ILuminate kicked off the General Session with an innovative,
cool to watch performance – and as Scott said, their performance plus coffee
makes for a wide awake audience!
Steve Mills took the stage – his expertise and client focus
really shine through, but the best part was hearing about how IBM “eats its own
cooking”. He shared about the IT transformation that IBM has undergone, under
Jeannette Horan’s direction, to increase productivity and efficiency while
reducing costs. Did you know that IBM has to manage over 100 petabytes of
production data? How do you think they do that – you’re right, Tivoli Storage
Solutions!! Steve has such a way with
words. I especially loved the sound byte, “Linux runs like a scalded dog on the
Next up was Bob Picciano – he brought up an impressive panel
of customers from Equifax, Rogers, GE and Erie County.
Each had a unique story to tell about working with IBM to optimize their
The Storage sessions today continued to support the main
themes of unified data protection, storage virtualization, and cloud. There were proof points from Bank of China
with their consolidated backup and recovery environment, and Unum who delivered
a presentation around Storage Virtualization using San Volume Controller and Tivoli Productivity
Center. And speaking of
TPC, I hope you made it down to the Solutions Expo to see the new GUI for TPC
(@ Ped 44) that is being tested right now with customers. Butterfly Software also had a session, talking about data
center consolidation – if you haven’t heard what Butterfly can do for you, you
owe it to yourself to learn! In fact, all our partners in the Solutions Expo
have said what a great show this has been for them so far.
Even though these are long days, it’s so good to see
everyone, hear from everyone, and learn so much! And tonight, WE DANCE! Maroon
5 takes the stage this evening, and I think everyone is ready for it! Remember we get to sleep in tomorrow, and hear from Steve
Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, as Day 3 focuses on Innovation.
The Storage Management track at IBM PULSE 2012 kicked off in a big way this afternoon, with a presentation by Laura DuBois, vice president of the storage practice at analyst firm IDC. Laura reviewed where data and storage management technologies have been (focused on the core data center), where they are (spreading to the edge) and where they are going in the future (cloud services).
Ron Riffe, Tivoli Storage Product Manager, then shared IBM's vision for smarter data and storage management in two strategic areas - reducing the percentage of the storage IT budget that is dedicated to managing the copies of data, and controlling the overall cost of storage in the face of continuing data growth and service level expectations.
The first goal is addressed through Unified Recovery -- a path that the Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) family has been on for the past 2 years and will continue with new capabilities in integrating the complex array of data protection technologies into a single user interface, reducing costs and avoiding serious risks when trying to manage many different point solutions for protecting the data in different types of systems (including virtualized systems), applications and locations.
With the planned enhancements to Unified Recovery, our customers will be able to:
- Free IT from the cost and complexity of legacy data management products
- Get ahead of runaway data growth and Big Data
- Be online quicker following data disasters
- Transform your backup infrastructure into a service
Controlling overall storage costs is accomplished by a new solution suite -- the IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center -- a storage hypervisor that virtualizes and manages heterogeneous storage systems. With this set of integrated capabilities, organizations can:
- Dramatically improve utilization of their physical storage assets
- Deliver tier 1 service regardless of hardware choice
- Balance workload, manage lease termination, improve data center performance
- Optimize their people for the challenges of day-to-day operations
Following the super crowded (standing room only) kickoff session, we started into a fantastic set of breakout sessions over the remainder of Pulse week. Today's sessions included:
- STORServer and their customer, Management Council, Ohio Education Computer Network, described the use of TSM-based STORServer appliances, feeding a into a central TSM-based community cloud, to achieve cost-effective backup and disaster recovery services across the state's education system.
- Ricoh Americas detailed how the IBM storage hypervisor helped to streamline their storage management
- Chesapeake Energy, a speaker at previous Pulse events, covered the cost and service level improvements that they are experiencing since upgrading their TSM environment to the latest release (version v6.3)
Tomorrow promises to be even more exciting, with a "main tent" demonstration of the SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center in the MGM Grand's Grand Garden Arena, many more informative breakout sessions (including my panel session on Modernizing Data Protection) and ending with a party and concert by Maroon 5.
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videos from Pulse (Pulse folder)Tivoli User Group
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Pre-Pulse Tivoli Storage Management activities kicked off
Saturday, March 3 with the Tivoli Storage Business Partner Summit.
We had a strong showing of storage Business
Partners, and the summit was a great way to gear up for Pulse, which kicked off last night with the Grand Opening & Welcome Reception in the Pulse Solution
Expo Hall. Thanks to all our Tivoli Storage Business Partners for attending the Pre-Pulse Tivoli Storage BP Summit and
sharing valuable insights!
During this BP Summit, we
heard from both IBM and Business Partners who covered key topics such as:
-TSM 6 migration with Butterfly
-TSM competitive positioning
-SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center
-STG cloud initiatives & other STG opportunities
-Key trends in the storage marketplace, and
-TMS Suite for Unified Recovery.
You can learn more about these key storage topics in the
Storage Management track, which kicks off today, Monday, at 2PM in Room
117. Speakers include Steve Wojtowecz,
VP of Storage Software Development and Bina Hallman, Director Tivoli Storage
& System z Software Product Manager.
Joining these IBM speakers, is IDC Analyst Laura DuBois who will address
key storage trends. Following this
kickoff session, there will be several Storage Management sessions at Pulse in
rooms 115 and 117, as well as key demos in the Solution Expo. More details can be found on the Pulse site
under the Cloud & Data Center Optimization Stream under Storage Management
Track. And, don’t forget to leverage
the SmartSite Agenda Builder
so you don’t miss out on any key Pulse storage sessions!
Continuing the recap of the Saturday BP Storage Sunmit, we
listened to Butterfly Software present their successes with TSM migrations,
leveraging their assessment tool. You
wont’ want to miss their live data migration demo during the Monday storage
Birds of a Feather session #1387 at 6PM in room 117. Special refreshments to be served!
We also heard from Frontsafe, winner of a Business Partner Award
today at the Pulse BP Summit Day. You
can also hear more about Frontsafe’s
“Backed by TSM” solution at storage session 1360 on Wednesday, 3:30PM in
room 115. Also, check out Frontsafe’s
Livestream interview on Monday, 2:30PM at the Expo Stage in the Solution Center.
You can watch this interview on the Pulse
Livestream channel, as well. Backed up by IBM Tivoli Storage Manager
(TSM) is a unique Ready for IBM Tivoli program classification for clients,
business partners and managed service providers who use the IBM Tivoli Storage
Manager family of offerings as a core component of a data protection and
recovery managed services or cloud-based offering. It is IBM’s new partner program for validated
TSM cloud solutions. Visit the Ready
for Tivoli / Backed up by IBM TSM in the BP Café (part of the Solution Expo Center).
Partnering with Frontsafe, another storage BP, Starfire
Technologies, joined Frontsafe’s BP program recently. You can listen to Richard Spurlock, CEO of
Starfire, speak more about this partnership during his Pulse interview on the
Livestream stage in the Solution Expo.
Check it out here: Starfire Technologies Expo Stage Interview.
As Tivoli storage just finished a stellar year
of significant growth in the marketplace, 2012 promises to be another strong
year with continued focus in key growth areas such as: Data Protection & Central Management
& storage hypervisor. Please join us
at Pulse in rooms 115 and 117 in the Conference
Center all week to learn
more! And, keep your eye on the Tivoli Storage Blog here for all Storage at Pulse happenings........
What do you think of when you see the name Riverbed
? For those of you not familiar, Riverbed is an IBM partner and the leader in Wide Area Network Optimization. These days, Riverbed offers more than just WAN OP solutions. Riverbed products improve IT infrastructure, speed up application performance, reduce bandwidth utilization, and offer solutions to securely leverage cloud storage. For enterprises looking to implement strategic initiatives such as virtualization, consolidation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery, Riverbed delivers optimum performance for globally connected enterprises without compromising the end user experience.
When organizations consolidate IT and move to cloud environments, the distance created between users and their data often results in high-latency and reduced bandwidth. Riverbed WAN optimization, network performance management, and cloud storage solutions enable enterprises to overcome these drawbacks. Riverbed makes it easy to understand, optimize, and accelerate IT, so that organizations can build a fast, fluid, and dynamic IT architecture.
Steelhead® appliances from Riverbed, Virtual Steelhead(TM), and Steelhead Mobile can increase network throughput and application performance by up to 100 times. Riverbed Cascade® provides enterprise-wide network and application visibility and analysis for both enterprise customers and service providers. Riverbed Whitewater® cloud storage gateways revolutionize data protection by leveraging cloud storage. And Stingray Traffic Manager® provides unprecedented scale and flexibility to deliver applications across the widest range of environments. All in all, Riverbed offers end to end solutions to analyze, accelerate and optimize an organization’s IT infrastructure without compromising performance for the end user no matter how far away they reside from the data center.
Stop by the Riverbed booth E105 at IBM PULSE 2012
to see the latest in IT performance solutions.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
and IBM enjoy a strong partnership which, thanks in part to Riverbed’s Whitewater
cloud storage gateways, extends to IBM’s storage management software ecosystem. Whitewater leverages public cloud storage to reduce backup and administration costs, improve disaster recovery readiness and provide secure off-site storage for critical backup data, providing LAN-like access to public cloud storage in a drop-in appliance.
What does this mean for the Riverbed/IBM
partnership? A seamless integration with existing IBM Tivoli Storage Manager
backup infrastructure and cloud-storage providers, paving the way to extracting more value from existing storage, application and network investments. Tivoli Storage Manager administrators can leverage Whitewater’s local caching and public cloud storage abilities to propel them into the next generation of storage and disaster recovery, leaving classic disk- and tape- based devices (and their operational and maintenance costs) behind. Together, Riverbed and IBM offer a best-of-breed solution which slashes costs and enables almost unlimited scalability, taking full advantage of the flexibility and cost savings offered by storage-cloud services.
Riverbed will be demonstrating how fast it can move TSM data to public cloud storage at IBM Pulse 2012
in Las Vegas, March 4-6. At the show, come by booth E-105 to ask for a Whitewater demonstration and learn more about how Riverbed can optimize and extend your TSM environment as well as accelerate your WAN with the Riverbed Steelhead product family.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
Are you going to IBM Pulse 2012
, the premier Cloud and IT Optimization event of the year? It’s at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas from March 3 – 7, and we have an awesome agenda with some first class speakers and entertainment.
But this blog is about our storage management software
ecosystem partners that will also be attending and lending their support. If you will be at Pulse, please plan to visit with these companies while enjoying the refreshments offered in the Expo Center:
- Butterfly Software offers an automated backup and storage assessment tool that can help
you identify problems in your environment and the costs you will likely
incur over the next 3 years; and shows what a new solution based on IBM
technologies will look like and cost. It’s all based on empirical data
that it gleans directly from your systems. Once you’re convinced to move
to IBM, Butterfly also offers non-disruptive migration services. If you
want to learn how much a smarter backup solution will save your
business, please stop by Pedestal # 32 in the IBM SmartCloud Zone, and
learn more at breakout sessions 1387 (5:00 Monday in room 117), and 1384
(3:30 Tuesday in room 117).
- Cristie Software is our partner for Bare Machine Recovery solutions for Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). Hundreds, if not thousands of our customers have deployed these solutions to help restore critical servers quickly. Learn about CBMR and TBMR at booth E-418 and breakout session 1035 (2:00 Tuesday room 117).
- Front-Safe A/S provides a Tivoli Storage Manager front-end cloud portal that enables
business partners to offer “backup as a service” to their customers. If
you’re interested in moving to a services model for your backup
environment, please visit pedestal # 45 in the IBM SmartCloud Zone and
breakout session 1360 (3:30 Wednesday, room 115).
