software to help clients avoid virtual machine sprawl. Up to four instances of z/VM can be clustered together as members in a Single System Image, where they can be managed as a single z/VM system and share system resources.
- IBM Systems Director v6.3 includes improvements in performance, scalability and usability for simplified management of optimized systems. Enhancements in the new version include simplified usability functions and fewer installation steps, the ability to manage more endpoints from a single interface, and streamlined database management with an embedded DB2 database.
Managed in the Cloud
IBM cloud infrastructure solutions can accelerate deployment and maximize efficiency of businesses who want to achieve rapid, flexible delivery of high value services. IBM now offers solutions that help clients easily establish virtualized data center environments, scale cloud file systems more efficiently and improve system utilization. Highlights include:
- IBM SmartCloud Entry solution, delivered by IBM Starter Kit for Cloud, offers the building blocks to create private clouds on virtualized IBM System x and Power Systems hardware. The solution provides simplified initialization and administration for cloud environments on Power and x86 systems, standardization of virtual machines and improved operations productivity with an easy-to-use, self-service interface. Organizations can also quickly and easily scale to more advanced cloud solutions as business demands and workloads increase. See related October 12, 2011 press release, “IBM Introduces New Portfolio of Private Cloud Offerings.”
- zEnterprise Starter Edition for Cloud offers customers an entry-level Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud delivery model for Linux on System z with Tivoli Provisioning Manager. This easy-to-deploy, highly secure, resilient turn-key “cloud in a box” extends the scope of the enterprise cloud with centralized management of the entire zEnterprise system.
- IBM BladeCenter Foundation for Cloud is a comprehensive, converged cloud computing platform that combines server, storage, networking and management technology that allows clients to quickly create an x86-based virtualization environment that is simple to deploy, manage and scale. BladeCenter Foundation for Cloud comes in three sizes – small, medium and large – designed to fit the business needs of any size business, based on budget, storage size or performance, and is capable of helping smoothly manage a typical multi-rack datacenter as if powered by a single chassis.
- IBM Active Cloud Engine scales cloud file systems efficiently by moving files where and when they are needed. It gives companies fast access to billions of files and dramatically improves the management and efficiency of cloud storage. Capabilities for global clouds are available on IBM Scale-Out Network Attached Storage R 1.3 (SONAS) and for mid-sized clouds on Storwize V7000 Unified systems.
- IBM Systems Director VMControl 2.4 now offers extended virtual image management and system resource pool capabilities on System x for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), the next generation open source hypervisor. The new cloud-ready virtualization capabilities help improve system utilization and reduce time to deploy new workloads.
- IBM System Networking delivers smarter data center networking with faster, flexible and standards-based solutions designed to increase performance while helping to reduce costs, space, power and complexity for public and private clouds, as well as analyzing big data. New offerings include IBM 16Gbps Fibre Channel SAN backbones and switches that can ease migration to private clouds, the new 1.28Tb/sec 40GbE IBM RackSwitch G8316 that helps flatten networks for better performance and simplicity, the OpenFlow-enabled 10/40GbE IBM RackSwitch G8264 to increase client control, iFlow Director for high performance, low cost IBM BladeCenter-based appliances for mobile and Web 2.0 applications, and the new IBM Networking Operating System for today’s dynamic, virtualized data centers.
Financing provided by IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing arm of IBM, helps credit-qualified clients make the transition to smarter computing with zero percent financing for servers, storage and software or deferred payments up to six months. Financing helps clients accelerates their cash flow break-even point by spreading upfront costs over time, enabling them to utilizing cash reserves for other strategic investments. For more information on IBM’s financing options, visit http://www.ibm.com/financing/us/lifecycle/acquire/hardware.