IBM Systems & Software InterConnect 2012 is almost here! Are you registered yet? IBM is inviting more
than 2,500 global leaders in business and technology to attend this
first-of-a-kind, cross-IBM event taking place October 9-11, 2012, at the
Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore.
Join us at InterConnect and you will learn directly from successful IBM
clients, technical decision-makers and industry experts who will share best
practices for achieving your organization’s strategic goals. They'll explain
how they’re fulfilling the vision of their senior leadership – so you can
define a path to turn your opportunities into outcomes.
What is InterConnect really about?Making connections.As an
attendee, you’ll have numerous opportunities to network and meet one-on-one
with your peers, IBM leaders, industry experts and global companies that are
achieving accelerated growth.
You will also have the opportunity to participate in rich "Hot
Topic" sessions hosted by senior IBM thought leaders that showcase
successful business strategies that leverage the breadth and depth of IBM
·Changing the Economics of IT with IBM
·Leveraging Security Intelligence to
Protect Your Most Valuable Corporate Assets
·Rethink IT. Reinvent Business with Cloud
·Transforming Critical Business Processes
·Unlocking Opportunities with Big Data
·Gaining Competitive Advantage Through
·Creating Exceptional Experiences By
Combining Social and Commerce Best Practices
·Speeding Innovation and Extending Reach
·Transforming IT for Insight and Efficiency with Smarter Storage
·Enabling Growth with Critical Information
In the Smarter Storage session, you will have the opportunity to hear
directly from IBM’s General Manager of System Storage & Networking, Brian
Truskowski, as well as Laura Guio, VP & Business Line Executive for IBM
Storage. Attend this session to gain valuable insights from clients who are
transforming their business with IBM Storage solutions, while meeting budget
constraints at the same time.Learn best
practices for optimizing your storage management performance and cost, and find
out how IBM Storage can increase the return on investment of your existing
The Smarter Storage session will also feature key Tivoli storage announcements focused on
storage virtualization and taking your storage to the cloud.You won’t want to miss this!
As an IBM marketing manager, my job includes writing about storage technology.This post is about more than technology, though.It’s about a new breakthrough capability for managing storage costs and service levels.
I recently met with IBM Distinguished Engineer, Mike Sylvia, who has been working on a Business Transformation project to enable automated right tiering for storage in IBM data centers.Right tiering is the notion that data should be hosted on the optimal storage tier to balance cost and performance requirements.
Mike explained that applications tend to be hosted on top tier storage.When he analyzed actual usage patterns, Mike found most data can be effectively hosted on lower cost storage.Mike’s project put numbers to a problem that is often hidden from view and, until now, nearly impossible to solve.
Hosting data on the wrong storage tier turns out to be a huge efficiency problem.Mike predicts IBM will save $13 million over 3 years in one data center, by periodically moving data to the right tier.During the pilot, users saw their cost for storage drop by 50% per TB on average.This is big.
Like many advancements, IBM’s automated right tiering capability is accomplished by integrating existing technology.Mike Sylvia’s project combines storage virtualization, storage management automation and analytics.Today, IBM offers the technology in a bundled solution called SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center.
How does it work?
Step 1.IBM’s storage virtualization controller collects detailed usage metrics about storage it manages throughout the data center, without impacting application performance.
Step 2.IBM’s Storage Analytics Engine studies usage patterns over time to understand performance requirements.
Step 3:Storage tier recommendations are generated in reports that can be shared with application owners and IT management.
Step 4:Storage virtualization enables online data migration, with no disruption to applications or users.
Repeat:Usage patterns change over time, of course, so right tiering becomes an ongoing process.
Why does it work?
Automated right tiering delivers the efficiency benefits of Information Lifecycle Management without the headaches and hidden costs.Automated right tiering has significant benefits for both data owners and IT leaders, so everyone wins.
For example, application and database owners can gain the following benefits:
Applications can move to top tier storage when they need it, without waiting for a maintenance window.
Average storage costs drop significantly, without a drop in services.
IT leaders benefit, too.For example:
Storage tier decisions are based on analysis of actual usage patterns, not predictions.Storage performance management tasks are eliminated.
Data can quickly and easily be moved back to its original storage tier if requested, without incurring an outage.
IBM automated right tiering works with most storage systems, so deployment is nondisruptive.
The technology that enables automated right tiering has significant additional benefits, such as the ability to eliminate scheduled outages for storage system maintenance.