- Riverbed has a long and broad relationship with IBM. If you want to learn how to extend your TSM environment to the cloud, securely and cost effectively, please stop by booth E-105 and ask for a demonstration of Whitewater. Instead of buying more tapes for your backup archive data, Whitewater helps you move that data to the cloud, where you pay only for the storage you use. Riverbed Steelhead appliances are also used by many IBM customers to speed the movement of data between locations using proven WAN acceleration technologies.
- SEPATON was an early entrant into the Virtual Tape Library (VTL) market, and
provides a cost-effective but high performance alternative to magnetic
tape. Visit them at booth E-107. (I might get fired if I didn’t mention that IBM also has an excellent VTL solution, ProtecTIER, that you can learn about at Pedestal # 29 in the IBM SmartCloud Zone).
- STORServer offers Tivoli Storage Manager in an integrated appliance, with a simplified, easy to use interface. It’s a great backup and recovery solution for mid-sized organizations and remote offices. Learn more at booth E-408 and at breakout session 1878 (3:30 Monday room 117).
And of course, I’ll be there as well. You can catch me around the storage pedestals in the Expo Center, and at breakout session 2136 (5:00 Tuesday, room 117). I hope to meet many of you there.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
On January 25, 2012, VMware officially unveiled its VMware Solution Exchange
(VSX), an online virtualization and cloud marketplace designed to help
customers, partners and developers locate and purchase VMware-certified
products. The VSX showcases solutions
from VMware's technology alliance partners, such as IBM. Included in VSX on day one were IBM Tivoli
Storage Manager for Virtual Environments, v6.3 and IBM Tivoli
Storage Productivity Center Standard Edition, v4.2.2.
IBM TSM for Virtual Environments is an excellent data protection and recovery
solution for VMware environments because it:
- Simplifies management of
the backup and restore process for virtual machines
- Utilizes VMware’s vStorage
APIs for Data Protection, including block-level incremental backups based
on VMware’s Changed Block Tracking
- Offloads the backup
workload from virtual machines and production VMware ESX hosts to vStorage
IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Standard Edition (TPC SE) delivers
advanced management for virtual server and storage environments. It provides significant benefits such as:
- Discovery of VMware ESX
servers, VMware guest operating system images, storage and which VM images
have storage allocated and from where
- Topology and Visualization. Hypervisor views within TPC SE include
drill down capability to show all VM images, end to end correlation of SAN
storage to ESX servers and VM guests
- Monitoring and Reporting
for ESX servers and VM guests, including health status and monitoring,
asset reporting, and capacity utilization
- Problem determination and
root cause analysis of storage problems, which help discover the 'real'
problem in a virtual world
- Storage provisioning from
any storage array to any ESX server.
If you want to learn more about these products while you are
2012 be sure to visit the Solution Expo and visit our demonstration pedestals:
- Tivoli Storage Analytics – to learn more about the advanced
capabilities of TPC SE
- Data Protection for your Virtual Server Environments – to
learn more about TSM for Virtual Environments
Finally, if you are already a fan of TSM for VE and/or TPC
SE then log into the VMware
Solution Exchange and write a product review. Also don’t forget to give the products a 5
Are you going to the IBM PULSE conference (ibm.com/pulse
)? I am, and I am hosting a panel discussion on the need to modernize backup and restore capabilities.
Scheduled to join me on the panel are:
- Randy Olinger, Director of Enterprise Storage Systems, UnitedHealth Group
- Gerardo Colon, Storage Administrator, Adventist Health System
- Peter M. Nielsen, CEO and Founder, Front-Safe S/A
The premise of the panel discussion will be that backup and restore just aren't as easy as they used to be, given the increasing complexity and distribution of IT, the growth of data to unsustainable levels, the pressure to improve service levels by reducing and eliminating downtime, and the need to cut spending. Our panel of experts will share how their organizations are dealing with these and other challenges, and I'm guessing that we'll cover technology solutions such as data deduplication and compression, snapshots and CDP, replication, simplified and unified administration, archiving and data lifecycle management, and how to do all these things while driving down costs.
But that's part of the fun of a panel discussion -- you never really know what you're going to get. It's scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, March 6th at 5:00PM Las Vegas time, in room 117. The session number is 2136. I hope you can make it
Oh - and have you heard - Maroon 5 and iLuminate will be entertaining us during the event; you have to go!
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
Backed up by IBM
Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) is a unique Ready for IBM Tivoli program
classification for clients, business partners and managed service providers who
use the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager family of offerings as a core component of a
data protection and recovery managed services or cloud-based offering. It is IBM’s new partner program for validated
TSM cloud solutions.
Achieving Ready for IBM Tivoli software validation shows
customers that your solution meets or exceeds IBM compatibility criteria and
successfully integrates with the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager family of
offerings. Backed up by IBM TSM validation further demonstrates your offering
as being an integral part of a TSM cloud or managed service solution.
Want to learn more? Then be sure
to stop by one of the following venues while you are at Pulse
2012 for more details about this new program and how you can participate:
Partner Summit – Sunday, March 4 - Information on the program will be
included in all the breakout sessions
Partner Café - Visit the Ready for Tivoli / Backed up by IBM TSM table
Solution Expo –
Visit our demonstration pedestal, Optimizing Cloud Based Data Protection
Services with Tivoli Storage Manager
Can’t wait until Pulse and want to learn more now? Then contact John Connor, on the IBM Tivoli
Storage Manager product management team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every year I try to publish a set of storage trends that I believe most IT shops are trying to address and where technologies exist to help resolve. Here are my thoughts for 2012...
1) Storage breakthroughs
nipping the “Digital Dark Age” in the bud
Since the early 1990’s, an increasing proportion of data
created and used has been in the form of digital data. Today, the world
produces more than 1.8 zettabytes of digital information a year. Yet, digital storage can in many ways be more perishable
than paper. Disks corrode, bits “rot” and hardware becomes obsolete. This
presents a real concern of a “Digital Dark Age” where digital storage
techniques and formats created today may not be viable in the future as the
technology originally used becomes antiquated. We’ve seen this happen—take the floppy disk for example. A
storage tool that was so ubiquitous people still click on this enduring icon to
“save” their digital work and any word, presentation or spreadsheet
documents—yet most Millennials have never seen it in person. But new research shows storage mediums can be vastly
denser than they are today. While new form factors such as solid state disks
will help us provide more stable longer-term preservation of data, and the
promise of "the cloud" allows access to data anywhere, anytime. Recently, IBM researchers combined the benefits of magnetic hard
drives and solid-state memory to overcome challenges of growing memory demand
and shrinking devices. Called Racetrack memory, this breakthrough could lead to
a new type of data-centric computing that allows massive amounts of stored
information to be accessed in less than a billionth of a second. This storage research challenges previous theoretical
limits to data storage—ensuring our digital universe will always be preserved.
2) Data curation will provide
structure in midst of the data deluge
Now that we have the capability to preserve our digital
universe, we need to find a way to make it useful. We need to take the next
step past data preservation to data curation. Data curation is the active and ongoing management of data
through its lifecycle. This smarter data categorization adds value to data that
will help glean new opportunities, improve the sharing of information and
preserve data for later re-use. Social media is a great example of the power of curated
data. Sites like FaceBook, Google+, Pinterest, etc. compile our digital lives
and gives their users a platform to organize their content. However, there's also a lot of work involved in selecting,
appraising and organizing data to make them accessible and interpretable. The
key is bringing data sets together, organizing them and linking them to related
documents and tools. If data can be stored in a way that provides context,
organizations can find new and useful ways to use that data.
3) Storage analytics will open
new business insights
With data curation allowing organizations the platform to
better utilize their data, analytics will help turn that data into intelligence
and, ultimately, knowledge. With the information that historical trending analytics
and infrastructure analytics provides, you can index and search in a more
intelligent way than ever before. By doing analytics on stored data, in backup
and archive, you can draw business insight from that data, no matter where it
exists. The application of IBM Watson technology for healthcare
provides a good example. Watson collects data from many sources and is able to
analyze the meaning and context. By processing vast amounts of information and
using analytics, it can suggest options targeted to a patient's circumstances,
can assist decision makers, such as physicians and nurses, in identifying the
most likely diagnosis and treatment options for their patients. Through intelligent storage and data retrieval systems, we
can learn more with the information we have today to improve service to
customers or open new revenue streams by leveraging data in new ways.
4) Storage becomes a celebrity
– new business needs are pushing storage into the spotlight
As our digital and data-driven universe expands, certain
industries are able to reach new levels of innovation by having the capacity to
house, organize and instantaneously access information. For example, Hollywood is known for its big budget
blockbusters, but it’s the big storage demands required by new formats such as
digital, CGI, 3D and high definition that’s impacting not just the bottom line,
but studios’ ability to produce these types of movies. Data sets for movies
have become so large it’s at the petabyte level. Filmmakers are beginning to trade in film reels for SSDs
as just one day’s worth of filming can generate hundreds of terabytes of data.
The popularity of these high data-generating formats means studios are looking
for new storage technologies that can handle the demand. The healthcare industry may even be facing an even bigger
data dilemma than the entertainment business. Take a look at the Institute
University of Leipzig, in Germany, which has a major genetic study called LIFE
to examine disease in populations. LIFE is cataloging genetic profiles of
several thousand patients to pinpoint gene mutations and specific proteins.
This process alone generates multiple terabytes of data. Even one 300-bed hospital may generate 30 terabytes of
data per year. Those figures will only grow with higher-resolution medical
imaging, and new tools or services such as making electronic healthcare records
5) Intervention...The Data
In this era of Big Data, more is always better, right? Not
so – especially when every byte of data costs money to store and protect. Businesses are turning into data hoarders and spending too
much time and money collecting useless or bad data, potentially leading to
misguided business decisions. This practice can be changed with simple policy
decisions and implementing existing capabilities in technologies that exist in
smarter storage, but companies are hesitant to delete any data (and many times
duplicate data) due to the fear of needing specific data down the line for
business analytics or compliance purposes. Part of the solution starts with eliminating the copies.
Nearly 75% of the data that exists today is a copy (IDC). By deleting and
disabling redundant information, organizations are investing in data quality
and availability for content that matters to the business. Consider the effect
of unneeded data, costing money by replicating throughout an organization’s information
systems. This outdated data can also potentially be accessed for fraud.
the quality of data is not costly—not getting it right is.
ARE YOU SPEAKING AT PULSE?
IF SO, READ ON PLEASE...and book your room at the MGM Grand today to avoid a price increase!
1. Have you uploaded your presentation?
The deadline to upload presentations was January 20th to enable appropriate reviews and posting to the Pulse 2012 SmartSite Agenda Builder
. Your presentation will be converted to PDF and can be downloaded or printed in advance by attendees, pending your approval. For a full list of presentation guidelines and processes please review the Presentation tab on the online Speaker Kit.
2. Do you know what audio visual equipment will be available in your session room?
Click the A/V tab in your online Speaker Kit
to review this important information.
3. Are you connected?
Follow the conference news & highlights on Twitter or the Pulse blog. Click the Speaker Kit tab to find links and hashtags for use with social media. Find Pulse attendees using the Pulse SmartSite agenda builder.
4. Attendees are always interested in getting to know their speaker! Do you have a bio?
Review and update your brief bio by logging onto the Speaker Kit
5. Have you started to build your Pulse conference agenda on SmartSite, the attendee conference portal?
You will need your conference registration confirmation number to login to this site. Click the Build My Agenda icon to view scheduled sessions.
6. Have you registered for the conference and booked your hotel?
Review the registration instructions listed in the registration tab on the speaker kit website.
Very important... Conference hotel accommodations are limited and available on a first-come, first served-basis. Conference rates are valid until January 27, 2012
or until the room block is sold out, whichever comes first.
Please take a few minutes to review the information in your online Speaker Kit, and follow-up on all speaker actions as needed.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the speaker support at PulseSpeaker@experient-inc.com
. We look forward to seeing you at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas March 4-7!
IBM has detailed innovative projects and research that show new
storage approaches to support Big Data growth and drive business innovation.
