[Software Defined Storage (SDS)] is getting a lot of attention lately by press, analysts and technology providers such as IBM, causing organizations large and small to take notice. SDS describes a set of storage access and data management services that can deliver what IT administrators are most interested in these days:
Lower storage costs
Less reliance on specific storage systems
Simplified data and storage management
Improved utilization of existing resources
International Data Corporation (IDC) published a [taxonomy for Software Defined Storage] which defines software-based storage as a storage software stack running on commodity, off-the-shelf computing hardware. SDS should offer a full suite of storage services and federation of the underlying storage to enable data mobility, according to IDC.
The interesting thing is, while the name Software Defined Storage is relatively new, IBM has been delivering technology and client solutions that match the SDS definition for over a decade.
Matching IDC’s definition, [IBM SAN Volume Controller], introduced in 2003, is an x86-based appliance running Linux code, providing federated storage virtualization across heterogeneous storage platforms and enabling advanced storage services. SAN Volume Controller has been proven to scale to multiple petabytes. This core technology is also included in IBM’s midrange Storwize storage systems. To date, over 55,000 SAN Volume Controller and Storwize systems have been shipped worldwide, making IBM one of the most popular business class storage virtualization solutions.
Sitting on top of the storage virtualization platform, [IBM Virtual Storage Center] offers industry leading end-to-end storage management with analytics driven data management and policy-based automation to enable self-tuning, self-optimizing storage. According to recent research by International Technology Group, IBM’s approach can reduce storage Total Cost of Ownership by [up to 72% compared to EMC solutions in large enterprises], and [up to 35% compared to VMware storage management solutions in mid-size environments].
At the top of IBM’s storage software stack are interfaces that simplify storage, including:
[OpenStack integration], for automated storage provisioning by cloud applications
VMware vSphere integration, which provides VMware administrators with a familiar interface for simplified storage provisioning and management.
IBM advanced graphical interface that dramatically simplifies end-to-end troubleshooting and performance management, provisioning, and other time consuming storage administration tasks
[IBM Cloud Storage Access] user self-service portal, sold separately
While other vendors scramble to build new offerings for SDS, IBM is extending proven technology that can address your needs today and help you migrate to new era workloads whenever you’re ready.
See [IBM Software Defined Storage at the IBM Edge conference] next week in Las Vegas. Software Defined Storage sessions will be presented at Exec Edge and Tech Edge, and we’ll have live demos in the Solution Center.
If you can’t attend Edge, look for video interviews with Brian Jeffery, Managing Director of International Technology Group, and Steve Wojtowecz, VP of Storage and Network Management Software Development, on [TheCUBE, by Wikibon], live on Monday, May 19 and afterwards on demand.
Learn more about VSC and the rest of IBM’s storage software portfolio at: http://www.ibm.com/software/products/category/storage-software.
About the author:
Jason Davison is the Segment Manager for Storage Virtualization and Cloud Solutions in IBM’s Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure product management group. Views expressed are my own.
TSM 7.1 has caught everyone’s attention with its bold moves and richer features. Robert Amatruda of IDC in an IDC Flash mentioned that IBM's focus on integrated management, hypervisor protection, more intuitive user interface, and greater scale puts TSM on a much stronger competitive footing relative to its competitors.
And you will see this trend to continue.
If you are curious about what’s next in Tivoli Storage Manager, you are invited to attend session sTM02 at Technical Edge to learn about enhancements that are on the horizon or are being considered. The session provides a detailed preview of selected future enhancements in the next TSM release and beyond. Join us to discuss potential future direction in areas such as data protection for virtual machines, disaster recovery, data lifecycle management, and simplified administration.
Disclaimer: IBM’s statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at IBM’s sole discretion. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion.
Data protection for virtual machines
IT companies are increasingly leveraging virtualization and cloud solutions. IBM has recognized this trend and responded with delivery of TSM 7.1. Expected future enhancements in this area include improving the user experience for file-level recovery on VMware and extending data protection for Hyper-V. In sessions sTM02 and sTM12, you can also learn about data protection for VMware-hosted applications that cover in-guest, off-host and hybrid solutions.
IBM plans to extend support for replication, including recovery of damaged data and ability to use different retention policies at the source and target TSM servers. These enhancements will offer greater replication flexibility and enable replication to protect against localized failures and large scale disasters.
Data Lifecycle Management
In the future, IBM may enhance TSM’s ability to extend the retention for specific recovery points. Another possible enhancement would improve tracking of historical information on data objects. These enhancements would improve management of data and compliance with regulations.
IBM has greatly simplified the TSM administrative experience, and will continue to do so by extending the Operations Center. Future enhancements will offer greater visibility, control and automation for TSM management. Visit the TSM booth at Edge for a live demo of Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center.
Come and join us for Edge session sTM02, “Preview of Future IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Enhancements” on Monday 19th May 4:15-5:15 p.m. at Murano 3303, The Venetian, Las Vegas, U.S.
With the popularity of virtual server environments such as VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, and KVM, comes varied deployments from basic file servers to clustered database applications. One data protection method cannot adequately address the many unique data protection requirements in these environments.
Session sTM12 One Size Does Not Fit All – Data Protection in Virtual Server Environments discusses strategies to protect applications and databases deployed in virtual server environments. Discover the best way to choose the appropriate tools for protecting these environments such as Tivoli Storage Manager Data Protection for VMware, FlashCopy Manager for VMware, and traditional Tivoli Storage Manager data protection agents.
The session will primarily focus on Microsoft SQL and Microsoft Exchange deployments in VMware. Beyond traditional in-guest and off-host data protection for these applications, this session will explore hybrid data protection methods which take the best of breed approach to meet backup and recovery objectives including recovery time objectives, recovery point objectives, and examine other decision factors such as who is initiating the recovery and the granularity of the recovery.
By now, everyone in the IT Industry is convinced about the benefits of virtualization. Server virtualization – Yes! But storage virtualization? That’s not an easy one!
In Server virtualization, we simply divide one physical server into several virtual environments that saves you lots of money and helps wring the best out of your infrastructures, but did you know that an inadequate storage system can actually cause the economic benefits of server virtualization to fall through because virtual machines can consume large amount of storage?
So, why is it that Storage Virtualization still isn’t as popular as Server Virtualization?
In storage virtualization, we group physical storage from multiple network storage devices so that they look like a single storage device that can be managed from a single console. This can raise several complexities when –
Data center has storage products from different vendors
Some vendors provide storage virtualization for their own hardware only
You need availability of virtualized storage features from vendors in non-virtualized offerings
Throw in the further dilemma of choosing where to put your virtualization: hosts? network? or arrays? Or perhaps being bound by vendor lock-in clause?You probably have been buying additional devices and systems on an ad hoc basis to meet new storage demands, but think of the advantages you could gain with a storage architecture (read storage virtualization) that allows you to upgrade when needed and in a cost effective manner! Now that’s enough to convince you on the virtues of storage virtualization……
Let’s find out why IBM’s VSC is the best bet in the market.
A recent ITG report compared IBM VSC solution to other large vendor (EMC, VMware) over a period of 5 years to determine savings,
And the verdict is – IBM Virtual Storage Center (VSC):
The only solution to address large-scale multivendor virtualization
Averaged 72 percent less than EMC for overall costs of ownership
Averaged 35 percent less than VMware over 5-year total cost of ownership
Supports more than 200 platforms -- all of the major vendors -- as well as from many smaller vendors.
You can get behind the calculations and analysis done in the two ITG reports to understand the how and why of it. As one user shared when asked to describe VSC in simple terms, “It works.”
For those interested in FlashCopy Manager for UNIX and Linux and FlashCopy Manager for VMware support for EMC devices...
Available starting today (May 9, 2014), the Rocket Device Adapter Pack, which extends IBM FlashCopy Manager's ability to take snapshots of application data stored on storage devices attached to UNIX & Linux platforms, includes support for EMC VNX devices. This support of VNX enables snapshot-based block-level local backup and recovery, supporting VNX Snapshots, EMC SnapView snapshots and volume cloning with SnapView Clone. The VNX adapter includes support for RAID, meta, and thin provisioned volumes.
Also available at this time in the Rocket Device Adapter Pack are enhancements to the Symmetrix (VMAX and DMX) support which was first made available in December 2013. The Symmetrix support now includes integration with the remote mirroring option (SRDF), which is similar to FCM integration with IBM's metro mirror / global mirror option taking a snapshot of the mirror target. In addition, snapshot operations can be performed on the local side of SRDF remote mirror pairs while IBM FCM's copy services are set for local mode. Further, MAX_VERSIONS can now be set to ADAPTIVE so that the Symmetrix adapter will automatically manage the number of snapshots that are kept, removing the oldest snapshots when necessary.
Take a look at the Rocket Software product info link for more information.
IBM is helping clients improve their data economics through faster and more efficient data storage management from IBM. The storage innovations that helped IBM's Watson in the Jeopardy! challenge are now available to clients across all industries.
With huge advancement in data analytics, winners and losers will be determined by how fast organizations can act on data insights. In the era of Big Data and analytics, IBM believes it is critical to accelerate reliable data access while dramatically reducing its cost.
With that in mind, IBM will deliver storage in new ways to meet Big Data demands. Coming Monday 12th May, IBM storage, IBM Watson & IBM Research all will come together for Storage Signature Moment. Clients, partners, press & analysts highlight IBM’s work in Software Defined technologies and shows how we are ahead of the competition at Data Fast Forum.
IBM will be unveiling innovations to accelerate access to large scale data at Fast Data Forum Software Defined Storage, Superior Business Results May 12.
IBM’s storage transformation connecting IBM System and Technology Group with IBM Software, IBM Watson, and IBM Research is evident and you are going to hear more about
Accelerating access to data – IBM’s elastic storage can move petabytes of data and billions of files in microseconds versus days, providing faster access to unstructured and structured data.
Changing the economics of storage technology – IBM elastic storage addresses the increasing volume, velocity and variety of data growth by reducing storage costs up to 90 percent.
Transforming business models with the cloud – Storage is a pain point for most businesses deploying cloud. IBM’s elastic storage is open providing support for multiple physical storage devices and allowing organizations migrate to an agile, cloud-based storage environment and manage it effectively without having to replace existing storage systems, generating dramatically increased value from existing investments.
Join us for this intimate gathering and discussion with senior executives, clients and influencers.
Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems and Technology Group
IBM: Michael Factor, IBM Research – Israel, DE
IBM: Tom Clark, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect Storage Software, C&SI (Tivoli SWG)
IBM: Vincent Hsu, IBM Fellow, CTO Storage (SDS, STG)
Client: Alan Malek, Director of IT, Cypress Semiconductor
Partner: Matt Richards, Vice President, Products, ownCloud
Register for this event now and learn about the breakthroughs from IBM research and other key initiatives around Software Defined Storage.