Problem solved.How has your organization addressed the storage right tiering challenge?
Backup 1000 virtual machines in less than 36 minutes
Is it possible to achieve higher levels of data protection, recovery and availability for the virtualized systems than in your non-virtualized environment? Yes, is what you will hear from IBM and VMware at VMworld® 2012.
We’re all aware of how data protection and recovery has only gotten more complicated with the explosive growth in server virtualization. Applications running on virtual environments are becoming even more critical for business success, and the data volumes residing in virtual environments are growing in leaps and bounds. Also, given the shared physical resources of ESX/ESXi systems, a smarter approach to I/O intensive processes such as backup and recovery are needed.
As a virtual environment user, if you’re looking for faster backup and restore for the VMware datastores, then IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager Version 3.1 (referred to as FCM 3.1) is the answer. It is designed to handle high demands - but how quick can it be?
Seeking to expunge all doubts, and recognizing the demand for efficient and fast backup of virtual machine data residing in VMware datastores, the Tivoli Storage Manager performance team carried out a benchmark test.
To assess how fast FCM 3.1 can meet the data protection demands from VMware virtual environments, the team conducted tests on VMware environments that have up to 1000 on-line virtual machines with a total capacity of 18 TB of disk space.
The results were astounding. Test results for up to 1000 virtual machines (the maximum tested) showed that FlashCopy backup elapsed time increases linearly with the number of virtual machines: * 500 virtual machines can be backed up by FCM 3.1 in 15 minutes
* 1000 virtual machines can be backed up by FCM 3.1 in 36 minutes
So how is this useful to you? FCM 3.1 provides:
* Simplified deployment and management of advanced, application-aware data backup * Improved backup and recovery times from hours to minutes * Improved administrative productivity by simplified management and automation of routine tasks
IBM Tivoli Storage Software ROCKS for the 6th Straight Quarter
IBM announced its second quarter earnings yesterday, 18 Jul 12, showing great results in very a difficult macro economic climate. In his remarks on the investor call, IBM Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge specifically called out Tivoli Storage as a strong contributor to these results:
"In software this quarter, we had good growth in our business analytics and storage management offerings ... Tivoli software was up 6 percent at constant currency and gained share, driven by storage software growth of 13 percent at constant currency. Tivoli Storage Management continues to perform exceptionally well, growing double digits at constant currency for the sixth consecutive quarter ... Storage hardware revenue was flat at constant currency, with the value continuing to shift to software, as you saw with the ongoing success we’re having in our Tivoli storage software offerings."
The success of Tivoli Storage Software is largely the result of the strong growth of the Tivoli Storage Manager family, our flagship data backup and unified recovery management platform. This is obviously a very competitive and highly saturated market segment - everybody has a backup solution in place - and it's a segment that is projected to grow only 8% this year. So why is Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) doing so well? We believe its because the requirements for data protection have changed dramatically over the past 3 to 5 years, and we've made the improvements to the product necessary to meet and stay ahead of those challenges.
1. Data is growing at 40% - 60% per year, and legacy backup software, especially those solutions that rely on adding media servers as they scale, cannot keep up with this growth. TSM has seen an 800% increase in it's scalability since 2009, now supporting up to 4 billion data objects in a single TSM server.
2. IT environments have become increasing complex, and important data assets are now created and managed in more places than ever before. Many companies have deployed a wide range of point solutions to handle the different requirements of key applications, virtual machines, remote offices, employee workstations, disaster recovery, etc., but this only brings in more cost and complexity to the point where you lose visibility and control of the overall data protection infrastructure. TSM, however, offers a true Unified Recovery Management platform that ties all of these advanced technologies together in a single user interface, making it easy to ensure everything is protected and can be recovered quickly when something goes wrong.
3. Costs are out of control - mostly due to points 1 and 2 above. Backup is really just an insurance policy - it doesn't add anything to the top line, so you want to spend as little on it as possible. To address this, we've added tons of new capabilities into TSM at no additional cost, including built-in data deduplication and off-site replication, and we've introduced a back-end capacity pricing model that encourages you to take advantage of TSM's outstanding data reduction and data lifecycle management capabilities to further reduce your overall cost of ownership.
We are seeing many customers consolidate their diverse backup infrastructures onto the TSM platform, and we are also seeing success with Managed Service Providers (MSPs), some through the "Backed Up by IBM TSM" partner program, leveraging TSM to offer enterprise-class data protection services to small and medium size businesses and agencies that could not otherwise afford this level of protection.