Healthcare, financial services, media and entertainment, and
scientific research among many industries face the challenge of storing and
managing the proliferation of data to extract critical business value. As
storage needs rise dramatically, storage budgets lag, requiring new innovation
and approaches around storing, managing, and protecting Big Data, cloud data,
virtualized data and more.
Watson-inspired Storage Takes on the Cosmos: IBM is working on a project with the Institute
for Computational Cosmology (ICC) at Durham University in the U.K. and Business
Partner OCF to build a storage system to better store and manipulate Big Data
for its cosmology research on galaxies. ICC is adopting the same IBM General
Parallel File System technology used in the
IBM Watson system to store and manage more than one petabyte of data from two
significant projects on galaxy formation and the fate of gas outside of
galaxies. The enhanced storage system will enable up to 50 researchers, working
collaboratively to access and review data simultaneously. It will also help ICC
learn to manage data better, storing only essential data and storing it in the
New Storage Platform Delivers More Personalized, Visual
Healthcare: A medical archiving
solution from IBM Business Partners Avnet Technology Solutions and TeraMedica,
Inc. powered by IBM systems, storage and software gives patients and caregivers
instant access to critical medical data at the point-of-care. Developed in
collaboration with IBM, the medical information management offering can manage
up to 10 million medical images, helping health care practitioners provide
better patient care with greater efficiency and at reduced costs. The
integrated platform allows users to manage and view clinical images originating
from different treatments and providers to bring secure, consistent image
management and distribution at point-of-care.
Virtualization Consolidates Storage Footprint for Medical Center: Kaweah Delta Health Care District (KDHCD), a
general medical and surgical hospital in Visalia, Calif., needed to reduce its
operational costs while increasing storage space. To meet these demands, KDHCD
tapped IBM's storage systems to create a new storage platform that reallocates
resources and saves a significant amount of data space with thin-provisioning
technology. Virtualization creates a smaller hardware footprint so the hospital
also saved on power and cooling costs. KDHCD now has a consolidated storage
environment that provides the scalability, ease-of-management, and security to
support critical healthcare data management for the hospital.
Often data center managers find it difficult to accommodate data growth, while maintaining high levels of storage service and availability. In addition to these challenges, new IT initiatives such as virtualization and cloud services introduce additional complexity to already stressed out administrative staff.
IBM's Integrated Service Management solutions can help organizations realize the full potential of their business by providing a holistic approach to delivering and managing IT services. Specifically, IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center is designed to equip today’s IT organizations with critical capabilities for visibility, control and automation in the storage
Download and read the latest white paper "Gain visibility, control and automation in your storage environment
Survey of IT Decision Makers Sheds Light on Need for a New Class of Storage
Late last year, IBM issued survey results that shed light on the storage spending priorities and organizational needs for the near future. Conducted by Zogby International on behalf of IBM, the survey of 255 IT professionals in decision-making positions showed that the majority of respondents (57 percent) agree their organization needs to develop a new storage approach to manage future growth.
The survey underscores the need for a new class of storage that can expand the market for solid-state drives (SSDs) by combining their ability to speed the delivery of data with lower costs and other benefits. Nearly half (43 percent) of IT decision makers say they have plans to use SSD technology in the future or are already using it. Speeding delivery of data was the motivation behind 75 percent of respondents who plan to use or already use SSD technology. However, the major factor for not using SSD was cost, according to 71 percent of respondents.
To address this issue, IBM Research has been investigating a potential in solid-state breakthrough called “Racetrack memory” that could someday access data significantly faster than hard-disk drives—at the same low cost—and be a successor to flash in handheld devices.
The survey also found that:
· Nearly half (43 percent) say they are concerned about managing Big Data.
· Nearly half (48 percent) say they plan on increasing storage investments in the area of virtualization, cloud (26 percent) and flash memory/solid state (24 percent) and analytics (22 percent).
· More than a third (38 percent) said their organization’s storage needs are growing primarily to drive business value from data. Adhering to government compliance and regulations that require organizations to store more data for longer -- sometimes up to a decade -- was also a leading factor (29 percent).
· About a third of all respondents (32 percent) say they either plan to switch to more cloud storage in the future or currently use cloud storage.
Organizations are faced with an increasing challenge of storing, analyzing, and protecting ever-expanding data sets that hold significant business value, driving the need for radical new approaches to storage fueled by innovation. Cloud computing, analytics and more advanced storage management technologies will be critical to tapping into that data and turning it into intelligence.
Focused on developing disruptive innovation and pushing the boundaries of data exploration and utilization, IBM Research drives new approaches to managing data, including storage for cloud systems that are geographically dispersed, adding autonomic behavior to storage systems, creating archival systems that prevent a “digital dark age,” and optimizing storage for analytics.
In the last year, IBM Research has recorded a number of storage technology breakthroughs including a 29-gigabit per-square-inch tape demonstration; a world record of scanning 10 billion files in 43 minutes; and, more recently, the creation of a 120-petabyte data system that is roughly 30 times larger than the biggest single data repository on record.
In response to: Enabling TSM Unified Recovery Management Replication
Want to learn more about how HyperIP can help accelerate your data
transfer by as much as 12x? Join NetEx and IBM Tivoli Storage
Software for a webinar on Jan. 25, 1PM EST to hear all about how
pairing Tivoli Storage Manager 6.3 with NetEx HyperIP can help you
achieve this! Register here: http://bit.ly/xQFHdm
In the IBM Thought Leadership Whitepaper, 10 Ways to Save Money with IBM TSM, “IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery simplifies and streamlines storage management, helping organizations control both the risks and costs of data protection and recovery.” This blog post visits the savings NetEx’s HyperIP offers by running TSM Replication, a feature of Tivoli Storage Manager Extended Edition and Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery, over the WAN.
Previous blog posts talk about the performance improvement of TSM replication over HyperIP (http://www.netex.com/blog/?p=206). The following chart describes the true performance of replication over HyperIP (data provided by NetEx):
HyperIP enables TSM replication to see near wire speed, over any distance, even over lossy WANs. With HyperIP’s block level compression, throughputs can literally exceed wire speed by as much as 6x; with lossy WANs, over 12x. This means a replication window that moves GB’s of data can be reduced from hours to minutes, without having to increase the bandwidth of the WAN links between remote TSM server nodes. Bandwidth savings alone can return the HyperIP investment in less than 3 months.
For more information, visit http://www.hyperip.com or contact your IBM Business Partner for more information on Tivoli Storage Manager replication over HyperIP. Stay tuned for upcoming co-sponsored webinars with the IBM Tivoli team and NetEx. NetEx is a proud exhibitor at Pulse 2012.
Author: Steve Thompson, NetEx (email@example.com)
In October 2011, IBM added native replication of backup data in Tivoli Storage Manager Extended Edition
v6.3 to help customers add "warm standby" disaster recovery capabilities to their unified recovery
management platform. This is a powerful new feature that can help reduce the costs of maintaining a separate DR point solution, and simplifies the overall management of the environment.
However, when moving data between physical locations, especially over the long distances desired for a true disaster recovery solution, network latency can become a significant issue. TSM replication is extremely efficient, in that it sends only incremental, deduplicated data between sites. But transfer times can still be impacted by network latency over long distances.
To overcome this problem and provide near native transmission speeds, WAN acceleration solutions such as Netex HyperIP can be deployed.
Netex recently completed testing of their solution with the new TSM replication feature and found that it can accelerate data transfer by as much as 6 times, or 12 times with HyperIP’s block-level compression. To learn more, please visit http://www.netex.com/blog/?p=206
I know. I’m sinking pretty low when I borrow a line from an animated gecko. But as I keep thinking that data backup and restore systems are very much like automobile insurance, I just can’t resist.
Think about it – what value do you get from paying for auto insurance, other than the peace of mind that should some fool run into you, you’ll be able to get back on the road in a reasonable amount of time and at a reasonable expense? The same is true with data backup: on its own, it offers little value while costing a lot of time and money, but you had better have one when something / anything goes wrong.
As with your auto insurance, you want to pay as little for backup/restore as possible, while meeting your service level objectives. There are choices to be made that impact your costs and your recovery capabilities – does your policy include towing, collision repair, or the use of a rental car while yours in the shop? And what is the out-of-pocket deductible you have to pay per accident?
Same thing with backup – which data do you protect, how often do you perform backup, how many versions and copies do you keep, how long do you keep them, where do you distribute them, how fast do you need to restore? All of these service level considerations can impact your costs.
At IBM, we recognize that on the one hand, your business requires the most advanced, reliable and scalable data protection solutions for your applications and data; and on the other hand, the investments in these solutions are nothing more than insurance – they don’t contribute to the top line, and they only contribute to the bottom line when they are called upon to recover operations following a data loss disaster.
We are helping our customers meet these conflicting challenges through an evolution of continuous improvements to our data protection and recovery software, led by Tivoli Storage Manager, that can dramatically improve your business continuity service levels while reducing your costs even more dramatically.
To learn how you may be able cut the costs of your backup environment by 50% or more, please invest 15 minutes reading our new whitepaper, Ten Ways to Save Money with Tivoli Storage Manager
."The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
IBM is looking for customers and business partners who are interested in participating in an Early Access Program (EAP)/Beta Program for an upcoming release of FlashCopy Manager, Data Protection for SQL, and Data Protection for Exchange. If you would like to nominate your organization to participate in this EAP/Beta, please send an email to:
Mary Anne Filosa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and be sure to include your organization's name. Once your email is received you will be sent instructions on signing off on the EAP/Beta legal form online and when that signoff has been completed, you will be sent a link to the program's nomination site. We encourage you to respond quickly if you are interested as the program begins in mid December.
Live Webcast: Using Tivoli Storage Productivity Center to be the "eyes" into your SAN environment, and to see how that environment is changing. LIVE!
In the ever changing SAN environment, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center has many components to help the Storage Administrator know when a where to focus their attention. We will walk through many of these in a live demo and see how they can be used.
Let TPC help you keep up with storage growth instead of working longer hours!
Speaker: Scott McPeek,
IBM Program Director, Storage Sales Enablement. He has worked in the software industry more than 30 years, the last ten years have been with IBM as part of the TrelliSoft SRM acquisition. Scott now focuses on storage resource management, storage performance management and virtualization with products like TPC, SVC and the Storwize V7000.
Register for this Live Webcast here
How are you spending your time this weekend? Polishing up your Pulse 2012 storage session abstract, hopefully!
With only 4 days left to submit a 100-word abstract
by Nov. 7, we thought it would be helpful to share some final pointers. Keep in mind that this year's theme
is Business Without Limits and we are seeking to understand how you
gained visibility, control and automation to deliver better business
What are the key benefits to you as a Speaker?
One full Pulse conference pass ($1995 value) and the opportunity to gain visibility for your company, and take advantage of an incredible networking opportunity with over 7,000 industry experts, press, and analysts.Here's some pointers on how to get your Storage Management session abstract accepted:
1. Focus it on topics such as how you used Tivoli Storage Manager to manage "big data"; success with recent upgrades; or cloud storage
2. Tell us about the key business challenges you were trying to solve, and how IBM Tivoli storage solutions helped you address these challenges
3. What was the ROI, or key results, from implementing a Tivoli storage solution, and what valuable lessons did you learn from the experience
Don't forget to register during early bird registration by December 16
if you do not plan to speak at Pulse and attend the conference
complimentary. Early Bird registration can save you up to $700 off
registering onsite! See you at Pulse 2012!
Well it's that time again, hard to believe, I know...PULSE call for papers has opened
, and we want to have another banner year in the Tivoli Storage Sessions! Last year we were standing room only in many of our sessions and this year we hope to fill each room once again.
As for topic suggestions, we'd like to hear from customers who:
- Recently upgraded
- Use TSM to manage 'big data'
- Have best practices, created with our Tivoli Storage portfolio that they want to share
It's simple, just go to this link and submit a 100-word abstract.