And if you cannot attend the event at Boston, we will bring the event to you through livestream! Watch the 90-minute influencer and thought leadership event online that highlights IBM’s work in Software Defined technologies and demonstrates how its solutions are helping clients across industries gain faster access to Big Data analytics to improve business performance.
If you are wondering about the ideal data protection plan for your company’s needs, I would suggest you explore the opportunities of hybrid cloud architecture. Investigate on what results you could achieve by choosing a backup technology that is capable of supporting a hybrid approach covering both on-premises and offsite cloud capabilities.
Today’s best hybrid cloud backup architectures combine the fast performance of on-premises technology with an innovative cost model for remote protection in ways that hardly any pure-disk/pure-onsite option can. Jason Buffington, senior analyst, ESG in his paper Hybrid cloud Backup delivers more for less shares his perspective on the increasing importance of a hybrid approach which combines on-premise and cloud capabilities to meet today's data protection requirements.
If that’s sound interesting join us for a webcast “Hybrid Cloud Backups: How to Get More for Less” on 29th April 2014 at 12 am ET. Infoweek will host the LIVE webcast, featuring Analyst speaker, Jason Buffington, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).
Attend this webinar to learn how to:
Understand how organizations are managing the data backup process
Gain insights into the pros and cons of offsite cloud capabilities
Hear the truth why a hybrid approach to a backup architecture would be better
Learn what to look for in a Hybrid Backup Solution
Register for this webinar now and learn why a hybrid approach is a far more realistic and effective way to go for companies of nearly all sizes.
Check out the new IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Protecting Microsoft SQL Databases Hosted in VMware whitepaper that describes how to use TSM for Virtual Environments - Data Protection for VMware and TSM for Mail - Data Protection for Microsoft SQL server together to protect your VMware environments hosting VMs with Microsoft SQL Server.
The goals of this paper are to demonstrate how Tivoli Storage Manager can be used to accomplish the following:
Provide optimized backups of the virtual machine leveraging VMware’s vStorage APIs for Data Protection and changed block tracking technologies
Provide the Microsoft SQL Server database administrator (DBA) the appropriate tools to augment the virtual machine backups with Microsoft SQL Server log backups
Provide the Microsoft SQL Server DBA the appropriate tools to recover a Microsoft SQL database to a desired recovery point using the virtual machine backups in conjunction with the log backups
Have a great day!
Tivoli Storage Manager Entry is here! We announced an exciting new offering to the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) family on 4/15 that is specifically designed for entry and mid-market customers. This is a product with enterprise capabilities at a low price point. It includes TSM native deduplication, node replication, policy management features, advanced support for virtual environment protection, online and centralized data protection for databases, email servers, and SAP. It also has an easy to understand "managed server" charge metric. We are excited that the customers with a smaller environment can experience the data protection security our large customers have enjoyed for many years, with less cost.
Why we are doing this? Because the growth is in the entry and mid-market. According to an Enterprise Strategy Group survey, around 38% businesses have less than 50 physical and virtual servers. That's what we are targeting for with TSM Entry - customers with less than 50 servers that are running Windows or Linux platforms. With our sustained success in the data protection space for large enterprises, we now have a very competitive product to be successful at the entry mid-market. Watch out, competitors.
Our products are getting simpler and easier with our evolution towards an intuitive customer experience. The brand new user interface, TSM Operations Center, introduced in June 2013 debuted with rave reviews from our user's community. A novice user can use the TSM Operation Center dashboard to monitor their entire backup environments. We continue to add more capabilities with each single release. In December 2013, we introduced the TSM Blueprints where prescriptive guidance and automation scripts were provided, reducing the install/configuration process of a TSM server to 3 hours. All of this simplification really helps to raise the comfort level for less skilled users in the midmarket to leverage the power of TSM without worrying about the technology itself. With a price point that anyone can afford, TSM Entry should make the purchase decision a lot easier too!
Want to learn more about TSM Entry? Check out these resources for additional information:
1. TSM Entry Announcement Letter
2. IBM SMB webpage
3. TSM Entry datasheet
4. TSM Operations Center video
Xin Wang, Ph.D.
Product Manager, Tivoli Storage Manager Portfolio
In response to: Do you have the best backup & disaster recovery plan?
Great seminar! Learning the best tips and tools for a best of bread backup & disaster recovery plan was what this Tech Target seminar was all about. During the Dallas, TX session on April 8, the attendees learned that backup & recovery was about having right data, in the right place, at the right time now. It's no longer the situation to have only one data center. For example there maybe 30 branches of a small credit union to manage.
IBM Tivoli Storage Manager is no longer just a command line tool anymore, it's Intuitive, Intelligent and Proven with 20+ years of experience. Attendees had the opportunity to see the demo of 7.1 and hear how the best practice of IBM Blueprints to help with sizing and deployments of TSM. In addition, the TCO study could be conducted on company environments (customer report - data collection - business case/cost prospective) to help them understand the investment they have made with their back & recovery vendor.
Attendees enjoyed the networking and best practices. Why not consider attending one of the upcoming events of Toronto on May 15 or Minneapolis on May 22 . http://storagedecisions.techtarget.com/seminars/Backup_DataProtection.html
While everybody loves the benefits of virtualization - better hardware utilization, improved operational efficiency and higher application availability, it brings with it the necessary evil of protecting data in a virtualized environment, a job most VMware Administrators (VIAs) love to hate!
On the other hand Data protection administrators view virtualization as the inevitable bridge that they have to cross at some point of time and which in turn means a change in their backup approach and methodologies that they could do without.
Adding to the complexity is the additional demand put by Cloud applications on storage environments because services need to be flexible and 100% automated.
What troubles the VMware Administrator?
1) It’s not my job: VIAs are more concerned about running their infrastructures and less bothered about doing backup which they feel is the storage administrator’s job
2) I am not a Storage expert yet I need all the data protection services: VIAs are not storage experts and therefore do not have the necessary skills to manage or protect data but at the same time they need to manage multiple classes of data protection service, including daily backups, frequent snapshots, and remote mirroring. VIAs need the ability to restore VMs and data under the full range of scenarios, ranging from user requests to remote site disaster recovery.
3) Why do I need additional Backup software? VIAs are not very convinced about integrating their infrastructure with additional backup software as most have the capability to offer a range of Data protection services using VMware tools at low or no costs.
4) I need scalability: VM environment needs both administrator scalability and application scalability
Administrator scalability: Managing hundreds or thousands of virtual machines requires automated configuration, provisioning and monitoring.
Application scalability: Managing large scale applications requires VMware-aware storage performance management and advanced data protection for high availability
5) Your backup software does not talk to my infrastructure: Modern backup methodologies are often incompatible with existing physical infrastructure which leads to VIAs seeking alternative solutions
6) This Software still lacks: VMware’s interfaces to storage systems are improving release-to-release but they often come with additional complexity. Feature gaps remain and the VIA User Experience to storage is inconsistent between vendors and is constantly changing
What troubles the Storage Administrator?
1) Protecting Data in a Virtual Environment is not the same: Data protection for physical servers is different from data protection in a virtualized environment. Virtualization means one single physical server is used to consolidate and run several virtual servers. Adding an additional workload of data protection puts a heavy strain on the virtualized infrastructure.
2) Too much to Track: Though VMware images are inherently easy to copy and restore to alternate machines. The challenge has been keeping track of all the copies, so users can restore what they need, when they need it.
3) Too much data: Data protection is challenging when applications hosted on VMware have large amounts of data. Restore and fail-over operations must account for both the applications and their data.
Provide a Data protection solution that empowers the VMWare administrator to protect their data without learning any new tools or calling the backup administrator. The VMware guy should never have to wait while storage does its job. Provide them with software that will help them not only set up their virtual machines but also set up their storage. Plug in the storage reporting into the VMware software so that they can view the status on the same GUI. Add automation and analytics into the system so that neither the VMware expert nor the storage specialist have to do any hands on work. Keep both of them happy and you will not only save time and effort but lot more peaceful hours in the office.
If you find the story here familiar and have some of your own tales to tell, we would be glad to hear about them. Just post them in the comments and we can interlock more on the subject. And yes! Stay tuned for more blogs on VMware coming your way!
You maybe wondering...
What is a best of bread backup & disaster recovery plan?
Do I have an integrated management plan?
Will my plan meet the demands of the ever changing environment?
All good questions. If you are seeking answers to how to build a best of bread backup & disaster recovery plan then this seminar series is an event to attend.
IBM is a proud sponsor of the 2014 A toolkit for comprehensive data protection - seminar and workshop brought to you by TechTarget Storage Media. This seminar is coming to a USA city near you.
Where and When are these seminars?:
Dallas, Texas, April 8 (pictures from event)
Toronto, ON, May 15
Minneapolis, MN, May 22
St. Louis, MO, July 22
New York, NY, July 24
Washington, DC, Dec 2
What's in it for me?
6 hours of FREE practical, tips, tools and resources
Networking with peers and vendors in the storage space
Validate your backup & disaster recovery plan
Hear and get a consultation from independent expert and - Geroge Crump, President and Founder of Storage Switzerland
Seating is limited so keep in mind that only the first 50 qualified people who sign up will be able to attend per city
Where can I go for more information? Click here
Danyel Otteson, WW Storage Marketing Manager for IBM
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine
Pulse 2014, the Premiere Cloud Conference, has come to a successful close. Let’s take a moment to consider what it means to drive a power-packed “premiere cloud conference” to more than 11,000 attendees comprised of world wide leaders, decision makers, developers, clients and technology partners and actually deliver on the promise. What value-added cloud leadership has now been released into the world?
The Pulse 2014 offered a robust curriculum comprised of 6 streams including 23 tracks, 60+ session, 130 labs and over 350 speakers. During general sessions, keynote leaders highlighted the transformational benefits of cloud and delivered a comprehensive guide for next-generation cloud strategies and developments.
Pulse 2014 was about challenging business leaders to first EMBRACE BOLD and “Think it”. Imagine a path to drive business objectives by exploiting advanced technology, services and capabilities that propel business to new heights -- a path where data is protected and managed in a manner that enables business control and agility.
Deepak Advani, General Manager of IBM Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure spoke about the importance of applying analytics to IT Operations. He shared how the IBM CIO office can now apply data-driven analytics to the storage infrastructure to reduce user cost of storage by 50% through the deployment of IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre (VSC). And these data capabilities are no longer just for big business since now these same capabilities have been extended to mid-sized business with the announcement of IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center Entry and IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center for Storwize (http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=AN&subtype=CA&htmlfid=897/ENUS214-072&appname=USN)
In addition, Pulse attendees were inspired to make BOLD MOVES and “Build it”. Steve Mills, Senior Vice President and Group Executive of IBM Software and Systems stretched all to consider moving to a composable business. A composable business helps accelerate the next era of innovation and how organizations like yours build new models for design, services, applications and infrastructure by means of Visibility, Control and Automation.