To learn more about how Tivoli Storage Manager can improve the performance and efficiency of your IT environment, please contact your local IBM rep or Business Partner. We would love to have you be part of our continuing growth and success.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
IDC has recently released its Worldwide Storage Software QView for the first quarter of 2012. In it, IDC estimates that the total Storage Software market for 1Q12 grew about 3.3% over 1Q11.IBM had a solid quarter while Symantec faltered, allowing IBM to take the overall #2 share rank position for 1Q12.
§In the Overall Storage Software Market, IBM moved up to #2 share rank position in 1Q12, gaining 2.0 share points over 1Q11.
§IBM retained its #1 position for Archiving Software growing faster than the market.HP holds #2 spot with its 2011 acquisition of Autonomy.
IBM offers a comprehensive, flexible storage management software portfolio that helps organizations address storage management challenges across the enterprise, including data centers, remote/branch offices and desktop/laptop computers. Learn more about the specific components within the IBM storage software family that can help you create a more responsive and resilient storage infrastructure for your on demand business.
Most compelling in this announcement is the continued adoption of the XIV user experience across the IBM storage family. When IBM acquired XIV in 2008, it brought along arguably the coolest user interface in the storage market. It is simple and intuitive, easy to navigate, and yet provides powerful levels of visibility and control of the storage environment.
Here’s what the new TPC V5.1 main dashboard looks like:
But what was most exciting for me, as the product marketing manager for the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager family (http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/storage-mgr/productline/) was the “Statement of Direction” that was included in the TPC V5.1 Announcement Letter. In it, IBM states that it intends to adapt this advanced administration GUI for use with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager. Woo Hoo!!
This intuitive GUI approach is already being used across the IBM storage portfolio of software and systems: the new Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller, IBM XIV Storage System, IBM Storwize V7000 Unified, and IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SoNAS). Customers can leverage this user interface consistency to simplify the management of various systems within their data center such as unified recovery, enterprise storage administration, and individual storage systems.
Tens of thousands of Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) administrators have “learned” to love TSM’s command line interface, and it will continue to be the fastest, most powerful approach to managing your TSM environment. But to attract a new generation of users, and to expand our market into new areas, we believe that this new user interface will be another huge step forward.
Starting with the release of TSM V6.1 in 2009, our developers have continued to make significant improvements to the daily lives of TSM administrators, including (but not limited to):
Replaced TSM’s internal relational database with a full DB2 implementation, reducing overall TSM administration time by as much as 40% and enabling massive scalability
Improved reliability, performance and availability
Automatic push of client software updates (80% time savings)
Integrated reporting and monitoring, with Cognos Business Intelligence Reporting tools to help generate custom reports faster
Unified Recovery Management to manage the entire distributed backup/recovery infrastructure, from mainframe to laptop, from a single admin interface
A new capacity-based licensing model that eliminates the need to count TSM PVUs (processor value units)
The thought of a new Tivoli Storage Manager Admin Console, leveraging the success seen across the storage hardware family (and now TPC as well) and providing a common look-and-feel across our hardware and software offerings, is something to get really excited about. I can’t tell you when it’s coming, and we can’t make any promises that it’s coming at all, but I’m pumped.
The plan will be to roll out functionality in the new UI incrementally. If there are any specific things, beyond the obvious basic functions, that you would like to see in the first release, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward it to Product Management.
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.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
Mike Griese, TPC Product Manager, presented Tivoli Storage Productivity Center v5.1 to a huge gathering at IBM Edge on the opening day. The video is now available on Youtube. ___________________________________________________________ To view more videos from IBM Edge, visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/IBMEDGE2012 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Posted on behalf of Martine Wedlake, Ph.D., Storage UI Architect, IBM Software Group
From talking with customers, we know that it's really important that you find what you need quickly and easily. The original navigation structure for IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) was built around a resource explorer model -- very much like a windows file explorer. This unfortunately, means you can have a ton of entries in the navigation that you'll need to hunt through to find anything.
For example, I took a look at one of our TPC deployments in the lab and started counting the number of clickable entries in the navigation -- I stopped counting once I got to 1000. Based on how far I got through, I'd say that there were about 1500 or so. I should point out, that this is not a particularly large deployment -- 25 storage systems, 7 servers, 4 hypervisors, 5 fabrics with 46 switches. You can expect a much larger set of entries on larger deployments.