The deadline is November 7th,
so there's no time like the present!Speaker Benefits include:
Your abstract should include:
- One full conference pass ($1995 value). Only one speaker per company, per session qualifies.
- Use of our exclusive Client Speaker VIP Lounge
- Networking opportunities with over 7,000 industry experts, press, and analysts
- Your company’s name in the Pulse Pocket Agenda and a description of your presentation and speaker details on the Pulse SmartSite
- Initial business challenges and objectives
- Statistics about your deployment layout and company
- The IBM solution/products applied by your organization
- How the IBM solution/products help address the pain points
- Lessons learned from the experience
In my earlier post – Eliminate management inefficiencies and complexities associated with your cloud foray
– I briefly touched upon ‘storage tiering reports’. Now these reports are available as part of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center v4.2.2 announcement this week. In one of the latest Storage Wave studies by The InfoPro, it points out to ‘Tiered Storage Build Out’ as one of the top 3 initiatives among storage managers. Yet in a complex, virtualized environment, having complete visibility and control over storage tiering can be challenging.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center provides capabilities for reporting on storage tiering activity to support data placement and to optimize resource utilization in a virtualized environment. The storage tiering reports leverage the estimated capability and actual performance data for IBM SAN Volume Controller
and IBM Storwize V7000
, and offers storage administrators with key insights such as:
• Are the backend subsystems optimally utilized
• Does moving a certain workload to low cost storage impact service levels
• How to level out performance in a certain pool
• Which data groups can be moved to an alternate tier of storage
Image: Sample tiering distribution report
By having a comprehensive view of performance stress on the hardware, storage tiering reports enable administrators to make proactive decisions about volume placement, thus averting any downtime or impact on the data availability.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center enables storage administrators to optimize disk configurations, such as by progressively and dynamically changing storage tier percentage distributions between high-end, mid-range and low-end storage. For example, an initial 70/30/0 split can be changed to a new distribution of 30/50/20, enabling the organization to realize the corresponding storage infrastructure savings.
To read more about Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, click here
What’s new in Tivoli Storage Productivity Center?
IBM announces Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Select
- a comprehensive storage management software that offers advanced provisioning, performance management, capacity optimization and reporting capabilities. Select includes all key capabilities of Basic Edition, Disk and Data modules of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center family, and is conveniently packaged for ‘per enclosure’ licensing.
Select complements Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Disk Select
(formerly Disk Midrange Edition) and is ideal for management of IBM XIV
, Storwize V7000, DS3000, DS4000, DS5000 as stand-alone devices or when attached to an SAN Volume Controller. Select also supports any device that is attached to Storwize V7000.
Learn more about Select
. Download Select data sheet
TSM FastBack for Workstations is a centrally-managed solution that reduces the risks of losing important information stored on thousands of personal computers across an entire enterprise, as described here: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/storage-mgr-fastback-workstation/
IBM will be running a beta program for the next release of this product, providing those taking part with early access to the latest planned enhancements. If you would like to participate, please contact the beta coordinator, Matthew Boult (email@example.com).
NEW!! Technical Services Webinar: Capacity Planning in a Tivoli Storage Manager Environment
As much as customers would like to "backup everything and keep it forever", storage is not unlimited. The reality of ever increasing data growth, combined with regulatory compliance and the associated risks make the arduous task of capacity planning for backup ever more critical. A new Reporting and Monitoring tool is available with Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). This new tool, based on IBM Tivoli Monitoring, can collect and report on historical data and is an integral part of a capacity planning regimen. Presenters:
This session will demonstrate a capacity planning methodology that conforms to the ITIL Capacity Planning process description by showing how the TSM Reporting and Monitoring tool and other TSM components can be utilized for to ease the pain of capacity planning. Additionally, this session will look at strategies, like data deduplication, to reduce the amount of backup data while maintaining regulatory compliance.
Mark Vanderboll, IBM Tivoli Global Response Team
Dave Daun, IBM Advanced Technical Skills
Access the webinar here: http://bit.ly/qdOuJU
Did you see that we announced a new version of Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager!
Here are the highlights of IBM® Tivoli® Storage FlashCopy® Manager V3.1:
- Advanced data protection and recovery features for VMware vSphere environments
- Enhanced data protection capabilities for Microsoft® Windows®, including support for New Technology File Systems (NTFS) and custom applications, and enhanced user interfaces for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server
- Support for IBM DB2® and Oracle databases (with or without SAP environments) on IBM AIX®, Solaris SPARC, Linux® x64, and HP-UX IA64 platforms
- Support for custom business-critical applications on IBM AIX, Solaris SPARC, Linux x64, HP-UX IA64, and Microsoft Windows platforms
- Transparent integration with IBM storage systems such as IBM System Storage® SAN Volume Controller space efficient FlashCopy target volumes, IBM Storwize® V7000, IBM XIV® Storage System, and IBM System Storage DS8000™
- Can leverage the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) framework for integration with non-IBM hardware subsystems
- Database cloning support for UNIX® and Linux clients
It will be generally available on October 21, 2011.
Check out the full announcement here:
Check out the NEW Tivoli Storage Manager v6.3
You should expect more from your storage, and from your storage vendor. On October 11 and 12, IBM is announcing a broad range of new and enhanced storage products that help to meet this challenge.
Included are significant updates to the Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) family. TSM is already the data protection software leader in scalability, functionality, data reduction, performance and reliability. The v6.3 release will keep us ahead of the competition, and will help to keep you ahead of the challenges you’re facing. Struggling with data growth? No problem.
The scalability of TSM is being doubled for the 3rd year in a row, now supporting up to 4 billion data objects in a single TSM Server. In 2008, the internal database limit was 500 million files, so we’ve made an 8X improvement since then. That means fewer backup servers are needed. And remember that TSM is a single server architecture; we don’t add “media servers” to provide scale.
Unified Recovery Management now includes Replication for faster Disaster Recovery
We’ve been working to simplify the data protection and recovery infrastructure by unifying the management of all the different tools you need for different applications, operating systems, data locations, and data loss causes. In the release of Tivoli Storage Manager Extended Edition v6.3, we’re adding client data and metadata replication to an off-site TSM Server. This provides a “hot standby” disaster recovery capability, managed from within the TSM Admin Center. The replication is asynchronous and can be scheduled on a per client basis to minimize the impact on network bandwidth. And it can be configured in a classic source-to-target model as well as between two active sources, many-to-one, or in a “round robin” architecture.Simplifying the administrator’s life
One of the painful tasks an administrator has to do, especially in large environments, is patching the backup/archive client software on protected systems. With this release, we’re adding the ability to automatically push out client software updates across AIX, HP-UX, Linux and Windows systems (Windows push support was actually introduced last year). This new capability should reduce the time needed to perform an update by at least 80%.Improved integration with VMware
Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments v6.3, our non-disruptive off-host solution for VMware virtualized servers, now supports VMware vSphere 5 and includes a plug-in for vCenter to easily manage TSM backup and restore operations from within the VMware environment. Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager v3.1 is also being released with VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection integration and the vCenter plug-in to provide hardware-assisted application-aware snapshot management. Support for DB2, Oracle and SAP databases on HP-UX is also added in the new FlashCopy Manager release.Something BIG for mainframe customers
Tivoli Storage Manager for z/OS Media v6.3 is a new connector that enables customers to leverage their mainframe-attached FICON storage devices for storing TSM data. This offering won’t increase the licensing costs for existing customers that move their TSM v5.x Server software from z/OS and install TSM v6.3 Server on an AIX system or a Linux on z partition, and gives them access to all of the cost-saving improvements made in TSM over the past 3 years.The new standard in licensing simplicity
In June we announced the availability of the Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery. This bundle of ten TSM and FastBack products is simply licensed by the amount of data being managed within the TSM environment, first copy only. We have seen outstanding results from this new offering, from both new and existing customers. The reason is simple: you want to use the right tool for each data protection job, but you don’t want to have to worry about acquiring and managing individual product licenses for each one. This is especially true in virtual server and cloud environments. Added benefit: our broad range of built-in data reduction technologies can dramatically reduce the costs of this offering.
Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery v6.3 is also being announced, and includes all of the TSM and TSM for Virtual Environments enhancements noted above.What else?
Many other improvements are being introduced across the family, including: better reporting and monitoring; better scalability for Microsoft Windows, Exchange and SQL Server; faster internal processes such as database backup; etc. SAP customers using TSM for Enterprise Resource Planning v6.3 can now do incremental backups on Oracle RMAN.
For more information on the Tivoli Storage Manager enhancements, please refer to the announcement letter on ibm.com (link
To learn more about all the new IBM Storage announcements, please click here
(live 12 Oct.)
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
In continuation to my earlier post – Eliminate management inefficiencies and complexities associated with your cloud foray
, I would like to go ahead and call out some of the advanced capabilities that Tivoli Storage Productivity Center
Ron’s recent post on choosing the right storage hypervisor
points out to ‘comprehensive performance monitoring’ as one of the key capabilities you need to successfully deploy cloud storage. This thought reinforces the need for sophisticated tools that can help you significantly reduce the burden on storage configuring (think of best practices) and performance monitoring.
Bottle neck analysis
It’s no longer the network administrator – when the system response is poor, it’s the storage administrator who gets the call. Especially in a virtualized environment, it is essential to have performance monitoring tools that provide a quick yet comprehensive view of the data path – to ascertain any bottlenecks. With Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, you will be able to see where the bottlenecks have occurred, for example one storage subsystem may be over utilized while another is underutilized.
Data Path Explorer offers detailed view of all the storage entities and their connectivity. It provides you performance information across the entire data path – from host to array – and allows to drill down and view performance metrics at the port-level. Standard Edition
, the advanced module within Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, offers advanced reporting capabilities on bottleneck analysis.
According to a storage manager at a leading medical university, “With Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, I can quickly determine if there exists a bottleneck in the SAN infrastructure. Earlier it could take me days or sometimes weeks to figure that out. Now, I can do it in minutes”.
If you have recently deployed Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, make use of IBM’s Value Pack service offerings, which provide analysis of disk subsystem performance bottlenecks using native product tools. Talk to your IBM sales representative or IBM business partner for more information.
Configure your SAN the best practices way
Administrators are expected to ensure high availability for SANs. SAN configuration has traditionally been done manually. But as the complexity in managing the storage network grows, you need sophisticated tools to control and even optimize storage configurations. And adherence to best practices is essential for successful configuration and deployment of complex systems in your storage environment.
I touched upon the SAN Planner topic briefly in my previous post – and would like to delve little deeper in this one. As mentioned earlier, SAN Planner is a wizard-based tool that assists storage administrators in end-to-end planning involving all storage components and related networks. SAN Planner helps implement best practices pertaining to replication relationships; it utilizes current and historical performance metrics to recommend the best configuration while commissioning new storage systems.
There are three planners associated with recommending storage configuration changes, which are based on current workloads, capacity utilization and best practices:Volume Planner
– helps administrators in provisioning storage based on capacity, compression, RAID levels, etc. It includes replication planning as well, supporting sessions such as Metro Mirror, Global Mirror and FlashCopy.
– provides zoning and LUN masking configuration support.
– assists in planning and implementing storage provisioning for hosts and storage systems with mutilpath support in fabrics.
All the three planners can be invoked separately or together in an integrated manner from Tivoli Storage Productivity Center console. Learn more about these planners and their capabilities: download the latest Redbooks
As you can see, configuring SAN with Tivoli Storage Productivity Center is a child’s play, isn’t it? But can you check whether current SAN configuration conforms to best practices? Yes you can!
SAN Configuration Analyzer provides end-to-end check for configuration policies, ensures the correctness of storage network configurations, such as zoning, multipathing and replication. In addition, the tool sends alerts to administrators when the best practices are violated.
Storage networks are undergoing significant changes more often to accommodate changes in business policies and the ever growing data. Administrators are challenged to track configuration changes for problem determination, change management or auditing purposes. Tivoli Storage Productivity Center offers SAN Configuration History Viewer to provide a historic view of changes and eliminate time gap in determining problem areas associated with configuration changes.