Finally, Pulse 2014 attendees were offered a roadmap to attain BOLD RESULTS to “Tap Into It”. It’s about reinventing your business with cloud - the proven growth engine for business as well as optimizing IT and service management. The primary thought for business leaders today -- have you put your business in motion? There remains a mandate to do so, NOW. It becomes painfully true when you realized that 50% of the Fortune 500 companies from 1990 no longer exist. In other words, same as change, Cloud is inevitable.
It’s about the internet of things (currently 9 billion devices) occurring through mobile, cloud, social and other technologies to explore new computing and business models. No matter where you are in your business journey, Pulse 2014 was about discovering how your business can be first, how your business can sustain a competitive advantage and how you can effectively drive business success by leveraging cloud-related technology, tools and services. Pulse 2014, the premiere cloud conference delivered as promised. The bell has been rung. It’s time to EMBRACE BOLD, MAKE BOLD MOVES to DRIVE BOLD RESULTS.
See you next year at Pulse 2015!
The much awaited Business Partners Summit at Pulse 2014 on 23 February saw over 2000 attendees. Everyone who turned up at the event returned with enough ammunition in terms of knowledge and networking to make Bold Business moves in 2014.
Key Message - Cloud as a Growth Engine for Business
With Cloud moving out of the IT department to most other business functions, there is immense potential for the global cloud market to grow; in fact, it is estimated to reach $200 billion by 2020! IBM encourages its Business Partners to take grab this opportunity, leverage IBM’s technology and expertise and be a part of this growth.
IBM’s strategy for Business Partner growth and profitability
Mark Register, Vice President, Software Business Partners & Midmarket restated IBM’s commitment to Business Partner growth and profitability with loyalty recognition, skill development and incentives to capture new markets dominating the 2014 strategy.
Take advantage of the IBM Cloud Ecosystem
Sandy Carter, General Manager, Ecosystem Development and Social Business Evangelist encouraged all participants to take advantage of the IBM Cloud Ecosystem as that not only helps Business Partners build their businesses, it helps IBM deliver better client value. The IBM ecosystem can help Business Partners build market and sell solutions and give rewards & incentives for selling solutions hosted by IBM.
Collaborate to meet Client expectations
Nancy Pearson, Vice President, IBM Cloud Category Marketing gave advise on how collaboration between IT, LOB and developers can help assemble solutions quickly from available resources. This will not only help meet client expectations, it can drive business models, promote reinvention, improve decision making and speed time to market.
Deepak Advani, GM Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure, IBM provided executive insights into the bold moves that IBM is making in Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure in 2014. Lot of new capabilities across the Cloud & Infrastructure Portfolio are in the offing. IBM Service Engage for SaaS and on-premise engagement is being launched and the emphasis will be on a practitioner-focused digital experience.
Brendan Hannigan, General Manager, IBM Security Systems, declared IBM Security is the rising star of the IBM Corporation with bold moves to grow the portfolio, the Business Partner ecosystem and programs.
Expert Exchange Sessions
There were 40 expert exchange sessions covering the entire IBM Cloud Portfolio and the IBM Ecosystem. Under Storage, we had Ian Smith, Director of Storage Management, give a talk on winning new accounts, shortening sale cycles and delivering new solutions with the new and enhanced data protection and data management portfolio that includes TSM Blueprints and products for targeting the midmarket.
In another session, Robert Amatruda, Research Director, Data Protection and Recovery, IDC discussed how successful Business Partners are choosing IBM’s proven data protection and storage management platforms to deliver new levels of innovation.
The summit ended with networking, informal discussions and lots of promises for a great year ahead.
IBM’s initiative to bring enterprise level solutions to small & medium businesses continues with VSC Entry product announcement at Pulse on 25th February.
With increasing speed of innovation, the need to move to new technologies is stronger than ever before. There is a growing interest among SMBs to better harness technology but they are worried about costs and having the right skills. To address the small and midsized business storage challenge IBM is now offering a smaller, less expensive and easier to use data management solution package to SMBs. SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center Entry V5.2 and SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center for Storwize Family V5.2 are now available with pricing for use in smaller virtualized data storage configurations.
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center Entry V5.2 can be used in conjunction with two or fewer SAN Volume Controller (SVC) I/O groups, thereby consisting of up to four machine type 2145 hardware engines, for up to 250 TB of managed capacity.
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center for Storwize Family V5.2 can be used in conjunction with Storwize family hardware engines providing the data storage virtualization, such as a Storwize V7000 control enclosure, with no restrictions on the quantity of I/O groups.
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center Entry offers the same features and functions as offered by the SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center V5.2 for larger enterprises, but at a more cost-effective, per-terabyte license for smaller storage environments so all thepain points are covered with the additional option of upgrading to a larger storage solution as the needs grow. It enables easy migration to agile, cloud-based storage environments, enabling organizations to optimize provisioning, capacity, availability, reporting and management for virtualized storage.
With the pressure of adopting Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud to drive business growth and to stay ahead of competition, SMBs are realizing the importance of underlying infrastructure & it’s management system. The Entry offering enables easy adoption of enterprise level storage infrastructure management solution that holds the potential to grow & compete in this fast pace environment.
While at Pulse 2014the product has already drawn some positive reviews. Joe King, Vice President of Presales Consulting at CAS Severn (@jckingmd) tweeted: Policy based storage placement is a cakewalk with Virtual Storage Center Entry. The Power of Analytics is here today at
Don’t miss the session "Software-Defined Storage using SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center" today, 1:30pm at Expo Theater #IBMPulse. You will learn how
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center (VSC) 5.2 makes the life of the storage administrator easier!
VSC becomes a key component in the control plane of a Software-Defined Storage (SDS) solution
VSC can add value to OpenStack-based IaaS solutions
Look into IBM announcement letter for more information. http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=AN&subtype=CA&htmlfid=897/ENUS214-072&appname=USN
Hybrid cloud was a hot topic at Pulse2014. The data intensive nature of data protection makes it a good case study for exploring the business and technical benefits of hybrid cloud.
Figure 1: Storage Press Panel at Pulse2014.
From left to right: Thomas Bak, Front-Safe; Stephen Jones, TriDatum; Ron Hess, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center; Richard Spurlock, Cobalt Iron, Ian Smith, IBM
On Tuesday afternoon, members of the press were treated to a discussion with customers and service providers using hybrid cloud data protection today. Ian Smith, Director of Storage software at IBM moderated the discussion. The panel included experts from 3 continents, including:
Richard Spurlock, CEO, Cobalt Iron
Ron Hess, Client and Infrastructure Services Supervisor, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center
Thomas Bak, CSO, Front-Safe
Stephen Jones, CEO, TriDatum
Alex.Fagioli, CEO, Tectrade
Richard Bates, CTO, Predetar
Christian Svensson, CEO, Cristie Nordic
Pétur Eyþórsson, TSM Architect, Nyherji,
Heinrich Venter, CEO, iSanity
One reporter asked how cloud data protection can deliver the required performance for backup and restore. Richard Spurlock from Cobalt Iron explained how the hybrid cloud model makes it possible for his clients to meet backup and recovery time objectives because he can install equipment in his customers’ facilities. A Cobalt Iron customer, Ron Hess from Hutchison Regional Medical Center in Kansas agreed performance has been excellent with his hybrid cloud solution. Ron explained the hybrid cloud solution frees him to handle other priorities and added, “We’re down one headcount since we began.”
Medical facilities such as Hutchison Regional Medical Center aren’t typically IT pioneers. Ron Hess said data protection is the only cloud solution deployed or under consideration at Hutchison Regional Medical Center, although the current solution may expand to include Disaster Recovery as a Service.
Another service provider, TriDatum based in Atlanta, offers a data protection solution using IBM SoftLayer, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager and Frontsafe cloud portal. He said the IBM and Frontsafe infrastructure resolves scalability issues his customers experienced with old data protection solutions.
Thomas Bak, from cloud portal provider Front-safe added with a smile, “Cloud changes everything”.
Mike Barton is a Worldwide Storage Marketing Manager for IBM Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure software.
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine
IBM’s Data Protection has all the right pieces
Jason Buffington, Senior Analyst, ESG in his interview to Dave Vellante from Wikibon, said IBM fills out the whole data protection spectrum and that it’s new UI is a great proof point to why it’s not your grand daddy’s solution. One of the top 5 problems people face in protecting a virtualized environment is lack of visibility. IBM’s new UI does a great job in adding that visibility. IBM has all the right pieces with its breadth of data protection solutions. With IBM starting to put cloud more aggressively into the mix, 2014 looks interesting.
Data Protection is a rainbow that must have all the colors
In Jason’s opinion when defining Data protection strategies, one should think of Data Protection as a rainbow with Backup, Snapshots, Replication, Archive and Availability making up for the different colors. So when have you ever seen a rainbow with no green? Mechanism of data protection should not only include the whole range of solutions but must also include a hybrid approach that includes Tape, Disk or the Cloud. Organizations can pick the color from the spectrum, according to what they want to recover and how.
Disk, Tape, Cloud – they are all going to stay
Disk is not going to be the one all and end all. Tape is going to stay, with economic advantages and new innovations like LTFS that makes tape look like disk, adding flexibility and durability. Cloud as a backup service is not the Silver Bullet either because it’s only a deployment mechanism, it does not make your back up problems go away, one still has to run it, run the admin and push the agents out. One needs to have an on premise intermediary appliance for fast recovery before going to the cloud. However when ESG looked at what were the primary use cases of cloud for the next couple of years they found Data Protection at number one and Disaster recovery at number three. Jason suggests that every solution should be considering cloud as part of it.
Data protection need not be so Hard
His advice to IT pros who are worried about cost and complexity of data protection is that it need not be so hard, there are great solutions available that allow you to backup, archive, snapshot, replicate and do an entire range of functions, from a single GUI, to a single data store from a single administrators view. People only need to wake up to the solution and start using it.
Check out other Wikibon Interviews at Pulse 2014
To follow an exciting opening day yesterday, the buzz around bold moves continued on Tuesday, starting bright and early with the day 2 general session.
The morning opened with Steve Mills, Senior Vice-President and Group Executive IBM Software and Systems, “setting the agenda” as he outlined the fundamental mantra that IBM has been delivering of Visibility, Control and Automation as more important than ever in the cloud era.
Steve then turned the stage over to Deepak Advani, General Manager, Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure, IBM Software Group. Over the next 30 mins or so, Deepak was joined by clients from Paychex, Honda Manufacturing and Red Bull Racing to discuss how they were improving business outcomes by embracing disruptive technologies such as big data, analytics, mobile and cloud.