So, we knew pretty early on that we needed to improve the navigation. To do that we switched from a resource explorer view to a by-category view. This allowed us to dramatically simplify the navigation to only 13 high-level categories and no more than two levels deep. No more hunting and pecking to find what you want!
We also made it possible to directly link to the things you want without having to go through the navigation at all. For example, for an SVC storage system's detail page you can link directly to the set of backend controllers in your environment consuming the storage. You don't need to go back out to the navigation menu and then try to track down the servers all over again. Here’s a picture:
The overall concept is whenever you see something interesting; you should be able to drill-down into it. In addition to the navigation of the product, we've spent considerable effort to make the content of the user interface easier and more intuitive; and to make it consistent with the work we had done previously on the Storwize V7000 and SAN Volume Controller user interfaces – if you've seen one of our GUIs, you'll be able to get up to speed quickly on any of the others.
To that end, we borrowed significantly from the Storwize V7000 GUI, for example: configurable tables, visual theme, embedded help system, charting and general icons. Here’s a screenshot of Storwize V7000 GUI to help show the similarities:
Beyond these cosmetic enhancements, we spent a lot of time working with our stakeholders to deliver the content in an intuitive and simplified way. Knowing what to put on the pages and how to simplify the pages involved a dramatic shift in our development process. But, before I move on to that, I really need to highlight the improvements made with reporting.
In this release, we've embraced the Tivoli Common Reporting which includes IBM Cognos. This is a huge step forward for improving your ability to view and create reports for TPC.
To start with, you will not need to know SQL or database schema to create reports -- the drag and drop interface allows you to simply incorporate the data columns you wish to show and Cognos already understands the relationships between the entities. For example, let's say you want to show the volumes connected to a given server. In Cognos, you simply add columns for the Server Name and the Storage Volume into the canvas. The tool already understands the relationships between these entities and will automatically join the data appropriately to show which volumes are mapped to which servers.
Of course, we also provide upwards of 45 or so reports out of the box for those who don't wish to create reports themselves. Another neat feature is that the reports included with TPC can be copied and edited by the built-in editor tool within Cognos, so you can take one of our reports and modify it to your liking. Here are some of the reports that are included with TPC:
Working with our customers is part of the most rewarding aspects of my work here at IBM. For this release of TPC, we employed a radically different development model from what we have done in the past. We like many in the industry used to develop in a methodology called waterfall where requirements are captured and approved at the beginning of the project which leads to a phase of high-level and low-level designs, leading eventually to development, test and delivery to customer. For this release of TPC, we wanted to include customer input throughout the development cycle -- not just at the beginning when collecting requirements.
As such, we hosted 17 sessions with 34 customers, 7 business partners and 4 internal customers spread throughout the development cycle (held monthly). We also sent developers and GUI designers out into the field to talk directly with 7 customers. From these combined sessions, we captured 261 distinct requirements and were able to contain 188 of them within the first phase of development, with 47 being deferred into the second phase. That means that 72% of the requirements are already implemented in the first phase alone, and 90% of the requirements are expected to be implemented by the second phase. This is very impressive, as compared against traditional waterfall development.
The best part of an iterative, agile approach is that we are constantly evaluating the effectiveness of the solutions. We learn right away if something isn't quite hitting the mark, and have plenty of time to make changes to improve it.
As a quick plug, it is not too late to participate in our Early Adopter Program for the next phase of TPC. Please feel free to contact me directly (email@example.com) if you would like to participate. We would love to work with you to make TPC even better.
I am at the Edge Conference this week with my trusty colleague Nathan Smith (@nsmith01tx), the Rich Media Lead for the Tivoli Digital Marketing Team. As two veteran event attendees, it was refreshing to go to Edge and see a new conference put together with such style and aplomb. Edge used to be four different events. This is the first year that they all got pulled together into this inaugural Edge event.
If you are thinking about jetting out here to catch the last three days don't bother. The conference is sold out. However, you can catch the general sessions on LiveStream. If you jump on twitter while you're watching, its almost as good as being there. Use the conference hashtag #ibmedge to join in the conversation or to listen to the backchannel as it happens. Some of the folks who are out and about are Jon Toigo (@jontoigo), Chris O'Connor (@ChrisTheAnalyst), Ray Luccesi (@RayLucchesi), Al Hollingsworth (@AlHollingsworth) among others. Mary Hall has an excellent who to watch and follow post on influential bloggers and tweeters in the Storage space.