To learn more about the IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Select Series, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit ibm.com
to join the virtual dialogue on Storage Hypervisor; share your thoughts and concerns in our group chat on October 7, 2011 from 12 noon to 1pm Eastern Time
. You can log in now for a preview of topics.
In response to: Enabling Private IT for Storage Cloud -- Part II (management controls)
To see a transcript of the live chat held on Friday, September 30th
about this topic visit this link:
And don't forget to listen to the 'open mic' conversation about
Storage Hypervisors with IBM's Ron Riffe, the author of this blog
series, and ESG analyst, Mark Peters:
This is part 3 of a 3 part post on how somebody responsible for a private storage environment could save their company a pile of money by implementing cloud storage techniques. Part I
introduced the concept of a storage hypervisor as a first step in transitioning traditional IT into a private cloud storage environment. Part II
explained how a storage service catalog, self-service provisioning, and usage-based chargeback can be used to drive down cost. In this 3rd post, I’m going to share some thoughts that should help you be smarter about choosing a storage hypervisor.
The first step is to remind ourselves what we’re trying to accomplish with a storage hypervisor. From our experience deploying over 7000 storage hypervisors, the starting point for most folks is improved efficiency and data mobility. Remember, the basic idea behind hypervisors (server or storage) is that they allow you to gather up physical resources into a pool, and then consume virtual slices of that pool until it’s all gone (this is how you get the really high utilization). The kicker comes from being able to non-disruptively move those slices around. In the case of a storage hypervisor, people are looking for the freedom to move a slice (or virtual volume) from tier to tier, from vendor to vendor, and more recently, from site to site all while the applications are online and accessing the data.
To pull off this level of mobility – in servers or storage – it’s important that the hypervisor not be dependant on the underlying physical hardware for anything except capacity (compute capacity in the case of a server hypervisor like VMware, storage capacity in the case of a storage hypervisor). Think about it… Wouldn’t it be odd to have a pair of VMware ESX hosts in a cluster, one running on IBM hardware and one on HP hardware, and be told that you couldn’t vMotion a virtual machine between the two because some feature of your virtual machine would just stop working? If you tie a virtual machine to a specific piece of hardware in order to take advantage of the function in that hardware, it sort of defeats the whole point of mobility. The same thing applies to storage hypervisors. Virtual volumes that are dependant on a particular physical disk array for some function, say mirroring or snapshotting for example, aren’t really mobile from tier to tier or vendor to vendor any more.
But it’s more than just a philosophical issue, there’s real money at stake (you may want to read what comes next a couple of times). In Part II of this post I discussed using a storage service catalog as a means of defining specific service level needs for your different categories of data. These service levels covered the gamut from capacity efficiency and I/O performance (for you techies that’s RAID levels, thin provisioning, use of solid state disks, etc), to data access resilience and disaster protection (multi-pathing, snapshotting, mirroring…). The reason so many datacenters have an over abundance of tier-1 disk arrays on the floor is because, historically, if you wanted to take advantage of things like thin provisioning, application-integrated snapshot, robust mirroring for disaster recovery, high performance for database workloads, access to solid-state disk, etc… you had to buy tier-1 ‘array capacity’ to get access to these tier-1 ‘storage services’ (did you catch the subtle difference?) Now, I don’t have anything against tier-1 disk arrays (my company sells a really good one). In fact, they have a great reputation for availability (a lot of the bulk in these units are sophisticated, redundant electronics that keep the thing available all the time). But with a good storage hypervisor, tier-1 ‘storage services’ are no longer tied to tier-1 ‘array capacity’ because the service levels are provided by the hypervisor. Capacity…is capacity…and you can choose any kind you want. Many clients we work with are discovering the huge cost savings that can be realized by continuing to deliver tier-1 service (from the hypervisor), only doing it on lower-tier disk arrays. As I noted in Part II of this post, we’ve seen clients shift their mix of ‘array capacity’ from 70% tier-1 to 70% lower-tier arrays while continuing to deliver tier-1 ‘storage services’ to their data. This YouTube video
describes an example of that at Sprint.
Smart idea #1: Be careful to understand what, if any, dependency a storage hypervisor has on the capability of an underlying disk array to deliver function to your virtual volumes (like thin provisioning, compression, snapshotting, mirroring, etc.)
Next thought. There are three rather interrelated solution categories in the area of dealing with outages and protecting data.
- Disaster avoidance (“I know the hurricane is coming, let’s move the datacenter further inland”)
- Disaster recovery (“oh oh, the hurricane hit, and my datacenter is dead”)
- Data protection (“oops, I goofed up my data and I need to recover”)
IT managers we talk to have been successfully dealing with disaster recovery (for the techies, that’s array mirroring along with recovery automation tools like VMware Site Recovery Manager
(SRM), IBM PowerHA
, or others) and data protection (that’s array snapshotting along with specific connectors for databases, email systems etc as well as connectors to enterprise backup managers like Tivoli Storage Manager) for years. This third area of disaster avoidance has really gained steam because storage hypervisors now allow you to access the same data at two locations giving you the ability to do an inter-site application migration with things like VMware vMotion
, PowerVM Live Partition Mobility
(LPM), or others. When you are expecting a disaster, disaster avoidance let’s you transparently get out of the way. But it doesn’t magically keep all the other unexpected bad things from happening. You’ll still want to be prepared with disaster recovery and data protection. And if you are implementing a storage hypervisor, you shouldn’t be forced to choose.
Smart idea #2: Remembering smart idea #1, be sure that your storage hypervisor has its own ability to provide for disaster avoidance (inter-site mobility), disaster recovery (mirroring that’s integrated with recovery automation tools) and data protection (snapshotting that’s integrated with applications and backup tools).
One final thought. A storage hypervisor isn’t an island unto itself. Like a server hypervisor, it exists in a broader datacenter. Administrators need to be able to see it in the context of the disk arrays it manages, the servers (or virtual machines) that use its virtual volumes, the applications that need backups or clones, the disaster recovery automation that’s coordinating recovery of servers, storage, networks… You get the picture. When the challenges of day-to-day operations happen (and they do happen most every day)…
- …the storage network planner needs to look at the logical data path from a virtual machine to its physical server, through the SAN switch, to the storage hypervisor and finally to the physical disk array. He’ll need that storage hypervisor to be integrated with a SAN topology tool.
- …an application owner calls up with a performance issue that he’s blaming on ‘the storage’. You’ll need to be able to isolate performance across the whole data path (including the part of the path that goes through the storage hypervisor).
- …an application owner wants a consistent snapshot of his application to use as a backup copy (or a test clone). You’ll need a connector that talks to both the application and the storage hypervisor to identify the virtual volumes that need to be snapshotted, prepare the application for the snapshot, and then provide the application owner with an inventory of snapshots he can use to recover from.
- …you make the move toward cloud techniques in your private datacenter – implementing a storage service catalog, self-service provisioning, and usage-based chargeback. You’ll need a storage hypervisor that can be auto provisioned and that can provide the metrics on who is using how much storage.
Smart idea #3: Make a list of all the day-to-day operational things you do today with physical storage, and the things you hope to automate in the future, and be careful to understand if your storage hypervisor is sufficiently instrumented and integrated – or if it’s creating a new island to be separately managed.
And now a word from our sponsors :-) IBM offers the worlds most widely deployed storage hypervisor. With over 7000 deployments, hundreds in the newer inter-site disaster avoidance configuration, we’ve had a lot of opportunity to build some depth. As you evaluate using cloud storage techniques in your private enterprise, you’ll find things I talked about in this blog series available in IBM products today. They can help you save your company a pile of money (and make you look like a genius while you’re doing it).
Storage hypervisor platform: IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller
(SVC)Storage hypervisor management, storage service catalog, and self-service provisioning: Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Standard Edition
(TPC SE)Usage-based chargeback: Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager
Thanks for staying with me through this blog series – hope you find it valuable!
The conversation continues!
While storage on cloud is a promising thought, the ensuing complexity associated with monitoring, managing and reporting the storage sprawl acts as a significant deterrent. Organizations need to equip their environment with robust storage resource management application that can withstand business demands, offer comprehensive visibility across the data path, and scale as their storage network expands. Fellow IBMer Ron Riffe
in his recent blog on Storage Hypervisor
wrote about the importance of management controls
and highlighted some of the key capabilities of IBM’s storage resource management offering - Tivoli Storage Productivity Center
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center supports both IBM and other-vendor storage devices that are compliant with SMI-S standards, and offers integrated storage infrastructure management capabilities that simplifies, automates, and optimizes the management of storage devices, storage networks, and capacity utilization of file systems and databases.
I am going to highlight the 4 key capabilities administrators would require should they pursue to put their storage on cloud…
Self service provisioning
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center enables automated discovery and wizard-based provisioning of storage systems, enabling administrators to effectively provision new storage through best-practice methods, often including disaster recovery planning while provisioning.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center offers the SAN Planner that assists the administrator in end-to-end planning involving fabrics, hosts, storage controllers, storage pools, volumes, paths, ports, zones, zone sets, storage resource groups (SRGs), and replication The SAN Planner provides recommendations for creating and provisioning VDisks with the recommended I/O group and preferred node for each VDisk.
Combining Tivoli Storage Productivity Center with Tivoli Provisioning Manager, storage administrators have a powerful way to simplify the provisioning of storage. Automated work flows can be created that can utilize custom scripts and customer processes, including storage administrator and/or systems administrator sign off. The Tivoli Storage Productivity Center-Tivoli Provisioning Manager native integration enables storage administrators to allow application owners to procure and provision the storage space they need, the type of storage they need, the throughput that is expected and the price specifications to suit their business priorities.
To read more about SAN Planner, click here
Storage tiering reports (to be announced on Oct 14, 2011)
Storage tiering reports was developed by IBM Systems Lab Services under the larger theme known as STAR – Storage Tiering Activity Reporter, which provides decision support for data placement, and enables administrators to optimize resource utilization in terms of capacity and throughput.
Storage tiering reports help administrators to leverage storage virtualization and insights from Tivoli Storage Productivity Center to
• Identify data that could be moved to an alternate tier of storage or less active Managed Disk Group
• Identify the hottest and coolest Managed Disk Groups and Virtual Disks based on performance to assist in up tiering, down tiering and re-tiering decisions
• Provides capability to make “proactive” volume placement decisions
• Understand the performance stress on the hardware in comparison to its capability
A large European Telecommunications giant benefited from a 45% decline in storage acquisition cost in the first deployment translating into 55% discounted cash flow saving for a 4 year TCO evaluation.
Ensuring storage service levels
Continuous performance monitoring and reporting is key to business continuity and maintaining service levels in a cloud environment. Tivoli Storage Productivity Center provides end-to-end visibility to administrators from a single management console, including detailed performance metrics, data path and system connectivity, impact analysis and historical trending.
Administrators can ensure storage devices, storage networks and attached devices are performing in an optimized state, by setting different levels of thresholds for different storage entities based on the criticality of the asset. Alerts are generated when these thresholds are exceeded, duly notifying administers of potential impact and downtime. Tivoli Storage Productivity Center also offers policy-based event action that is based on performance values and business policies.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center provides storage utilization insights from raw performance data against proven models to predict the utilization of components within the subsystem. This feature provides a unique “heat map” style of display that makes it easier for administrators to narrow in on storage “hot spots”, and thus more easily identify risks and discover both under- and over-utilized areas of the storage infrastructure.
To learn more about Storage Optimizer, click here
In a cloud environment, administrators are challenges to create and manage shared storage services that can be charged back to users based on consumption. When usage varies between departments or businesses, storage administrators require chargeback capabilities in order to simplify departmental allocation and manage capacity utilization.