Deepak spoke about the importance of applying analytics to IT Operations. He shared how the IBM CIO office has applied data-driven analytics to the storage infrastructure to reduce user cost of storage by 50% through the deployment of IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre (VSC).
Even more exciting is that this type of capability and the resulting benefits are no longer limited to large storage environments. Today IBM announced IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre Entry and IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre for Storwize. The entry editions are attractively priced for those organizations managing smaller environments, up to 250 TB of data in the case of VSC Entry. Joe King, Vice President of Presales Consulting at CAS Severn (@jckingmd) tweeted:
Policy based storage placement is a cakewalk with Virtual Storage Center Entry. The Power of Analytics is here today at
We also heard from IBM Security expert, Brendan Hannigan, General Manager, IBM Security Systems Division, who spoke about the critical nature of security in cloud. Customers often cite security as the top obstacle to cloud adoption, so Brendan’s message was timely. About being a security guy at a cloud conference, Bendan joked:
I feel like a mosquito at a summer picnic!
He said security breaches cost an average of $11 million in the US, and can take up to 8 months to discover. Fortunately, new solutions from IBM provide end-to-end security, utilizing the cloud, that can reduce successful attacks to near zero.
Following the general session, the Storage track got back into full swing with client, Business Partner and IBM speakers outlining the bold moves they are making. Breakout session highlights from Tuesday included:
Bobby Karim, Unix System Administrator from Allianz Australia discussed how his organization has shifted away from multiple backup and restore tools delivered through 3rd party service providers, and has consolidated all of his organizations data protection requirements to the Tivoli Storage Manager Suite of Unified Recovery (TSMSUR). The flexibility within TSM SUR provides the comprehensive capabilities needed by Allianz to meet it’s recovery point and recovery time objectives while proving much simpler to manage.
Thomas Bak Co-Founder and CSO of Front-safe and Stephen Jones, CTO of TriDatum showcased how they are partnering to deliver private cloud data protection. TriDatum reviewed a case study where they have combined the Front-safe Cloud Portal, Tivoli Storage Manager and its consultative approach to meet it’s clients data protection requirements -- a US-based financial services provider that values of the cost of loss of data at $300,000/day/location now confidently protects data created in it’s 300 branches efficiently and cost-effectively.
Attendees were treated to a live demo of IBM SmartCloud Storage Access, a self-service portal that can reduce storage deployment time up to 95%. Nick Harris explained how SmartCloud Storage Access can work with SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center to enable self-service provisioning for multiple brands of storage systems.
The SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center development team, Ben Randall and Teresa Swingler, provided a live demo of new V5.2 features, including simplified provisioning, performance management, and IBM’s exclusive Tiered Storage Optimizer.
Fernando Dondeo, from Grupo Boticário in Brazil spoke about Data Protection for SAP analytics environments. SAP HANA is a high performance, high value analytics system for SAP. Using IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Data Protection for ERP, Boticario was able to reduce backup time by 77% while providing superior data protection for SAP data.
Finally – while all this great content was being delivered, the Storage pedestals in the Solution Center were hopping. Interested folks lined up to see how the intuitive nature of the TSM Operations Center eases backup administration, how IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre drastically simplifies data management tasks and how Butterfly studies continue to illustrate how clients can slash their data protection costs by migrating to the an IBM data protection platform.
I’m excited about another full day tomorrow of rich content but now it’s time to take a breather and enjoy some quality networking time with colleagues tonight during Pulse Palooza – and maybe witness a few “bold moves” of another kind by Pulse attendees on the dance floor.
Greetings from Pulse2014 in Las Vegas.
Over 11,000 attendees at Pulse this year. Can you believe it? The MGM Garden Arena was jammed to the rafters for the opening session, featuring executives from Kuuluu, Twilio, Continental AG and IBM. It's exciting the hear about advances in driverless vehicles, mobile applications and gaming - all driven by cloud.
The transition to cloud has been remarkable. Two years ago at Pulse2012, many people had cloud projects, and were proceeding with caution. Last year, there were many cloud success stories, and active discussion about how cloud might evolve. This year, it's clear that cloud-driven business and IT transformation is in full swing.
Darren Bibby, VP Channels and Alliance Research at IDC predicted that, by 2016, 25% of all software will be subscription based. Organizations must plan for this transition or risk being left behind. Or, as Erich Clementi, Senior VP of IBM Global Technology Services put it, you can, "be the next Blockbuster or the next NetFlix".
2014 Pulse attendees are a remarkable group - Not the type to be left behind by a new trend. There is an incredible amount of learning and sharing going on. It's very encouraging to see our industry is in good hands.
Storage is playing a key role at Pulse, of course. There is a good understanding that clouds run on data, and data needs storage. So, it makes sense that smarter clouds need smarter storage. The connection between storage and top business trends has never been clearer or more relevant to IT.
Highlights of the Monday Storage Track included sessions by Hutchison Regional Medical Center, Chesapeake Energy, and Predetar.
Alistair Mackenzie, Predatar CEO, spoke about several successful clients, including the world's largest cloud service for the education market. Predatar offers a cloud backup solution based on TSM. Predatar includes a dashboard for Line of Business managers that can significantly improve internal communications, reduce complexity and reduce costs.
Paul Conway, from Chesapeake Energy shared experiences using Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center to manage large workloads with confidence, and without heavy reliance on scripts and experts. As Paul showed screen shots of his TSM Operations Center deployment, his mantra was, "and that was another homegrown script we were able to get rid of".
Ron Hess, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, described his organization's transformation to hybrid cloud data protection from traditional enterprise backup. Ron said the biggest advantages were faster backups, faster restores, and a savings of 10 to 12 hours per week In administration time.
IBM-led storage sessions were excellent, as well. In the Storage Track kick-off, Ian Smith, IBM's Director of Storage Management described trends we can expect to see in storage, including:
Data location transparency
Data protection transparency
Analytics enabling hybrid clouds
Active risk avoidance
Extending Ian's comments, Rachel Dines from Forrester Research offered 3 tips for Data Protection:
Move beyond backup and Disaster Recovery ... instead, think about business resiliency
Embrace the cloud ... it's here to stay
Prioritize efficiency above all else ... because data is growing but IT budgets are flat.
Thomas Bak, CSO of cloud data protection provider Front-safe commented, "IBM is pushing change more than ever before."
If you're attending Pulse2014, please comment with your highlights of the day.
Mike Barton is a Worldwide Storage Marketing Manager for IBM Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure software.
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine
Can you believe it, the day is final here, the start of Pulse 2014, The Premier Cloud Conference!
Today has already brought forth some great content and networking opportunities for attendees interested in the storage portfolio.
For the business partners, today was the one day Business Partner Summit where partners from around the world got to hear key messages, results of 2013, market shift analysis and even get inspired from various IBM executives like Sandy Carter, General Manager, Ecosystem and Social Business Evangelist; Deepak Advani, General Manager, Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure; Lou Atanasio, Vice President Global Sales, Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure and list goes on.
Some key storage mentions in the Business Partner Summit can be summed up in the following tweets:
#ibmstorage is a priority focus, #ibmtsm 7.1 delivered on a great user interface for clients says Deepak Advanti
@rodneyforeman promoting the great business partners @CobaltIron and @Frontsafe some #ibmstorage & butterfly tool
@rodneyforeman instills confidence in IBM data protection software.. clients that leave always come back to value of #tsm
@PredatarUK is innovative.. #ibmtsm on the mobile phone, highlighted at #ibmpulse
Mark Register announcing great incentives for partners to make more $ in 2014 at #ibmpulse
IDC, Darren Bibby says the #cloud is inevitable. Is fear or opportunity driving you Partners? #ibmpulse
For the storage client who attended today there was plenty of networking opportunities through the storage user group meeting that met for about 3 hours. At the end of the meeting these two gentlemen exchanges conversations about their storage environment.
Today started the four day offering at Pulse of Hands-on Labs and Certification Testing. Eight Storage software certification exams are available which makes up 10% of all exams that will be taken over the four day period. As for the Hands-on Labs you can explore 12 different storage labs on any one of the 48 computers, 10 more computers then 2013's Lab offerings.
Pulse 2014 promises to be a great week for the storage enthusiast starting tonight with the Solution Expo opening up at 6:00pm PT offering 4 storage peds, a Meet the Expert session, an Expo Theater session along with many partner booths.
Stay tuned for daily recaps of Pulse 2014.
Danyel Otteson, WW Storage Marketing Manager for IBM
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine
Plan your days to maximize your time and opportunities at Pulse 2014. To get started log in to your account and access the agenda builder tool. You can find & schedule sessions and save it as “My Agenda”.
If you have not registered yet and planning to attend Pulse, here is the thing for you. You can preview Pulse sessions and save the agenda using sample agenda builder. And once you register for Pulse, you can import this agenda into the agenda builder tool.
To list all the storage sessions select Stream as Optimizing IT & Service management and Track as Unified Recovery & Storage Management. This track focuses on range of systems, storage, software and services designed to maximize and protect data, featuring best practices, implementation stories and case studies on unified recovery and storage.
If you find a little hard to navigate directly to the storage sessions through these tools, here is your guiding star. Search by storage session# as mentioned on the chart below to quickly add these to your activities.
And remember your all things at pulse is at #IBMPulse
Key ingredients to a great product in the market are an innovative design, a robust architecture and a good development plan. The Dev@Pulse event at Pulse 2014 provides a great platform for developers to expand their skills, knowledge and start a relationship with IBM.
IBM has opened it’s Pulse conference doors to both IBMers and non IBMers from the world of mobile app and new cloud-based platforms to talk about their experiences, designs and products in this two day FREE event.
Design, Develop, Deploy.
Designers and Developers are invited to attend sessions that cover seven major streams:
Game Design & User Interface
Designing through cloud based platforms
Design in a MobileFirst economy
Futures in Cognitive Computing and AI (Yes! We will talk about Watson)
Impact of design and technology on the world
Development in the Open World
Rapid App Development and Open Source Software
Day 1 will close with an interactive code bash while partying with the DJ at the MGM Grand’s Hakkasan Nightclub while Day 2 will end with live demos by Andrew Spyker and Jerry Cuomo, IBM Software experts, who will walk you through the historical use case that won the best application mash-up from Netflix.
What else can you do at Dev@Pulse?
Besides attending the content rich TED talk-like sessions, you can get your hands on lab with IBM products like Cloud OE, WorkLight, SoftLayer and JazzHub. And at the end of Day 2, you can walk into the Pulse trade show and attend the main key note of the Pulse Conference.
In the past two years that IBM acquired Butterfly, it generated hundreds of Analysis Engine Reports (AER) analyzing billions of gigabytes and established facts about Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) that should make competition sit up and notice.