I saw Jon wondering around today and plan to meet him. Alex, from Emulex can also be found at the
SocialEdge area along with @staceytabor and the Baptie group. In fact,
go to the SocialEdge area and ask @staceytabor about the #storagebeers
tweetup planned for Wed at 5pm. It's invitation only, but tell Stacey
that @brenny sent you.
I am not going to write about the general session because Tony Pearson has an excellent writeup of it here.
However I will mention that the real time compression for active data announcement got a lot of attention in the backchannel.
I 'd write about the TPC 5.1 release, but Amalore Jude has done a fine job of it here. In fact, if you are looking for news about the TPC 5.1 announce and features, its well worth reading Jude's other posts on the Storage blog. For those in attendance at Edge, there are some great sessions that lay out the TPC 5.1 features and benefits. Gary Fry has one such session where he shares his experiences as a beta tester of the new version.
For those not in attendance, the Tivoli User Community (TUC) is hosting a webcast on the TPC 5.1 release and details. If you are not yet a TUC member then its definitely worth checking out. Last I heard the membership stands at over 20K strong.
On the Social Media front, its great to see a set of very strong bloggers and analysts in attendance and blogging as well as tweeting the event. It seems many have read about the Social Media plans for Edge and are taking advantage of them.
On the lighter side, it was a nice surprise to see an IBM Conference open up with Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, played by Bella Electric Strings.
Comedian Don McMillan (@DonMcMillan) held court during the general session and was a hoot as always. All of these are available for view on replay on the LiveStream channel
And finally, it is a nice bonus to have the conference at a Waldorf. It's the one place where you'd imagine that even conference food would taste good. Well, they did not disappoint so far. Yesterday, I enjoyed a vegetarian Paella, with a plantain salad served with baby shrimp and mixed vegetable. I'll let you know what lunch is like on Tuesday.
As a solution marketing professional, I seem to focus on communicating the key features and benefits of my products. In the case of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM), those things include its scalability, functionality, reliability performance and ability to reduce your costs. However, what we don’t focus on enough, it seems, is the importance of the vendor itself, and its stability, ability to execute, and commitment to provide exceptional customer support.
I was reminded of this by a stream of e-mails originating in South Africa. A large bank there, who we unfortunately cannot name, has been a TSM customer for more than a dozen years. They were recently acquired by a global banking company based in the United Kingdom. In doing its due diligence, the acquiring bank determined that it needed to evaluate some documents that were created, and deleted in the early 2000s.
The South African bank has been keeping periodic copies of its backup tapes, and copies of the TSM database, for long term retention, and had a reasonable expectation that the required documents were somewhere in their stack of tapes. However, they were not following the best practice of transferring the metadata from the database when they upgraded TSM from version to version over the years.
They needed TSM version 4.2, which IBM ended support for in 2002 (ten years ago!). And they needed a version that ran on AIX. Yikes!
The problem was that they needed to create a new TSM Server, using a very old version of the software in order to restore the old TSM database, which would then point them to where the documents were.
Of course, the easy thing to do would be to tell the customer they were out of luck, but that’s not what IBMers do. A worldwide search went out, and one of our long-resident software developers was able to dig out the needed code. The result … the bank was able to retrieve the needed files and completed the acquisition with only a minimal delay.
I came to two conclusions after seeing this story play out. One, you really do need to have a long-term data retention / archive strategy, and follow it. Simply sending backup tapes to a vault is not a viable strategy. You need to worry about how you are to going to restore that data in 10, 20, or more years when all of your IT infrastructure has been refreshed, virtualized, clouded, or whatever comes next. Think about using a content management system rather than your backup software when you need to retain certain information for long periods of time, and plan for periodic migrations of the data to new platforms.
Second, when you fail to follow the advice in ‘one’ above, wouldn’t it be good to have a partner that will go to the ends of the earth to help you out of whatever jam you find yourself in? I know that all vendors aspire to this, and many claim it, but all I can say is that I see it every day at IBM, especially among the Tivoli Storage team. You could do a lot worse. I really enjoy being a part of this team.
I was going to close with a joke about needing to find a player for my stash of 8-track tapes – but that would just be giving away how old I am.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
Today (June 4), IBM announces an enhanced Tivoli Storage Productivity Center v5.1 (TPC) that offers superb usability, unmatched reporting and integrated packaging like no other. Customers, sellers and partners are all excited, quite expectedly.