Through integration with Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Data
enables storage administrators to understand storage usage and perform cost allocation or chargeback users of storage. These solutions help support storage administrators in their efforts to track, allocate and bill different departments and lines of business based on multiple usage metrics. As a result, the organization can better align the storage infrastructure with overall business objectives and be better prepared to meet future requirements.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Data supports multi-tenancy requirements, allowing cloud storage administrators to manage and track storage usage for multiple clients simultaneously. Advanced multi-customer support capabilities enable organizations to charge in different currencies and to charge different rates for the same service, as well as providing cloud consumers with price breakdowns for resources used and resources reserved for future use. The solution supports large data centers as well as public and hybrid cloud environments.Click here
to download the white paper ‘Optimizing capacity and management of file systems and databases’.
The Storage Hypervisor
discussion is gaining momentum. Join the conversation
! The virtual dialogue on this topic will continue in a live group chat on September 30, 2011
from 12 noon to 1pm Eastern Time. You can log in now for a preview of topics.
This is part 2 of a 3 part post on how somebody responsible for a private storage environment could save their company a pile of money by implementing cloud storage techniques. Part I
introduced the concept of a storage hypervisor as a first step in transitioning traditional IT into a private cloud storage environment. In this 2nd post, I’m going to explain some of the key storage cloud management controls that can be used to drive down cost.
Storage services are standardized. When it comes to shopping, I avoid (at almost all costs) actually going to the store. You can keep all the time and frustration of traffic, fighting for a parking place, wondering aimlessly through aisles of choices, and standing in checkout lines. I’ll take the simplicity and speed of a good online catalog any day.
The idea of shopping from a catalog isn’t new and the cost efficiency it offers to the supplier isn’t new either. Public storage cloud service providers seized on the catalog idea quickly as both a means of providing a clear description of available services to their clients, and of controlling costs. Here’s the idea… I can go to a public cloud storage provider like Amazon S3, Nirvanix, Google Storage for Developers, or any of a host of other providers, give them my credit card, and get some storage capacity. Now, the “kind” of storage capacity I get depends on the service level I choose from their catalog. These folks each offer a small few different service level options. Amazon S3, for example, offers Standard Storage or Reduced Redundancy Storage (can you guess which one costs less?).
Most of today’s private IT environments represent the complete other end of the pendulum swing – total customization. Every application owner, every business unit, every department wants to have complete flexibility to customize their storage services in any way they want. This expectation is one of the reasons so many private IT environments have such a heavy mix of tier-1 storage. Since there is no structure around the kind of requests that are coming in, the only way to be prepared is to have a disk array that could service anything that shows up. Not very efficient… There has to be a middle ground.
Enter the private storage cloud with its storage service catalog. In the consultative service engagements
we’ve done, we have found that most private enterprises have something like fifteen-ish distinct data types (things like database, e-mail, video, shared files, home directories, etc). A simple storage service catalog would describe the specific service levels needed by each of these data types. Let’s take “Database” and build out the scenario.
The first thing you’ll need is a place to create your catalog of storage services. IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Standard Edition is a good option (man, what a mouth full – let’s just call it TPC SE for short… hmm, I’ll probably get fired for that :-) You’re going to use the wizard to create a new “Database” catalog entry.
Now, for each catalog entry, there are a variety of service levels that can be defined that cover things like capacity efficiency, I/O performance, data access resilience, and disaster protection. By this point you’re probably rolling your eyes because you know your application owners… and they’re going to want every byte of their data to have the highest available service in each of these areas (and you wonder why you have so much tier-1 storage). A little bit further into this post we’re going to talk about the wonder of usage-based chargeback, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. For now, let’s assume you’re having a coherent conversation with your application owners and are able to define realistic needs for your database data. Maybe something like this…
From there, you’re back to the wizard. Actually defining the attributes of the catalog entry is a little mundane (lot’s of propeller head knobs and dials to turn), but once you’re done – you’re done! – and life get’s really efficient. So, let’s get the mundane stuff out of the way. First are the capacity efficiency and I/O performance attributes (be sure and notice that for “Database” we are telling the catalog we want virtual volumes – from a storage hypervisor. There will be a test in a paragraph or so :-)
Then the data access resilience attributes.
And finally the disaster protection attributes.
I told you it was a little mundane. But now come the exciting results that really drive cost out of the environment and save a huge amount of administrative time.
First is capital expense. You’re running mostly tier-1 disk arrays today. You have just finished defining the fifteen-ish catalog entries your company is going to use. Some, like “Database”, call for storage services that are often associated with tier-1 disk arrays. Most others don’t. With a little intelligent forecasting, you should be able to determine exactly how much tier-1 storage capability you really need, and how much lower-tier storage you can start using We’ve seen clients shift their mix from 70% tier-1 to 70% lower-tier storage (pretty significant capital expense shift). And if the thought of moving all that existing data from tier-1 to a lower tier makes you shudder, refer back to Part I of this post and look again at the data mobility provided by a good storage hypervisor (Test: did you notice that for “Database” we told the catalog we wanted virtual volumes – from a storage hypervisor…).
The second big savings is in operational expense (keep reading).
Storage provisioning is self-service.
Most public storage services are targeted at end users like you and me who bring our credit card and provision some storage. Private storage clouds are a little different. Administrators we talk to aren’t generally ready to let all their application owners and departments have the freedom to provision new storage on their own without any control. In most cases, new capacity requests still need to stop off at the IT administration group. But once the request gets there, life for the IT administrator is sweet!
Here comes the request from an application owner for 500GB of new “Database” capacity (one of the options available in the storage service catalog) to be attached to some server. After appropriate approvals, the administrator can simply enter the three important pieces of information (type of storage = “Database”, quantity = 500GB, name of the system authorized to access the storage) and click the “Go” button (in TPC SE it’s actually a “Run now” button) to automatically provision and attach the storage. No more complicated checklists or time consuming manual procedures.
Storage is paid per use.
It’s the little appreciated – but incredibly powerful tool in the quest to drive cost out of the environment. When end users are aware of the impact of their consumption and service level choices, they tend to make more efficient choices. Conversely (we all know what happens here), when there’s no correlation between service level choices and end user visibility to cost… well… you have a lot of tier-1 storage on the floor.
A chargeback tool like IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager (TUAM) completes the story we have been building…
- You negotiate a set of storage service levels (like “Database”) with your application owners and business units.
- You create the storage service catalog entry for “Database”
- Your end users request some new “Database” capacity be assigned to a particular server.
- You push the “Run now” button and the capacity is auto-provisioned.
- Your end user receives an invoice (complete with individual line items for each class of service in which they are consuming capacity).
- You’re in the cloud now!
Stay tuned for Part III
of this post where I’ll explore some technical thoughts you’ll want to consider when picking a storage hypervisor. The conversation is building!
Earlier this week, fellow IBM blogger Tony Pearson joined the conversation with a perspective on Storage Hypervisor integration with VMware
. And IBM blogger Rich Vining added a perspective on VMware Data Protection with a Storage Hypervisor
. To cap it off, we just completed our first live group chat with over 30 IT managers, industry analysts, independent bloggers, and IBM storage experts. Join the conversation!
The virtual dialogue on this topic will continue in another live group chat on September 30, 2011 from 12 noon to 1pm Eastern Time.
I recently read an excellent post
by Ron Riffe, a fellow IBMer discussing practical recommendations for introducing cloud techniques into a private storage environment – the end goal being to save your company a substantial amount of money while becoming more responsive to the needs of the business. The first of the four steps discussed in the post was to introduce a storage hypervisor – virtualization of your storage infrastructure. It’s a good idea, especially if you have already virtualized some or all of your production server environment with something like VMware.
But there’s more to it than just the efficiency and mobility you get from virtualizing. The customers we talk to are finding new value that rises out of the synergy when both the server and storage environments are virtualized. One example is in the area of data protection. In this post, I’m going to explain the 1+1=3 effect for data protection that comes from combining VMware with a good storage hypervisor.
Let’s start with a quick walk down memory lane. Do you remember what your data protection environment looked like before virtualization? There was a server with an operating system and an application… and that thing had a backup agent on it to capture backup copies and send them someplace (most likely over an IP network) for safe keeping. It worked, but it took a lot of time to deploy and maintain all the agents, a lot of bandwidth to transmit the data, and a lot of disk or tapes to store it all. The topic of data protection has modernized quite a bit since then.
Today, you’re using a server hypervisor (VMware) to efficiently pack several virtual machines onto one physical server – and to make it so you can deploy, move and decommission those VMs pretty much at will. If you are still using the old techniques for data protection (deploying an agent on each individual VM, and then transferring all the backup data for those VMs through the one IP network pipe) on that physical server, you’re probably running into significant performance and application availability problems, and also missing out on some significant savings (if you listen carefully, you can hear your backup environment screaming ‘modernize me, MODERNIZE ME!”).
Fast forward to today. Modernization has come from three different sources – the server hypervisor, the storage hypervisor and the unified recovery manager. The end result is a data protection environment that captures all the data it needs in one coordinated snapshot action, efficiently stores those snapshots, and provides for recovery of just about any slice of data you could want. It’s quite the beautiful thing.
Data capture: VMware has provided a nice set of APIs that allow disk arrays and backup vendors to intelligently drive snapshots of a VMware datastore (for the techies, these are the vStorage API’s for Data Protection, or VADP). The problem is that integration from a disk array to these API’s is a tier-1 kind of service that is found on very few disk arrays today. That’s where a good storage hypervisor comes in. A storage hypervisor will include its own integration between VMware VADP and hardware-assist snapshot and it will plug the control GUI directly into the VMware vCenter management console. That means, regardless of what type of disk array capacity you have chosen to use for your VMware data, the storage hypervisor will be able to do a hardware-assisted snapshot of the VMware datastore (all your VMs at once – sweet!).
Here’s a scenario we see…
- Administrators want to snapshot the VMware datastore 4 times a day. 4 days worth are maintained – 16 total snapshots “online”
- For longer term recovery, they promote one snapshot each day to a unified recovery manager. 1 month of these are maintained – 31 total snapshots “nearline”
The snapshots can add up, so efficiency is important. For the “online” snapshots, a good storage hypervisor stores only incremental changes, compresses the result and stores it as a thin provisioned volume on lower-tier disk capacity (the new 3TB SAS drives make a nice choice). Notice in this scenario, the administrator is also promoting one of the snapshots each day (say, the midnight snapshot) to an enterprise recovery manager. If you are using IBM’s Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery, then it will insert deduplication in the list of efficiency techniques being applied to the snapshot (incremental snapshots that are deduplicated, compressed, and stored on lower-tier disk… that’s about as efficient as it gets).
Flexible recovery: Whether the snapshot is online or nearline, the only reason you have it is so that you can recover when something (anything) goes wrong. A good hypervisor / unified recovery manager combination will give VMware administrators the ability to peer inside the snapshot and recover individual files, virtual volumes, or entire VMs. Using the scenario above, your recovery point would be no more than 6 hours old for the last 4 days, and your recovery time would be measured in minutes.
IBM offers one of the worlds best known unified recovery managers and the worlds most widely deployed storage hypervisor. With over 7000 storage hypervisor deployments, we’ve had a lot of opportunity to build some depth. Deep integration with VMware for modernizing your data protection environment is one example. If you are running VMware and haven’t yet modernized data protection, IBM can help. You can learn more at the following links.
Storage hypervisor platform
: IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller
(SVC)Storage hypervisor management, storage service catalog, and self-service provisioning
: Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Standard Edition
Join the conversation!
The virtual dialogue on this topic will continue in a live group chat
on September 23, 2011 from 12 noon to 1pm Eastern Time
. Join some of the Top 20 storage bloggers, key industry analysts and IBM Storage subject matter experts to discuss storage hypervisors and get questions answered about improving your private storage environment.
Simplify Data Protection and Reduce Costs With Unified Recovery Management
On September 22, we will be hosting an educational webcast that will address the challenges of providing data protection and recovery for rapidly growing amounts of diverse enterprise data. During this call, you will hear about our unified recovery management solution that can help reduce complexity, risk and costs. Included in this solution is a new simple, value-based option for procuring and managing software licenses.