The Backup Analysis Engine report from Butterfly Software uses light-touch, agent-less software technology to analyze existing heterogeneous data backup environment. It is a non-intrusive analysis based on empirical production data collected in minutes and incorporated into the Backup Analysis Engine report from IBM Butterfly Software.
Why is Butterfly important?
Gartner Magic Quadrant: Backup and Recovery 2013 Competitive analysis says between 2012 and 2016, one-third of organizations will change backup vendors due to frustration over cost, complexity and/or capability. To be able to say conclusively that TSM solution can save backup infrastructure costs by as much as 38% when compared to some of the other competitive products opens the door for IBM to go get these 33% of the organizations looking for a change.
AER is the Key
More demand for AERs is expected with the launch of the automated “self-service” AER generation model. Scheduled to go live at the beginning of 2H 2014, it will scale out as a service to IBM and its Business Partners. These facts drive home the fact that Butterfly AERs have metamorphosed into a well accepted and standard approach to storage infrastructure analytics.
Meet the Butterfly Storage and Backup Assessment Team at Pulse 2014
If the butterfly flutter has caught your interest, visit Pulse 2014 on Feb 23-26 at Las Vegas and meet the folks who deliver Butterfly Storage and Backup Assessments in the IT Optimization section of the IBM booth. Find out how your company can use business analytics to dramatically lower the cost of running your backup and recovery or primary storage infrastructure.
For those of you that have been thinking about leveraging hardware snapshots to protect your Windows application and file servers, I wanted to point you to some really nice videos that Sean Sperry has put together. Sean has written and recorded a series of videos about the new FlashCopy Manager 4.1 for Windows. They cover a variety of topics like Exchange Server 2013, SQL Server, File System protection, remote operation, and three separate videos about using PowerShell and its integration with FlashCopy Manager.
If you have ever wondered how FlashCopy Manager on Windows works and the new functions and features of version 4.1, you should really check out those videos.
Have a great day!
As song writer, Andy Williams says in what is know as one of the top 10 holiday songs, "It's the most wonderful time of the year with kids jingle belling and everyone telling you "Be of good cheer", It's the most wonderful time of the year...". While the holidays maybe over, one of the most wonderful times of the year is the new IBM Premier Cloud Conference, Pulse 2014. There might not be kids at the conference ringing bells, nor people telling you to be of good cheer, but there will be plenty of excitement with your peers and experts as everyone is learning the latest strategy/product developments along with wonderful networking opportunities, so that everyone can all make bold business moves in 2014.
For those of you who have a passion for Storage you will be pleased to know that IBM Pulse 2014 will host the Unified Recovery and Storage Management Track within the Optimizing IT & Service Management Stream. The Unified Recovery and Storage Management track will focus on sharing best practices, success stories and roadmaps with regards to systems, storage, software and services.
Let me take a few moments and give you some answers to some FAQs.
Question: Will there be enough storage sessions to fill three days worth in the Unified Recovery and Storage Management Track?
Answer: Yes! 24 sessions showcasing trends like Cloud, Analytics and Open Stack along with sessions on Tivoli Storage Manager, Virtual Storage Center and more!
Question: Client breakout sessions are always a highlight of the conference, what could I expect?
Answer: We have 7 client sessions along with 2 Partner with clients sessions. You could attend client sessions by China Bank, National Grid, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center and even TD Bank.
Question: Besides the storage breakout sessions what other opportunities do I have to gain knowledge and network?
Answer: 1 - BOF (Birds of a Feather) session, 2 - Expo Theater talks, 4 - IBM pedestals in the Expo Center and many business partner booths, 4 - Meet the Expert Sessions, Labs, Certification and so much more!
Question: I'm interested in previewing some sessions. How can I learn more?
Answer: IBM Pulse is offering the sample agenda builder for anyone not registered for the conference. If you are already registered for Pulse 2014 you can build your agenda
Question: Pulse 2014 sounds great, how can I justify attending?
Answer: Download the Business Justification Letter and share it with your business today
On a personal note, what a privilege it has been to participate in the IBM Pulse conferences for the past 6 years along with the many other "Tivoli" conferences prior. One of my highlights has always been the opportunity to see friends and co-workers who share the same passion for this world of IT. IBM Pulse will be "one of the most wonderful times of the year" and a conference where you can truly network and learn so that you can make those bold moves. Learn more by checking out the IBM Pulse website.
Hope to see you at IBM Pulse 2014 in Las Vegas, February 23-26
Danyel Otteson, WW Storage Marketing Manager for IBM
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine
I am often asked... "When can I use FlashCopy Manager with my EMC disk array?" (substitute "EMC" with your favorite vendor)
With FlashCopy Manager for Windows, you can leverage hardware snapshots for any disk array that has a VSS Hardware Provider. This is because Windows has a built-in architecture (referred to as "VSS") that enables pluggable snapshot support. We wrote a developerWorks article that explains how this works and how it integrates with TSM a few years ago. (Note: This article refers to "TSM for Copy Services" instead of "FlashCopy Manager" because it was written before the product name was changed.)
But, with FlashCopy Manager for UNIX and Linux and FlashCopy Manager for VMware, you must wait until support is added for your desired disk array. Last year, IBM partnered with Rocket Software to develop a device adapter pack that plugs in to FlashCopy Manager for UNIX and Linux and FlashCopy Manager for VMware to extend support to more storage devices. You install it on top of an existing FlashCopy Manager (version 4.1 or later) installation on the application server being protected by FlashCopy Manager for UNIX (or on the proxy backup server in case of FlashCopy Manager for VMware) and configure it to talk to the storage device. After that, you are able to leverage the power of FlashCopy Manager snapshot protection for the hardware device supported by that device adapter pack!
At the end of last year, Rocket Software released support for EMC Symmetric (VMAX and DMX). They are planning to add more disk arrays in 2014. If you have devices that you want to see added, contact Rocket Software.
Have a great day!
IBM recently published reference architecture blueprints to simplify Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) sizing and deployment, “Blueprint and Server Automated Configuration for Linux x86". Feedback from IBM Business Partners has been positive. In December 2013, Version 1.2 was released for free download.
What is a Reference Architecture Blueprint?
A reference architecture blueprint is a detailed hardware specification designed to manage a specific workload. In this case, the blueprints specify hardware requirements for small, medium and large TSM workloads, using Best Practices for data protection.
Why Use Reference Architecture Blueprints Instead of Sizing?
Traditional backup server sizing is extremely flexible and recommended for unique workloads or where precision is critical. Most of the time, however, a reference architecture blueprint can reduce time and complexity, and improve data protection through standardization and automation.
IBM reference architecture blueprints for TSM have companion configuration scripts that set up TSM for the requested workload quickly and consistently.
I supported TSM for 5 years as an IT Specialist Manager, and have seen many clients struggle with traditional backup server sizing. Even if you can capture details about the current backup workload, which is often impossible, you have to estimate the data growth rate. Sizing errors can result in unhappy application owners or an inability to meet recovery objectives. In contrast, a reference architecture blueprint takes you to a known destination quickly and safely.
Recently, TSM experts had a TSM sizing discussion on ADSM.org. Baltimore-Washington TSM User Group Member Wanda Prather, Stefan Folkerts, and Sergio Fuentes discussed sizing variables: Workload, hardware, storage features. As Wanda says, sizing is, “both an ‘it depends’ and a ‘what not to do’ answer.” I recommend reading her post if you’re interested in backup server sizing.
Reference Architecture Blueprint Details
These reference architectures are based on x86 hardware running Linux and are optimized as disk only storage using TSM data deduplication technology. They have been tested to determine the optimal workloads and limits for each size: Small, Medium or Large. The blueprint includes a document, or “Cookbook”, that describes the three reference architectures in detail, including IBM hardware model numbers and configuration requirements.
IBM also includes two scripts to speed up the installation and configuration, increasing time-to-value:
The first script does a configuration check that will verify the hardware configuration meets the blueprint specifications, validate Linux kernel settings, and verify the configuration of required file systems prior to running the standard TSM Server installation. The script also configures the TSM Server using best practices and: creates a DB2® instance, defines deduplication storage pools with optimal performance settings, defines administrative maintenance tasks optimized for de-duplication scalability, defines TSM database backup to disk, creates a dsmserv.opt file with best practice option overrides, creates policy domains for database, mail and file servers with management classes for 30-, 60- and 120-day retention, and defines backup schedules for all client types that can be easily selected when deploying the desired client workloads.
The second script runs simulated TSM database and storage pool workloads and provides performance measurements that can be used to compare as a reference against those measured on the blueprint configuration.
Please share your experiences with TSM reference architecture blueprints and backup server sizing. What works for you?
Mike Barton is a Worldwide Storage Marketing Manager for IBM.
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine.
IBM is looking for customers and business partners to participate in the Beta and Early Access Programs for IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center.
Both the Beta and Early Access Programs (EAP) will start later this month and provide participants with an opportunity to influence the design of future Virtual Storage Center enhancements by providing feedback directly to development.
Virtual Storage Center includes all Tivoli Storage Productivity Center functions plus Advanced Analytics such as Storage Tiering Automation, VMware Integration (Clustering support and vSphere Plug-in), Self Service Provisioning and more.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center and Virtual Storage Center customers are all invited to participate in these programs. As topics are introduced the facilitator will define the boundaries between what is included in Virtual Storage Center versus Tivoli Storage Productivity Center.
To request enrollment in the Beta program, submit the VSC/TPC Beta Signup form.
To request enrollment in the EAP program, submit the VSC/TPC EAP Signup form.
For any questions, contact Mary Anne Filosa: email@example.com
For information, see the Downloads page.
IBM is looking for candidates to participate in a beta program for an upcoming release of Tivoli Storage Manager.
The beta program is planned to start in late January 2014 including worldwide participation to obtain customer and business partner feedback on the release.
If you are interested in enrolling in this beta program, please submit a sign-up form here:
For any questions, please contact Mary Anne Filosa, firstname.lastname@example.org.
IBM is looking for candidates to participate in an Early Access Program for an upcoming release of Tivoli Storage Manager. An Early Access Program (EAP) consists of web conferences with worldwide participation to obtain customer and business partner feedback on the release's design.
If you are interested in enrolling in this EAP program, please submit a sign-up form here:
For any questions, please contact Mary Anne Filosa, email@example.com
Did you happen to see IBM's announcement on October 29th for the new Tivoli Storage Manager 7.1 and FlashCopy Manager 4.1? If not, go take a look. There are a lot of really cool new features and functions that you need to see. It will available for electronic download on December 13, 2013.
TSM and FCM continues to invest in the Operations Center, virtualization support, application integration, security, centralized management, deduplication, resiliency, useability, ease of use/install, and more. Go read the announcement letter and you will see what I mean.