When we previewed the new user interface in Pulse’12, there were many in the audience who wanted to get access to it right away. The new user interface is in line with IBM’s strategy to offer consistent user experience across its major storage offerings – look and feel is great, navigation is breeze and most importantly, quick access to any information from the main dashboard is simply terrific.
The new dashboard view of TPC…
With v5.1, you can access your TPC management console through web. The dashboard not only shows you the capacity and connectivity information, but also details on event alerts, with criticality info, if any.
Entity based views are quite refreshing too. Refer to the sample image below – it shows the overview of a Storwize V7000 system. From this overview screen, you can understand the utilization, activities, data throughput, among many other things.
Click here to watch a short video on ‘TPC’s new user interface’.
TPC is now integrated with IBM Cognos - industry-leading business intelligence software capabilities are now brought to you to manage your storage environment more easily and efficiently. Cognos allows you to simply drag and drop metrics for you to assemble meaningful insights – and interestingly, these do not require advanced skills or writing SQL codes.
A sample report created through Cognos…
Well, now the wait is over. To get access to the new user interface and the Cognos-based reporting, talk to your IBM sales representative or IBM business partner today.
Download TPC data sheet. View the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Storage Resource Management and SAN Management Software, compliments of IBM, here.
In a previous post, we talked about the recent reviews that the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) received. In particular, we are very pleased with the 'Leader' designation received in the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant review for Storage Resource Management.
Its not just the analyst reactions that are positive. Based upon a customer focused feature list, the product team undertook an overhaul of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and introduced a dashboard that provideseasy touse comprehensive reporting. To ensure they had got it right, the proposed changes were demonstrated on the Expo floor at the Pulse 2012 conference in Las Vegas earlier this year. Responses from the user base were enthusiastic, to the extent that this next iteration is quickly becoming a sought after item.
A beta test program was initiated at the conference, as the true litmus test that the proposed new features would stand the test in a true production environment. Early responses point to some interesting observations. When polled about their experiences with the next evolution of the product, one of the most talked about aspects were features provided to simplify complex reporting. Beta testers derived great time and productivity benefits from having a picture of the full storage environment; something they had to previously go to multiple places together. A common benefit registeredwas time savings when it came to complex reporting.
What is compelling however is the business analytics that this next iteration yields. Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) provides detailed topology viewsof the entire storage infrastructure. In the overhauled GUI, administrators can observe the overall health of the environment instantly. A simple 'right click' provides detailedviews on each of the storage network entities. The facilitation of these environment wideviews led a beta customer to observe that 'more than just the storage engineer can now get a simple view of their SAN environment'. What does this mean? It means that what started out as a time saver for the practitioners - the storage engineers - now becomes an entryway for the management team to get a quick look at the overall environment, allowing for higher level strategic discussions about storage environments and needs.
Is this good or bad? A recent survey revealed that CMOs will outspend CIOs on IT by 2017. When I tweeted this I was asked by @jamie_joyce why it would take this long. My answer is that its likely due to the classic tension between a cost saving position on infrastructure vs a growth position on Business Analytics or feature offerings. When you think about Big Data within Business Analytics and the proliferation of mobile devices as two huge growth areas, the commonality is a mass proliferation of data in orders of magnitude never imagined. The conversation comes back to storage,and the associated resource management.
Which way does your company lean? Where is your head in that tension between cost savings and growth when it comes to your storage environment?
I chatted with Product Marketing Manager Amalore Jude about this and the kind of reaction the team got at Pulse in Vegas March of this year when they demo'd thenew GUI interface. He was quite pleased with the response. 'Customers were very excited looking at the new, next-generation interface' he told me 'many are awaiting June 4, when they can actually lay their hands on it.'
Well, June 4 is around the corner. If you are a regular reader of this blog, its quite likely I will meet you at the Edge Conference in Florida next week. If you're there, please tweet me @brenny or find me somehow and say hi.
The conference is selling out but there are still passes available for the Tech Edge portion of the four part event. It's not too late to register. The Tech Edge portion is well laid out with over 250 sessions that are being led by IBMers and customers. Sometimes its better to hear the war stories of your peers when you're trying to figure out how to exploit what you have, or are considering getting.
One customer who is speaking is Gary Fry of Unum. His session on March 6, 10-11am in Rm 115 is on Unum's use of the SAN Volume Controller and his experiences beta testing the new evolution of TPC.
So, if you are going, then I hope to see you out there. If you haven't yet decided, then getting a first look at this next evolution of storage infrastructure management is hopefully good motivation to consider it.