Speaker: Rich Vining, Product Marketing Manager
Date: September 22, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM Eastern US
Please register for this event using this link.
After registering you will receive a confirmation note with call-in instructions.
To borrow a phrase from a fellow blogger… Interest from customers on cloud storage is very, very hot, and that’s been keeping us very, very busy. The interest underscores the fact that public storage cloud providers have sent a “cost shockwave” through the industry and customers are taking notice.
While CIO’s may still be too concerned about security and service levels to put much real corporate information in the public cloud, they have taken notice that these service providers are offering storage capacity at prices that are often lower than what they are paying for their own private storage. Sure, a service provider theoretically has more economy of scale and so could demand a better price from their hardware vendors, but they also have some profit margin to build into their “service”. There has to be more to it. The customers I talk to are wondering what these service providers are doing to operate at those costs – and if any of their techniques can be applied in a private storage environment.
The situation begs the question “what is it that differentiates these public storage clouds from the traditional private storage environments that most clients operate?” From our experience with customers, there are four significant differences.
- Storage resources are virtualized from multiple arrays, vendors, and datacenters – pooled together and accessed anywhere.
(as opposed to physical array-boundary limitations)
- Storage services are standardized – selected from a storage service catalog.
(as opposed to customized configuration)
- Storage provisioning is self-service – administrators use automation to allocate capacity from the catalog.
(as opposed to manual component-level provisioning)
- Storage usage is paid per use – end users are aware of the impact of their consumption and service level choices.
(as opposed to paid from a central IT budget)
In this post, I’m going to try to explain these four concepts in sufficient detail that somebody responsible for a private storage environment could walk away with some practical recommendations that could save their company a pile of money. Most of this isn’t really original (the concepts have been around for a while), but so few enterprises operate this way that the person who introduces their company to these ideas often looks like a genius (and who doesn’t like that!!). It’s a long topic, so I’ve broken it into 3 posts.
In Part I of this post:
I’ll explain the value of virtualizing storage resources. Hint: you’ve likely already done it to your server resources with some sort of server hypervisor like VMware vSphere
, or IBM PowerVM
, or Microsoft Hyper-V
… so now let’s look at what you get from doing it to your storage resources with a storage hypervisor
In Part II of this post:
I’m going to explain how public storage clouds use management controls like service catalogs, self-service provisioning, and pay-per-use to drive down their costs. I’ll also try to offer some practical ideas for using these techniques in a private enterprise setting to gain similar efficiencies.
In Part III of this post:
I’m going to explore some technical thoughts you’ll want to consider when picking a storage hypervisor.
Ready to jump in?
Storage resources are virtualized. Do you remember back when applications ran on machines that really were physical servers (all that “physical” stuff that kept everything in one place and slowed all your processes down)? Most folks are rapidly putting those days behind them. Server hypervisors and the virtual machines they manage have improved efficiency (no more wasted compute resources), freed up mobility, and ushered in a whole new “cloud” language.
Well, the same ideas apply to storage. As administrators catch on to these ideas, it won’t be long before we’ll be asking the question “Do you remember back when virtual machines used disks that really were physical arrays (all that “physical” stuff that kept everything in one place and slowed all your processes down)?”
In August, Gartner published a paper
that observed “Heterogeneous storage virtualization devices can consolidate a diverse storage infrastructure around a common access, management and provisioning point, and offer a bridge from traditional storage infrastructures to a private cloud storage environment” (there’s that “cloud” language). So, if I’m going to use a storage hypervisor as a first step toward cloud enabling my private storage environment, what differences should I expect? (good question, we get that one all the time!)
Perhaps the most obvious expectations are improved efficiency and data mobility. The basic idea behind hypervisors (server or storage) is that they allow you to gather up physical resources into a pool, and then consume virtual slices of that pool until it’s all gone (this is how you get the really high utilization). The kicker comes from being able to non-disruptively move those slices around. In the case of a storage hypervisor, you can move a slice (or virtual volume) from tier to tier, from vendor to vendor, and now, from site to site all while the applications are online and accessing the data. This opens up all kinds of use cases that have been described as “cloud”. One of the coolest is inter-site application migration. Just recently, a hurricane hit the eastern cost of the United States. If your datacenter had been in the projected path of that hurricane and if you had implemented both a server hypervisor (let’s say VMware vSphere for your Intel servers and IBM PowerVM for your Power systems), and a storage hypervisor platform (let’s say IBM SVC), then here’s what you might have said: “Hey, the hurricane is coming, let’s move operations to another datacenter further inland…” IBM SVC Stretched-cluster allows you to access the same data at both locations giving you the ability to do an inter-site VMware vMotion
and PowerVM Live Partition Mobility
(LPM) move – non-disruptively. As far as the end users are concerned, their applications are running in a private cloud. For you… you avoided a disaster and got to sleep well that weekend.
But storage hypervisors are more, much more than just virtual slices and data mobility. Remember, we’re trying to think like a service provider who is driving cost out of the equation. Sure, we’re getting high utilization from allocating virtual slices, but are we being as smart as we could be about allocating those slices? A good storage hypervisor helps you be smart.
- Thin provisioning: You have a client that asks for 500GB of new capacity. You’re going to give it to him as thin provisioned virtual capacity which is a fancy way of saying you’re not going to actually back it with real physical storage until he writes real data on it. That helps you keep cost down.
- Compression: Same guy also asks to keep several snapshot copies of his data for recovery purposes. You’re going to start by giving him thin provisioned capacity for those snapshots, but you’re also going to compress whatever data those snapshots produce – again adding to your efficiency.
- Agnostic about vendors: Because you’re providing virtual storage resources from a storage service catalog (we’ll talk more about that in Part II of this post), you have the freedom to shift the physical storage you operate from all tier-1 to a more efficient mix of lower tiers, and while you’re doing it you can create a little competition among as many disk array vendors as you like to get the best price / support.
- Smart about tiers: If you shut your eyes real tight and think about the concept of a “virtual” disk that is mobile across arrays and tiers, you’ll quickly start asking questions about having the storage hypervisor watch for I/O patterns on blocks within that virtual disk that would benefit from higher tier capacity, like solid-state (SSD) or flash disk for example. A good storage hypervisor will automate the detection of such patterns and move hot data blocks to these highest tiers of storage if you have them.
Are you getting the picture of why so many enterprises are beginning to agree with Gartner that a storage hypervisor can be a great first step in transitioning traditional IT into a private cloud storage environment? Application owners come to you for storage capacity because you’re responsible for the storage at your company. In the old days, if they requested 500GB of capacity, you allocated 500GB off of some tier-1 physical array – and there it sat. But then you discovered storage hypervisors! Now you tell that application owner he has 500GB of capacity… What he really has is a 500GB virtual volume that is thin provisioned, compressed, and backed by lower-tier disks. When he has a few data blocks that get really hot, the storage hypervisor dynamically moves just those blocks to higher tier storage like SSD’s. His virtual disk can be accessed anywhere across vendors, tiers and even datacenters. And in the background you have changed the vendor storage he is actually sitting on twice because you found a better supplier. But he doesn’t know any of this because he only sees the 500GB virtual volume you gave him. It’s “in the cloud”.
Stay tuned for Part II
of this post…
Join the conversation!
The virtual dialogue on this topic will continue in a live group chat
on September 23, 2011 from 12 noon to 1pm Eastern Time
. Join some of the Top 20 storage bloggers, key industry analysts and IBM Storage subject matter experts to discuss storage hypervisors and get questions answered about improving your private storage environment.
The Global Tivoli User
Community is hosting an all-day, Storage Focused Tivoli User Group event in
New York City
October 11th that will cover:
New Approaches and
Best Practices for Data Lifecycle Management
Date: Tuesday, October
11, 2011 - 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location:IBM Office, 590 Madison Avenue, NYC - Briefing Center auditorium 3rd Floor
At this event you
will have the opportunity to learn from experts about and discuss the
- Current developments and future directions for
Tivoli Storage solutions from Steve Wojtowecz, IBM
VP of Tivoli Development
- Best Practices from TSM
customer deployments by event sponsors and IBM
Business Partners Mainline Information Systems and Starfire Technologies
Unified Recovery Management and Capacity Pricing Discussion
- Storage Hypervisor Solution / Storage in the
Continental breakfast and lunch will be served
We hope you will join us to learn about these key storage
topics, as well as hear about real-live customer success stories from our IBM Business Partners.
Space is limited and you must be a TUC
member to attend. Register today to
secure your spot at this special event!
Not a part of the Tivoli User
Community Yet? Become a member.
IBM Champion program is still accepting nominations for experts on IBM Tivoli Software- Nominations are open through August 19.
The IBM Champion program recognizes exceptional contributors to the technical community -- clients and partners who work alongside IBM to build solutions for a smarter planet. An IBM Champion is an individual who leads and mentors his or her peers and motivates them toward IBM solutions and services. Champions can be found running user groups, managing websites, speaking at conferences, answering questions in online forums, writing blogs, submitting wiki articles, sharing how-to videos, and writing technical books.
The IBM Champion program recognizes and thanks these innovative thought leaders, amplifying their voice and increasing their sphere of influence in the technical community. IBMers, partners and clients are encouraged to submit nominations through August 13th. To learn more and to submit your nominations, go to: IBM Champion homepage.
IT managers are broadly exploiting virtual server infrastructures -- hypervisors -- to improve efficiency, provide for transparent mobility, and give common manageability and capabilities regardless of type of server hardware being used. These same robust benefits are now available for virtual storage infrastructures with the IBM storage hypervisor (System Storage SAN Volume Controller and its management console the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center).
Listen to the webcast
to understand how the IBM storage hypervisor can be a complimentary next step in the overall IT environment virtualization process.
Click and learn more about IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller
and IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center
. Please reach out to IBM sales or IBM business partners to understand how IBM storage hypervisor solution can benefit your organization's effort to virtualize and efficiently manage storage.
Is your archived information earning its keep? Are explosive data growth, regulatory compliance, legal discovery, and data protection on your mind? Drivers like these demand long-term, high-volume data retention. Join IBM and IDC on June 8, 2011 at 11AM EST for an informative webinar on how to "Get more from your archived information."
Laura DuBois, IDC Program Vice President, Storage Software, and Craig Butler, IBM Business Line Executive for Storage Archive, Data Protection & Retention, will address a smarter approach to archiving. Find out how companies like yours use the IBM Smart Archive strategy
and lead offerings to help ensure that relevant information is properly retained and protected throughout its life cycle. As part of the Smart Archive strategy, IBM offers IBM Information Archive: a streamlined, flexible archiving solution that helps organizations of practically all sizes address their information retention needs - whether business, legal or regulatory.
On May 31 2011, IBM announced the availability of Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery
, a bundle of ten Tivoli Storage Manager and Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack products, with an easy to order, deploy and manage capacity-based pricing model.
With this offering, you can deploy any of ten different solution components, in any location and quantity to meet the unique data protection and recovery needs across a wide range of systems, applications and service level requirements. The pricing is based on a tiered Terabyte metric that measures the amount of data managed in Tivoli Storage Manager primary storage pools and FastBack repositories. License costs can be dramatically reduced through the use of built-in source and target data deduplication, and there is no charge for duplicate copies of the data that may be used for disaster recovery, testing, data mining and other purposes.