If you want to see some of this in action, contact your IBM rep.
Backup redesign continues to be toward the top of most analysts’ lists for 2013 IT priorities. I’ve talked a lot about some of the catalysts behind this trend like data growth, big data, VMware and software defined storage. With IT managers redesigning, the incumbent enterprise backup vendors have a lot of motivation to offer innovative solutions that are a bit ahead of the times. The leaders have all placed strategic bets on what the winning formula will be. I discussed these bets in my post “Forrester’s take on enterprise backup and recovery.”
For its part, IBM is being quick about helping IT managers redesign. The help starts with a clear understanding of the economic benefit a redesign can bring. After all, in today’s environment few IT managers make technology moves simply for the sake of technology. Storage is about economics. I discuss this more fully in my post “Does trying to find a better economic approach to storage give you ‘Butterflies’?” But there is still efficient technology that enables these economic savings, and the person in IBM who is ultimately responsible for the technology in IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) is the product manager, Dr. Xin Wang.
Recently I spoke with Xin about the important shifts IT managers are facing and how she is helping IT managers reimagine backup.
The Line*: Xin, I’m going to start with the “Dr.” part of your title. Should folks call you the Backup Doctor?
Xin: (laughing) Well, I don’t know about that. I’m actually a doctor of Applied Physics. One thing that drove me to earn a PhD and has moved me ever since is that I love to learn. I started my career in IBM hard disk drive research, spent some time as a storage software developer and development manager, and have now been working with backup clients as a product manager for several years.
The Line: Wow, I could probably do an entire post just on your career. But let’s stay focused. What have you learned about the challenges IT managers are facing and this whole backup redesign movement?
Xin: It’s interesting. The challenges aren’t secret but they carry big implications for backup. Data is growing like crazy; that’s no secret. But it is now so big that the old method of loading an agent on a server to collect and copy backup data over a network to a tape isn’t keeping up. So IT managers are redesigning.
And what about servers? Servers aren’t servers anymore. Thanks to VMware, they are virtual machines that come, go and move around in a hurry. Traditional backup is too rigid. So IT managers are redesigning.
Administrators are changing too. The generation of backup admins who grew up tuning the environment is giving way to a new generation of backup, VMware and cloud admins who need much more intuitive and automated management tools. And so IT managers are redesigning. (Editorial comment: I discussed the change in administration in my post “Do IT managers really ‘manage’ storage anymore?”)
The Line: Okay, I think I’m seeing your trend. IT managers are redesigning. And it seems like you’ve got a clear idea of why. Can we take your list one at a time? I think my readers would be interested in what you are doing with TSM in each of these areas.
Xin: Sure, that makes sense.
Check back for part 2 of the interview in which Xin shares her near term plans for TSM. If you have questions for Xin, please join the conversation by leaving a comment below.
*The Line is my personal blog, and when it appears in the interview, it represents me as the interviewer.
I recently participated in a Vendor Day Summit for a large prospective client and I had the opportunity to talk with them about their storage management needs. Over the past 2 years, they have seen over 200% growth in the total capacity of their storage infrastructure and near-term projections are expected to continue this trend. Storage growth has also led to performance concerns with tier 1 applications due to the increased demand on the infrastructure. So, we came to the summit to talk to the client about IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center (VSC), IBM’s flagship storage management solution that combines our market leading technologies from IBM SAN Volume Controller, IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, and IBM FlashCopy Manager along with intelligent analytics and automated management to reduce administrative complexity. It helps improve capacity utilization and slow storage growth, offer flexibility in the placement of workloads to balance performance demand, extend the life of existing storage assets, and reduce the overall cost associated with managing their infrastructure.
During the course of the conversation, it became apparent that the storage administration staff is significantly overburdened by daily tasks like managing provisioning requests, handling fire drills, and troubleshooting end user support calls. VSC is uniquely capable of improving storage administrator efficiency through a variety of key capabilities and we are continuing to enhance those capabilities to address our clients’ most challenging problems.
IBM’s Smarter Storage vision is aimed at providing global data availability across physical, virtual, and cloud environments, to provide unprecedented levels of cost efficiency and simplicity through innovation and applied analytics, and unrivalled client experience and success. VSC has been built from the ground up to embody that vision and provide our clients with a unique storage management experience.
When we first introduced VSC in October, 2012, it included a new user experience that provides intuitive access to various tasks and views within the console to improve administration of complex infrastructures. Many of the legacy views from our market leading storage resource management product, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, were updated or completely redesigned, based primarily on direct customer feedback. During the development phase, we run an extensive Early Access and Beta Program to enable clients to test our new features and provide direct feedback to our developers, helping to provide that unrivalled client experience and success. However, we knew when we released that first version that there was still work to do. I am pleased to say that in our plans for an upcoming release of VSC, we have made significant strides to further improve the user experience by providing more intuitive troubleshooting tools, especially in the area of performance management, as well as a completely new interface for managing service classes and storage pools. This capability will be critical for clients that are interested in transforming traditional storage environments into a ‘cloud optimized’ infrastructure that standardizes provisioning services and reduces provisioning time from days and weeks to minutes and hours.
Going back to the Vendor Day Summit, this client was also in need of help managing the growth of their environment, a multi-petabyte heterogeneous infrastructure with multiple classes of storage to service their users. One of VSC’s key features at our original launch was the ability to provide intelligent analytics on top of a virtualized storage environment. Leveraging the market leading capabilities of IBM SAN Volume Controller, administrators can create storage pools that include all of their existing storage assets, organized by performance, drive type, RAID level, etc. to consolidate the management of a heterogeneous environment. Workloads can then be quickly provisioned out of these storage pools based on service level requirements to satisfy end user requests. VSC can help the administrator select the appropriate pool of storage for workload placement based on the user defined characteristics of the workload using built-in intelligence about not only the new workload, but also its impact on existing workloads within the storage pools.
Once the workload has been provisioned, VSC collects performance and utilization data, which can be used to build a comprehensive view across the entire infrastructure. The Analytics Engine within Virtual Storage Center can then identify workloads that are not placed on the appropriate tier or class of storage based on their usage patterns. The Analytics Engine will also make recommendations to migrate volumes to a more appropriate tier of storage. This intelligent analytics capability often results in significant levels of cost efficiency for clients, as they are able to migrate many of their workloads off of the most expensive storage.
This capability was especially interesting to our prospective clients at the Vendor Day Summit and our planned upcoming enhancements to automate the migration of those volumes based on the recommendations for the Analytics Engine was viewed as a major advantage. Storage administrators will still have the ability to approve migrations before they are executed, but tying the recommendations for migration with the actual execution tasks is another way IBM is helping clients improve the efficiency of their data center operations.
Stay tuned to learn more about how IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center is helping clients improve storage utilization, availability, performance, and service levels of heterogeneous storage environments.
With a new school year underway, vacation season for many come and gone and the Labor Day long-weekend upon us in North America, entering September marks the unofficial end of summer. For many this is a somewhat depressing time of year as we realize that colder temperatures and the on-set of winter aren’t far off.
However it’s not all bad news. Some of us prefer outdoor activities in the fall and winter months and when it comes to business, the fall presents a renewed interest in sharpening our skills and seeking networking opportunities by attending industry conferences and events.
For Storage professionals in North America an ideal opportunity comes in the form of Storage Decisions New York on September 16 & 17. Storage Decisions New York plans to bring together over 500 end-users, independent experts, analysts, and top solution providers to engage in thought-provoking presentations, interactive networking opportunities, and sponsor showcases featuring the latest trends and technologies impacting the storage industry. The 2-day conference, scheduled for is the only place you will find the industry's foremost independent experts – and the most qualified group of storage professionals – under one roof.
As a platinum sponsor of Storage Decisions New York, IBM will have a multi-faceted presence at the conference with ample opportunities to engage with the storage community. One of the highlights is our Tech-in-Action talk, where IBM’s Storage Software Business Strategist Ron Riffe will outline IBM's point of view on The Critical Decisions for Improving The Economics of Storage. Ron will touch on a range of considerations including the need for improved administration, the role of software-defined and the impact of flash – just to name a few.
Over the course of the two-day event, IBM storage experts will be available in booths 24 and 25 to meet attendees and discuss practical solutions to today’s storage challenges. The IBM booth will also be where attendees can pick up their complimentary conference USB key which will loaded with conference-wide materials and presentations.
Storage Decisions New York is worth taking a look at as a great way to kick-off the fall conference cycle. If you're planning to attend stop by and visit us. If you happen to be on the west coast and concerned that New York is too far to travel, don't worry Storage Decisions is stopping in San Francisco on October 30.
Last December while attending the 2012 Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, I listened to an insightful presentation by analysts Sheila Childs and Pushan Rinnen on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon. They were particularly focused on issues related to protecting an organizations data in a BYOD world (more on why in a moment). One scenario that captured my attention went something like this.
It’s my device. I had it before I brought it to work and I was using Dropbox or iCloud to sync and share all my files. Now, my device has work data on it too. My security-conscious CIO doesn’t want work data shared on those public services. But I’m accustomed to, and almost dependent on my sync and share capability and my organization hasn’t yet given us a private alternative.
Now, in my roles as a technology strategist I spend a good bit of time helping to plan our investments. With the speed at which mobile and social technologies are sweeping through organizations, I have to admit the case that Sheila, Pushan and other Gartner analysts made that week for the rapidly emerging data protection crisis in BYOD sync and share was compelling. It occurred to me that credible vendors who were able to solve the problem in short order would be in high demand. That was eight months ago.
Fast forward seven months
In July, Forrester analysts Ted Schadler and Rob Koplowitz published The Forrester Wave™: File Sync And Share Platforms, Q3 2013 in a quest to uncover those credible vendors. I liked the way they characterized the problem. “Employees’ need to synchronize files grew from a whisper to a scream over the past few years. . . .The scream will grow louder as the number of tablets will triple to 905 million by 2017 to join the billions of computers and smartphones used for work.” The report evaluated and scored 16 of the most significant solution providers against 26 criteria. Among the leaders was IBM SmartCloud Connections. You can see the complete list of leaders here.
Change is here
The interesting thing that most folks miss in the sync and share conversation is – it’s about more than just syncing and sharing. As BYOD smartphones and tablets begin to proliferate the workplace, document management will shift from email attachments and file servers into social collaboration. Forrester points to a further social shift from casual partner collaboration to compliant workflow in regulated industries.
That kind of data is important – and the reason that the Gartner analysts were focused on the data protection issues of this BYOD world. Organizations today have well matured processes for protecting data on file servers and email systems, usually with an enterprise backup product. I commented on this set of tools in my post on Forrester’s Take on Enterprise Backup and Recovery. But as corporate information is relocated from file servers and email systems to sync and share systems, Gartner had an unmistakable reminder for its customers, “Consumer File Sync/Share Is Not Backup”.
