Last week IBM made news by announcing innovative new storage systems that are optimized for workloads such as transaction processing and real-time analytics, reflecting the company's $6 billion annual investment in R&D.
Among the new products is a midrange disk storage system, called the IBM Storwize V7000, designed to efficiently and cost effectively manage the torrent of data flowing into companies so it can be swiftly delivered for such workloads as transaction processing -- like the growing volume of transactions completed from the Web and mobile and embedded devices. The new announcements include technologies that can eliminate the need to repeatedly make copies of the same data; scale-out storage technologies to support growth -- particularly of unstructured data like video and photos -- and high-performance workloads like cloud computing; and technologies to place the most critical data on fast, dynamic storage devices so it can be more quickly made available for workloads like analytics and mobile transaction processing. Examples include:
- IBM System Storage Easy Tier software, which was invented by IBM Research and can improve performance by up to 200% (3). Easy Tier automatically moves the most active data (such as credit card transactions) to faster solid-state drives (SSDs) to prioritize and provide quick access to data for emerging workloads like analytics, while moving secondary data (less urgent data to be saved, for example, for regulatory requirements) to more cost-effective storage technologies;
- The IBM ProtecTIER deduplication technology that IBM acquired in 2008 to help clients eliminate duplicate copies of data and significantly improve storage efficiency;
- The IBM Real-time Compression Appliances -- technology that IBM acquired earlier this year to help clients reduce physical storage requirements by up to 80%, based on data from currently installed appliances (4);
- The XIV high-end disk storage architecture that IBM acquired in 2008. XIV's architecture enables it to adapt to changing workloads and deliver consistent high performance;
- IBM's Scale-out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), invented by IBM Research to support multiple petabytes of storage in a single file system. Clients can also use XIV and SONAS together to create a complete cloud storage solution; and
- The IBM Information Archive, which combines tape and disk storage to deliver clients a tiered storage system that can protect data for long-term retention while helping optimize costs.
The IBM Storwize V7000 system further demonstrates that IBM is sharing its most innovative storage technologies across its portfolio. For example, the system includes a graphical user interface (GUI) modeled after the popular XIV user interface designed to significantly reduce system set up and administration; Easy Tier software; and industry-leading storage virtualization software that has been shown to double productivity (5).
IBM also introduced a range of other storage products, including:
- IBM System Storage DS8800, which based on internal studies, can offer up to 40 percent faster performance than its predecessor, the IBM System Storage DS8700 (6). The DS8800 will next year support IBM Easy Tier.
- Updated SAN Volume Controller software that includes Easy Tier, an improved administrator GUI and increased scalability as compared to the previous version of the technology;
- IBM Systems Director Storage Control software that manages storage, servers and network technology through a single interface, reducing storage management complexity, risk and cost;
- IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center v4.2 software that has been enhanced for midrange systems; and
- Implementation Services for Disk Systems - IBM Storwize V7000, using highly skilled storage specialists who will provide planning, implementation, configuration, testing and basic skills instruction. Using IBM services will enable clients to use in-house resources for higher priority business initiatives and can accelerate the return on investment in IBM storage technology.
"Organizations are struggling with the volume and evolving nature of the data they're already collecting. The IBM Storwize V7000 will deliver clients a new level of storage efficiency that can help them better store and secure their data," said Brian Truskowski, general manager of IBM storage. "IBM is combining home-grown storage innovations like our Easy Tier technology together with acquisitions of industry leading storage technologies such as XIV to deliver our clients a truly unmatched portfolio of storage solutions."