The individual products included in this comprehensive package are:Tivoli Storage Manager Extended Edition
: Provides core backup/restore for a wide range of operating systems; broad support for tiers of storage; NDMP, IBM DB2® and Informix® support; source and target deduplication; advanced disaster recovery planning; and much more.Tivoli Storage Manager for Databases
: Performs online, consistent and centralized backups for Oracle and SQL to avoid downtime; protect vital enterprise data infrastructure and minimize operation costs.Tivoli Storage Manager for Enterprise Resource Planning
: Performs online, consistent and centralized backups for SAP environments.Tivoli Storage Manager for Mail
: Protects data on email servers running Lotus® Domino® or Microsoft® Exchange, with granular restore of Exchange email objects.Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments
: Automatically discovers and protects VMware virtual machines; offloads backup workloads to a centralized server and enables flexible, near-instant recovery.Tivoli Storage Manager for Space Management
: Moves inactive data to reclaim online disk space for important active data; frees administrators from manual file system pruning tasks; and defers the need to purchase additional disk storage.Tivoli Storage Manager for Storage Area Networks
: Provides high-performance backup/restore by removing data transfer from the LAN.Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack
: Provides efficient block-level incremental backup and near-instant restore for critical Microsoft Windows® and Linux® servers and applications, in the data center and in remote offices.Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack for Microsoft Exchange
: Provides the ability to recover individual Microsoft Exchange objects such as email, attachments, calendar entries, contacts and tasks.
Existing customers of Tivoli Storage Manager are also able to take advantage of this new pricing model, which will eliminate the need to count Processor Value Units and help to gain better visibility and control of future licensing costs. For more information on converting to this model, please contact your IBM Sales Rep or Business Partner.
Later this week, I will post a list of the advanced capabilities that Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery can bring to your IT environment with the overall benefits of reducing data growth, improving operational efficiency and dramatically reducing costs. "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
Tivoli will be performing a live demonstration of Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack
and Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack for Exchange
data protection products. These welcome additions to the Tivoli Storage Manager product family provide the ability to meet aggressive Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives in an organization's data protection service.
The TSM FastBack family provides many advanced features including:
- Instant Restore allows users to access to their data or application immediately, while the restore is taking place.
- Incremental Forever Backups prevents wasting time and money in performing and storing unnecessary full backups. Each backup appears to be a Full backup, but only the blocks that have been modified are copied.
- FastBack Mount allows access to backed up data without it being recovered. This allows data to be validated after backups, the correct data to be identified before it is recovered, or data to be opened and its contents to be recovered at a more granular level, thus reducing the size and time of the recovery.
- Exchange Brick-level Recovery allows messages (as well as Contacts, Calendar Items, etc.) to be recovered from a previous backup without requiring an entire Exchange Database to be recovered. TSM FastBack for Exchange does not require additional backup processing to provide Individual Mail Recovery.
- Branch Office Disaster Recovery allows replication of branch office backup data to a central site. This data can be compressed and encrypted during the transfer. The replicated data at the central site can be used as the source for creating a tape copy of the data or for recovering branch office data and hosts. TSM FastBack allows the backups and replication of multiple branch offices to be monitored with a single tool.
- TSM FastBack Bare Machine Recovery allows Windows hosts to be quickly recovered, even to dissimilar hardware.
This demonstration is open to Customers, Business Partners and IBM employees.
There are Web Conference and Audio Conference components to this demonstration.
Conference ID is 9663533
Prior to the web conference, we suggest you do the following:
1) go to www.sametimeunyte.com
2) click on Support
3) click on Lotus Sametime Unyte Meeting System Check
4) Select attendee type and click Next
5) Proceed with the system check and install any plug-ins required.
Toll Free: 888-426-6840
The scheduled dates are:
A video that showcases the ease of installing Tivoli Storage Productivity Center suite on to a Windows server. The video, created by Mike Griese
, captures some key developments as part of version 4.2:
- No need for Common Agent Manager
- Fewer values to enter on setup screens
- Faster overall installation time
The video takes you through a step-by-step, wizard-based installation of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, Tivoli Integrated Portal and Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Replication.
Tivoli announces the availability of two white papers for Tivoli Storage Productivity Center.
Managing Storage Area Network (SAN) configuration
: As organizations strive to better manage their business infrastructure, leaders in operations management and system administration have been charged to minimize service disruptions by better understanding the impact of changes on the infrastructure; integrate and streamline processes across silos to reduce complexity; and implement “green” IT. Storage infrastructure management can be a key element in addressing these issues successfully. Download here
Storage management solution: Deriving substantial benefits from Tivoli Storage Productivity Center
: Storage administrators are increasingly turning to more sophisticated management tools to help them overcome these challenges. Storage Resource Management tools are focused on helping the storage administrators deal with configuring these modern IT storage networks. These tools provide a comprehensive view of the end-to-end storage infrastructure, from the hosts, through the fabric network to the storage arrays. Download here
Attention all Tivoli User Community Members! There will be free online training offered on May 26, 2011 from 9:30AM - 1:30PM EST on the topic of: Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments.
The following topics will be covered:
-Explain the different types of virtual machine backups (lecture)
-Explain the benefits of Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments (lecture)
-Perform full VM-level backups and restores (demo)
-Perform file-level backups and restores (demo)
-Install and configure Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments (demo)
-Perform Block-Level Backups with CBT (demo)
Topics were selected from the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager 6.2 for Virtual Environments workshop and tailored for a one-day online presentation. REGISTER HERE!
Join us on May 17th at 1: p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific.
.......to hear all about Smarter Storage & Data Management for Virtual Server EnvironmentsFeatured Speakers:
Richard Vining, IBM Tivoli Storage Product Marketing Manager & John Connor, IBM Tivoli Storage Product Manager
There is a huge transformation happening in IT organizations! These organizations are migrating from single-purpose physical servers to consolidated virtual machine technologies. The benefits of virtualization are many: cutting acquisition, management and facilities costs by reducing the number of physical machines; increasing service levels through faster server provisioning; and enabling new delivery models such as cloud services. However, virtualizing servers does not reduce the amount of data that is created and stored; actually it can have the opposite effect as virtual machines are moved or de-provisioned. This presentation will describe smarter ways of managing all this data and the infrastructure that stores it, and feature IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center family of products.
Join us on May 12th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 11:00 a.m. Pacific.............to hear all about Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) for Virtual Environments.Featured Speakers:
Greg Van Hise - IBM Storage Architect & Richard Vining - IBM Product Marketing Manager for TSM
There is no question that server virtualization has been a boost to the businesses that have embraced it, but it is also causing huge headaches for storage administrators. Join IBM industry leaders for this live, interactive event, as they introduce the newest addition to the Tivoli Storage Manager family that was built to provide advanced data protection and fast, flexible recovery of your VMware environments. This online-only event allows you to hear from experts as they review TSM for Virtual Environments and demonstrate how it can help you reduce costs while meeting service level requirements. This event will include a 20 minute presentation, followed by a 20 minute live demo of the actual product.
Last week at the 2011 CRN Xchange
event in Orlando, the results of the 21st Channel Champions awards were announced. IBM Software was honored with a Gold Award in 2 categories, including Backup and Recovery Software for the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager
family. The winners will be featured in the April issue of CRN - both in print and online.
Everything Channel's Channel Champion survey helps solution providers select from the myriad vendors out there, the cream of the crop. The Channel Champs program measures the satisfaction of solution providers that currently sell a particular vendor's products and/or services--regardless of whether or not they are formally in a manufacturer's channel program. It is the largest business partner satisfaction study conducted.
Five categories relevant to IBM Software were in the 2011 Channel Champions Survey: Data and Information Management , Middleware, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, and Backup and Recovery software.
The survey results were dominated by IBM and Microsoft.
In 2011 we came out as clear winners by sweeping the Middleware and the Backup and Recovery categories. Most notable is the Backup and Recovery 'win' for Tivoli, where IBM gained a clean sweep victory. It is worth noting that in 2009 Tivoli was a distant third in this category, confirming that a great deal of progress has been made in both product capabilities and channel programs.
IBM placed second in the other 3 categories, losing by a narrow margin to Microsoft in Data and Information Management and by wider margins in Business Intelligence and Collaboration.
Congratulations to the IBM Channels Sales and Marketing Teams for achieving this great honor, and THANK YOU to our fantastic Business Partners for all you do to support our solutions and our mutual customers.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
The Tivoli Storage Management team is beginning a new series of educational webcasts for the end user community on a range of topics. The first session will focus on data protection and recovery of virtual server environments -- and you're invited!
Server virtualization has been a boon to the businesses that have embraced it, but it is causing huge headaches for storage administrators. One area of particular concern is backup and recovery, especially as the use of virtual servers grows in production environments.
Are all of the Virtual Machines (VMs) covered with appropriate backup policies? Are you able to manage the sprawl of backup agents as the number of VMs increases? Are you having trouble meeting backup windows and recovery SLAs on your VMs?
Join IBM as we introduce you to the newest addition to the TSM family that is built to provide advanced data protection and fast, flexible recovery of your VMware environments. Join us as we review TSM for Virtual Environments and how it can help you reduce costs while meeting service level requirements. We will have a 20 minute presentation and a 20 minute live demo of the product.
Date: April 14, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern
Speakers: Greg Van Hise, TSM Software Architect; Rich Vining, Product Marketing Manager
Please register for this event using the On-Line Registration
I attended IDC’s Directions2011
event yesterday in Boston. It was kicked off by Frank Gens, IDC Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst making a compelling case that the IT industry is at a historic inflection point, entering the third platform for growth.
The first platform of course was the mainframe for computing and terminals for users. The second platform was formed between 1981 and 1986 with the introduction of the personal computer, client/server computing, and local area networks. The number of IT devices and users, and the amount of money spent on IT, grew exponentially over the first platform.
Now, 25 years later, we’re poised for the next platform. It will be built on mobile devices and mobile applications, cloud services, big data with advanced analytics, and social business. To highlight this shift, IDC believes that mobile, app-capable device shipments will exceed PC shipments this year for the first time, at around 400 million units each, and of course they won’t meet again.
Frank made an interesting observation – that most of the innovative young engineers are being drawn to the growing mobile and social platforms, basically “sucking the oxygen out of PC development”. He also noted that there are at most 75,000 applications for PCs but already there are 1.3 million apps for mobile devices.
Cloud services are the back-end delivery model for most mobile applications, and IDC predicts that 80% of all new enterprise applications will be delivered in a cloud model, at least as an option. “Big Data” is a term IDC uses to describe the types of solutions that IBM talks about in its Smarter Planet ads – smart electrical grids, individualized healthcare, optimized traffic, smarter buildings, etc. And “Social Business” reflects the fact that customers have taken control of the buying cycle, and vendors need to shift from push marketing to social marketing – something that is already happening. In a recent IDC study on IT marketing spending, the slice of the marketing budget for social media increased from 13% to 19% in just one year.
The real message behind Frank’s presentation, though, was to ask which IT companies will be the Wang’s, Digital’s and Cullinet’s – the casualties of the last platform shift – as the world moves to the third platform for IT growth. History suggests that those that remain rooted in the PC client/server model are doomed. Those that are embracing the future of IT are poised to experience unprecedented opportunities for growth and profit.
IDC is holding their west coast Directions2011 conference on March 15th in San Jose. If you’re an IDC client and can make it to the event, I highly recommend you do.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
Storwize Rapid Application Storage solution, launched in Feb 2011, brings together innovative storage technology, comprehensive management software and implementation services that help you manage business applications and storage growth efficiently. In continuation to my earlier post 'Tivoli Storage Productivity Center supports Storwize V7000
', my colleague Ian Wright has created a brilliant video showcasing the performance monitoring, alerting and reporting capabilities of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center as part of the Storwize Rapid Application Storage solution.
In specific, Ian walks us through creating performance reports at sub-system level to understand the data surge source; creating batch reports that enable better understanding on the storage capacities, including tiering information; and also, enabling thresholds that will eventually create alerts when these thresholds are breached.
For more information on Storwize Rapid Application Storage, click here
. To learn more about Tivoli Storage Productivity for Disk Midrange Edition, click here
Please reach out to IBM Sales Specialists or IBM Business Partner to understand how Storwize Rapid Application Storage solution can benefit your organizations’ efforts towards efficiently managing the data explosion.
Note: The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.