I agree! The good news is that IBM has taken the time to ensure its enterprise backup product, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery, protects synched and shared files in IBM Connections with all the same efficiency it does file servers, email systems and most any other data important to an organization.
What is your organization doing with file sync and share? How are you protecting that information?
In the modern datacenter, there’s a lot of shifting going on when it comes to traditional storage management responsibilities. What used to be the domain of a central storage and backup administration team has been thrown up for grabs as server virtualization and software defined everything have entered the scene. I hinted at this a bit in my post Do IT managers really “manage” storage anymore? But let’s consider a practical example that’s quite common with clients I speak to. If you are going to VMworld 2013, plan on attending the IBM TSM for VE hands-on lab to get more details.
Microsoft SQL Server is the foundation for a lot of applications that are critical to business operation – meaning CIO’s and IT managers are interested in its recoverability. Those same CIO’s and IT managers are also interested in the recoverability of their VMware estates, the software defined compute (SDC) platform that houses those databases. For many clients, the problem is that these two domains are tightly guarded by two independent superheroes, and neither is specifically trained in storage.
Superhero #1: The database administrator (DBA)
Most DBAs that I’ve known have an almost personal connection with their databases. They care for them as they would their own children. The thought of leaving one unprotected (without a backup) equates to dereliction of duty. Ignoring the idea that it takes a village to raise a child (or in this case that there may be other members of the IT administration village like VMware admins and backup admins), SQL Server DBAs will often work alone with the backup tools Microsoft provides to ensure their databases are protected. Good for the SQL Server, but not so much for the surrounding infrastructure. For databases running on VMware, routine full backups even with periodic differential backups can consume a LOT of disk space and virtual compute resources, and also contribute to the I/O blender effect.
Superhero #2: The VMware administrator
TSM for VE in VMware vSphere web client
VMware administrators can be just as focused on their domain as DBAs are. Their attention is on being able to recover persistent or critical virtual machine (VM) images, regardless of what app happens to be riding along. VMware has done a nice job of creating and supporting an industry of tightly integrated backup providers. These tools can get at the VMware data through a set of vStorage API’s for Data Protection (VADP) and VMware administrators can manage them through vCenter plug-ins. But few VMware admins are completely aware of all the workloads that run on their VMs and even less aware of the unique recovery needs of all those workloads. It’s just hard to keep up.
Common ground exists
One tool that bridges the gap is IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments (TSM for VE). Nicely integrated with both VADP and SQL Server, TSM for VE can bring together VMware administrators and the DBAs in ways that would make any IT manager smile. Here are two of the more common approaches.
We can each do our own thing – together
As noted above, SQL Server DBAs take full backups sprinkled with differentials. Even though this approach can tax server and storage resources, and contribute to the I/O blender effect, it is in the DBA comfort zone. When the app is running on a VMware virtual machine, the DBA has the option of storing those backups on disk storage associated with the VM. It’s a nice thing to do because it allows the VMware admin to stay within his comfort zone too. Using vCenter to drive a VADP integrated snapshot tool like TSM for VE, the VMware admin can capture a complete copy of the virtual machine, along with the SQL Server backups the DBA created. Since the likely use of such a snapshot would be to recover the VM and then recover the database from its backup, there’s really not a reason to include the source SQL Server database or logs in the snapshot. With TSM for VE, the VMware admin can exclude the source SQL Server database from being redundantly backed up adding to an already formidable set of built-in efficiency techniques (with TSM for VE, snapshots are taken incrementally – forever, and can be deduplicated and compressed). It’s a good compromise solution letting each admin stay in his or her comfort zone. But it can be better.
We can join forces and do something really great
With TSM for VE, VMware admins and SQL Server DBAs can put their heads together and choose to do something really great. For the DBA, it’s an exercise in less-is-more. The DBA stops doing her own backups. No more full or differential copies of the database. No more taxing resource usage on the VM. No more I/O blender effect. Just, no more. How? Well, with a VMware VADP integrated backup tool like TSM for VE, the snapshot of the VM is accompanied by a freeze and thaw of the SQL Server database (techno-speak for putting the database in a consistent state), just like what happens when a backup is independently initiated by a DBA. And with TSM for VE, as soon as the TSM server confirms that it has successfully stored the consistent snapshot in a safe, physically separate place, it will connect back with the SQL Server to truncate the database logs.
In addition to the less-is-more benefits above, think about the differences in restore with these two scenarios. When the DBA and VMware admin simply coexist, each doing their own thing, restoring the SQL Server database includes steps for restoring:
The VM snapshot to get the database backups in place
The full database backup
The subsequent differential backups
By comparison, when the DBA and the VMware admin join forces with TSM for VE, the steps are dramatically simplified. Restoring the snapshot equates to restoring a consistent copy of the database. And remember, because these snapshots are highly efficient, they can be taken quite frequently.
Going to VMworld 2013? Come visit IBM on the Solutions Exchange floor at booth #1545.
VMworld 2013 is just around the corner and at IBM, we’re gearing up for a great set of conversations with our joint clients. As you’re planning your agenda, here are a couple of things worth looking in to.
IBM has a lot of expertise to share when it comes to optimizing virtual environments. A few weeks in my Outside the Line – an interview on Virtualization optimization post, I was able to catch up with several of the experts who are leading this work. At VMworld, IBM will be showcasing these solutions on the Solutions Exchange floor at booth #1545.
IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments (TSM for VE) is one of the mostefficient backup integrations that have been done with the VMware vStorage API’s for Data Protection (VADP). I offered some quick insights in my post VMware backup for the iPOD generation. At VMworld 2013, you’ll have an opportunity to take a test drive in the TSM for VE hands-on lab.
Are you going to VMworld? What are you most looking forward to?
For years Hollywood has been enamored with idea artificial intelligence. Beyond tabulating, beyond programmed responses, what would happen if a computer could learn, reason, analyze, predict? In short, what could computers do if they could think? Sadly, more often than not, Hollywood’s answer resulted in some kind of disaster. In 2001 a Space Odyssey, the HAL 9000 computer decided to kill the astronauts on Discovery One. In the 1983 film WarGames, the WOPR computer played games with global thermonuclear war, and in the Terminator franchise of movies, SkyNet attempted to exterminate the human race. Ugh!!
I’m proud that I work for a company who has a very different perspective on the potential of cognitive computing. Instead of blowing people up, IBMers around the world are developing cognitive systems to help us make better decisions.
Leading the Way to a New Computing Era
Number one on my list of Top 5 Observations from IBM Edge 2013 had to do with the cultural changes driving Big Data. The thing about big data is that, in large part, we don’t yet know what we don’t know. Read more...
Several months ago IDC published an interesting Market Analysis Perspective: Worldwide Enterprise Servers, 2012 — Technology Market that uncovered something quite contrary to conventional wisdom when it comes to virtualized server environments. Server virtualization, or software defined compute (SDC) as it is coming to be known, promised to control server sprawl and return balance to the portion of the IT budget allocated to servers. The IDC research confirms that the controlled server sprawl part of the promise has largely been realized. Since 2000, the worldwide spend on x86 stuff has actually declined from $70B to about $56B. Equally as important, environmental spending on power and cooling has leveled off too. The revelation that surprised most folks was the dramatic expansion in spend on management. Since 2000, spend on management has more than tripled reaching $171B and now accounts for 68% of IT spend on x86 infrastructure.
These days the measuring stick for server virtualization seems to be around VM density, or the number of virtual machines that can be supported on a single physical server. The theory has been that as VM density increases, management costs decline. Most IT managers I talk to can point to fairly good and increasing VM density in their environments. So what’s causing associated management costs to increase so much and what can IT managers do to improve the situation? Read more...
Recently, Forrester published The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Backup And Recovery Software, Q2 2013. I wasn’t surprised by their suggestion that “CommVault [Sympana 10.0], EMC [Avamar 7.0 and NetWorker 10.1], IBM [TSM 6.4), and Symantec [Netbackup 7.5] lead the pack. It’s a tight four-horse race for the top honors — [they] all scored high on strategy and current offerings.” These are the four vendors that are always pushing and shoving on each other in analyst comparisons. The thing that caught my attention in this report was the expert job analyst Rachel Dines did in pealing back a complex market space to uncover some important strategic observations about each vendor. Read more...
I routinely follow a number of blogs by storage industry thought leaders. Among them is a usually insightful blog by EMC’s Chuck Hollis. Last Friday I read his post titled Software-Defined Storage – Where Are We? As Chuck described, the post was intended to explore “Where are the flags being planted? Is there any consistency in the perspectives? How do various vendor views stack up? And what might we see in the future?” The questions themselves captured my attention. First, they are great questions that everyone who is watching this space should want answered. Second, I wanted to see which vendors EMC was interested in comparing with. Notably missing from Chuck’s list was IBM, a vendor who both has a lot to say and a lot to offer on the subject of software defined. (read more)
I started out my day by co-presenting with Brian Sherman - doing a repeat of the DS8870 R7.1 Easy Tier update - good attendance even for a repeat! (about 50). A very interactive session - the participants got all their answers! During this day, I listened to excellent sessions on Cloud Storage, Encryption and the new TSM Ops Center GUI! I did try to get into the TSM Q&A session with Dave Cannon and the TSM for VE session with Dan Wolfe, but they were SRO!
I wrapped up the day by hosting the "Meet the Experts" storage session. I was fortunate enough to have a good turnout of my fellow speakers and a good turn out of customers with questions! A very good session! A lot of discussion around the topic of Software Defined Storage!
That wraps up Tech Edge2013 for me! I am looking forward to Tech Edge2014 in Las Vegas next May at the Venetian Hotel!
Day 2 of the MSP Summit continued to build upon the enthusiam established on Tuesday.
The day's activities began with UBM Channel's Robert Faletra running a very interesting discussion on the MSP and Channel Landscape. More and more partners are moving away from the 'vintage' model of selling hardware and software and moving toward 'progressive' and 'transformative' modes that embrace the cloud model...and this transition if occuring faster than expected. He noted that 52% of BPs offer cloud services today, accounting for 20% of their revenues. These figures will grow to 68% and 28% respectively by 2015. Robert also noted that recurring revenue streams derived from an MSP business model creates value for the partner company in the eyes of the investment community.
IBM's Judy Smolski then facilitated an insightful panel discussion on Transformational Approached to IT Delivery and Business Value Innovation. Much of the discussion focused on how BPs can and should work with each other to address customer needs. IBM's sponsorship of 'Connect to Win' sessions in NA is one way BPs can get together to discuss how their services may complement each other.
From a Storage Software perspective, a session lead by IBM's Steve 'Woj' Wojtowecz on Enabling Your Managed Services with the Cloud was the highlight of the day. Woj provided insights into the transition from traditional VAR to MSP model, the growing storage cloud services sales opportunity, and why customers need services like 'Backup as a Service' to more effectively and efficiently runs their businesses. Thomas Bak of Front-safe followed with a discussion on the cloud portal they developed on TSM which helps MSPs offer BaaS to their customers. The Frontsafe Cloud Portal provides chargeback capabilities, OEM branding and reporting of the customer's backup environment...and a tiered distribution model that allows MSPs to quickly grow their businesses. Heinrich Venter of iSanity then came on stage to talk about how his company leveraged TSM and the Frontsafe Cloud Portal to develop his BaaS service in South Africa. A very well received session that elicited a good many questions and interest from the audience!
The day continued with another eight sessions that provided valuable information to MSPs and to those partners considering this path. A very productive day!
Hi all, Had another great day yesterday, Wednesday - Day 3 - I saw sessions on how to use TPC/SVC to migrate data centers, Hardware updates, How to use Cognos to create custom reports and more! I heard that many Tivoli Storage Manager sessions were so full that people had to be turned away at the door! We closed down a successful Expo after lunch Wednesday - Lots of good business happened at the Expo this past Monday through Wednesday!
Some of today's highlights for me - Listened to an excellent IBM SmartCloud Storage Access session by Manuel Avalos Vega - Easy to provision Cloud Storage! Next up was Brian Sherman, IBM Distinguished Engineer in the ATS organization, presenting DS8000 FlashCopy Client Scenarios to a full house - very nice. Brian and I teamed up the next session on DS8870 R7.1 Easy Tier and Beyond. A very interactive session with the packed room! Cathy Nunez, Director of DS8000 Development, was a helpful participant! In the last session of the day, I presented the zOS Storage Management Ecosystem Update with able assistance from Kevin Hosozawa, OMEGAMON XE for Storage Product Manager and Louis Hanna, a senior Systems Migration Project Office Practitioner!
The two day MSP Summit got off to an exciting start today with over 300 attendees at the kickoff session hosted by Andy Monshaw and Deepak Advani.
Andy noted that over 4000 MSPs were now recognized in the IBM Partnerworld system and that roughly 1/2 had transitioned from being a traditional VAR. He also noted that 'MSPs are the new IT department' in the eyes of their clients and that NextGen MSPs are those that 1) provide high value with innovation, 2) deeply focus on differentiation, and 3) move beyone virtualization and to the cloud. Deepak noted that cloud is an undeniable trend, and in Vegas nomenclature suggested to prospective MSPs that they 'place their bets' on it and start building their business model. He noted that 48% of CIOs now evaluate cloud first over traditional IT offerings. Deepak also emphasized the importance of building around and supporting open architectures such as Open Stack. An MSP Roundtable facilitated by Joe Panettieri of MSP Mentor reinforced messages such as 'moving up the stack' in providing service offerings to drive more revenues and profit.
Cobalt Iron's Richard Spurlock followed with a very insightful session on Innovating Next Generation Data Protection, explaining how his adaptive data protection solutions based on TSM address the new combination of Enterprise Backup and the Cloud Experience. He noted that flexible cloud deployments (public, private, hybrid) most effectively help customers cope with the challenges of cost and complexity.
IBM's Rodney Foreman lead a session in which he emphasized that successful MSPs must be able to articulate the value of the cloud, and have a roadmap on how they plan to enhance their services over time. He also discussed seven key attributes for cloud providers, and called out 'visibility' or providing a dashboard view of the customer's environment as a key success factor. Rodney also noted that Cloud Storage was one of the easiest services to explain to customers and was fueling its growth.
A number of other sessions focused on accelerating time-to-revenue, customer sat, cash flows and the importance of marketing rounded out the first day's sessions.
Big crowds, a lot of great presentations and an enthusiastic audience all contributed to an outstanding day! .
Monday, June 10 - Tech Edge2013 - two highlight sessions I attended - Xin Wang, TSM Product Manager, kicked off the day with a session on the Tivoli Storage Manager Portfolio. A well attended session with about 140 attendees! Jason Davison, VSC Product Manager, followed up with an excellent session introducing the SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center (VSC). It was a lively session with a lot of audience interaction provided by the 100 attendees.
In the mid afternoon I delivered a mainframe session to over 70 attendees - What's new in z/OS DFSMS 2.1!
I was also was part of the SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center pedestal in the solution center - lots of interest at that station this afternoon! Drop by Tomorrow!
Also tomorrow, I'm looking forward to a session on the new SmartCloud Storage Access product by Manuel Avalos and a session on the new DS8870 R7.1 release that Brian Sherman and I are co-presenting (unfortunately, it's at the same time as Dave Daun's TSM Performance Fundamentals - another great looking session). I'll wrap up Tuesday by presenting an update on the Tivoli z/os Storage Management ecosystem!
Next week at IBM Edge, I expect to hear a lot of conversation on software-defined storage (SDS) and, in particular, the IBM Storwize family software platform. Although the SDS craze is a relatively recent phenomenon, IBM has been investing in and tuning the Storwize family software platform for more than a decade. IBM clients first began federating physical storage in 2003, and today the total capacity under Storwize software management is on its way to an exabyte.
So, has IBM really created a software-defined storage platform in the form of the Storwize family software platform? You be the judge. Read more.
The storage infrastructure business has been undergoing a significant transformation over the past few years. Total storage capacity has more than doubled causing CIO’s and IT administrators to pull their hair out trying to keep up with the pace of growth. As we look forward, there doesn’t really seem to be a reason why this growth will slow in the coming years. Richer media (high definition photos and video, for example), mobile device use in the workplace, and the continuing transition to digitize everything will ensure a strong future for the storage marketplace. That being said, it is absolutely essential that we manage storage smarter, make better use of storage assets, and curb that growth as much as possible in order to stay within budget constraints. Last time I checked, storage media doesn’t grow on trees.
The new way to get a handle on storage growth is by leveraging cloud solutions, but what does that really mean? There are mainstream providers offering cloud storage solutions like Amazon, Apple, Walmart, and others, but is that really a viable solution for your valuable intellectual property? Public cloud solutions may be of interest as an extension of an existing environment for specific uses, but most enterprises likely want more security and control over their infrastructure than what can be offered by these types of providers. Another option may be a Co-Lo provider or an MSP that can provide storage services for your environment and guarantee a certain level of security for your most important data.
However, in talking to clients over the past several months, I have found that many enterprises want to build their own cloud infrastructure, but they are not sure how to get started. The first step is understanding what differentiates a cloud infrastructure from a traditional IT environment, and then deciding on a course of action to make the transition. When considering data center transformation to a cloud infrastructure, the first step will be enabling virtualization of your physical storage assets. This is the key to building a set of services for your end users and improving the overall performance and efficiency of the infrastructure as a whole. Virtualized storage can then also be used to standardize advanced services that you can offer to your users such as data protection, backup/archive, and data resiliency for disaster avoidance and recovery. Without virtualization, you are at the mercy of the storage system to provide those services and in a heterogeneous storage environment, you may not be able to offer any or all of those services for all of your storage.
Last year at IBM, we announced SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center (VSC) specifically to help IT organizations transition from traditional storage management to a cloud-based approach. VSC enables clients to virtualize their entire storage infrastructure, build a standard catalog of storage services to offer to end-users. These services include a variety of efficiency features like thin provisioning, real-time compression, and tiered storage management. For the storage administrator, VSC automates the provisioning process and integrates with other SmartCloud offerings to provide charge-back reporting and workflow orchestration. The beauty of VSC is that it can be integrated into your existing environment without having to replace any of your storage assets, enabling you to begin transition to a cloud infrastructure immediately.
To help deal with the challenges of managing backup/restore of your virtual infrastructure, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments (TSM for VE) provides a unified platform to deliver an efficient, integrated approach to data storage and availability. Enabling backup and restore of data residing on virtual machines, without negatively impacting operations, this solution eliminates the need for periodic full backups, helps reduce backup times, and lowers storage costs by performing progressive incremental backups of your virtual machines.
Next week at the Edge Conference in Las Vegas, NV, I, along with many others, will be speaking about the convergence of cloud and storage. If you are planning to attend, I encourage you to drop in on some of these sessions where subject matter experts from IBM will be talking in depth about best practices implementations, and clients already using these technologies will talk about their experiences. Here are just a few sessions that may be of interest to you:
Session 1164, Introduction to SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center
Mon. June 10, 11:00am
Session 1138, IBM Cloud Storage Architectures
Wed. June 12, 12:30pm
Session 1551, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager and Cloud
Wed. June 12, 4:30pm
Session 1265, Building the Cloud Enabled Data Center
Thur. June 13, 12:30pm
As you've no doubt heard, there will be something for everyone at IBM EDGE 2013. Here is a quick recap of the "four events within the event", with additional details about the newest addition to the IBM Edge conference for 2013 ... the MSP Summit!
Executive Edge: A 2.5 day event for IT executives and leaders focusing on discovering new innovations for managing storage growth, accelerating cloud deployments, unlocking the insights from big data, and securing critical information and processes.
Technical Edge: A 4.5 day technical event for IT professionals and practitioners focused on sharpening expertise, discovering new innovations and learning industry best practices.
Winning Edge: A 3 day sales bootcamp catering to the needs of IBM Business Partner (BP) sales professionals.
MSP Summit: A 2 day event tailored to Managed Service Providers and organizations who are considering becoming MSPs. Storage Software will be well represented at this component of Edge and I've been working with some of our existing and prospective MSP's regarding their presence and attendance, so please read on...
The MSP Summit kicks off on Tuesday, June 11 with GM's Andy Monshaw and Deepak Advani hosting a general session on "Becoming a Next Generation MSP". Immediately following will be a breakout session highlighting Cobalt Iron. CEO Richard Spurlock has built his MSP business around Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM), offering 'Backup as a Service' in public, private and hybrid cloud environments. Richard will share how he did it and his view of innovative data protection.
On the second day of the MSP Summit, our VP of Storage Software Development, Steve Wojtowecz (aka 'Woj'), will lead with a discussion on "Enabling Your Managed Storage Services with the Cloud" that includes how emerging business models and technologies are creating new opportunities for MSPs in the Storage space. Woj will then turn the stage over to Thomas Bak, Co-Founder and CSO of Front-safe who will tell us about their self-service cloud portal that MSPs can use to deliver TSM backup and recovery services. Heinrich Venter, Managing Director at iSanity, will wrap up this session by sharing his company's experiences as an MSP leveraging the Front-Safe portal technology and TSM.
There are over a dozen other topics on the two day summit agenda, including talks by IBM and partner executives that are sure to resonate with all MSPs. To learn more please check out the conference website and I hope to see you throughout the MSP Summit in June at IBM EDGE 2013!