Between the 19th and the 23rd of May, Las Vegas was once again host to the IBM Edge conference. Throughout the five days of the event, more than 5,500 technology leaders and practitioners from 55 countries participated to hundreds of sessions and discussions around the latest developments in Storage Management, IT Operations Analytics and Cloud Optimization.
Right from the beginning – the General Session on the first day of the conference – leading IBM experts like Tom Rosamilia (Senior Vice President, IBM STG) emphasized what was to be the underpinning theme of the entire event: ‘Infrastructure matters because business outcomes matter’. Why? Also on the first day of the event, IBM revealed some of the results of its latest wide ranging study of organizations (due to be released in July 2014); thus, according to the results, even though seven out of 10 organizations recognize the importance of IT infrastructure for competitive advantage and revenues, less than 10% of them say their existing IT infrastructures are fully prepared to address the proliferation of mobile devices, social media, data analytics and cloud computing.
May 19th also brought EdgeTalks at IBM Edge: a special session hosted by Surjit Chana (Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, IBM STG), whereby TED Talks speakers Ron Finley, John Wilbanks and Peter Singer shared their inspiring insights and experiences with innovations in fields ranging from organic food forests to the latest cybersecurity concerns that affect the world. You can see the replay here.
On another front, the MSP Forum hosted impactful discussions around strategies for flexible hybrid cloud implementations and the priorities, challenges and opportunities that MSP decision makers have when it comes to software defined automation.
By the third day of IBM Edge 2014, more than 55 million impressions worldwide had been generated by the social media activities around the conference. The Social Lounge set up at the event encouraged all participants to be active in social media and the associated crowd chat led to many interesting discussions between analysts, experts and practitioners. Technical Edge - more than 150 expert technical sessions and hands-on labs, covering 14 technical tracks (including Software Defined Environments (SDE) and Storage), Winning Edge – sessions dedicated to providing cutting edge education, insights and opportunities for Business Partners and Sellers, and Executive Edge – talks around overarching aspects of Cloud, Big Data and storage infrastructure, were in full swing, and they were followed, on May 22nd and 23rd, by further engaging sessions around storage, IT Operations Analytics, Workload Automation, ITSM and more.
To wrap up, here are some more replays from the conference that you can watch at your leisure: http://www.livestream.com/ibmedge. Here’s looking forward to next year’s edition and hoping that it will prove as much fun for participants as the one that’s just ended.
With more than 90% of decision makers trending to cloud implementation to drive improved business outcomes, it is important to understand the key challenges organizations face when considering Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) in the cloud including:
How to leverage cloud storage as a storage tier for TSM
Moving data into more cost effective architecture while improving recovery
A recent survey was completed to understand how users plan to use TSM in the next three years. The trend indicates that pool usage for primary storage are -- 1). TSM dedup and 2). tier with #5 being identified as cloud. Cloud as #5! The projected growth for XaaS (anything as a service) will definitely have an impact for survey results in te next few years.
Another survey provided a view of the trend for disaster recovery (DR) pool usage over the next three years as follows: 1). TSM replication 39% (tape usage decreased); 2). Node replication increase 30%; 3). Copy storage pool backups to cloud increased to 32%.
Thus, to understand the true value that Data Protection as a Service can provide -- e.g. Xaas [BaaS, DRaas, AaaS, Iaas] the consideration includes:
Partner ecosystem -- build upon open interfaces
Transmission of data to cloud -- be selective about data that goes to the cloud
Security -- encryption in flight / at rest
Economics -- in house TSM, likely cost less
The aspects of cloud data protection solution can be summarized as:
Service Model -- services offered; managed by customer, IBM or 3rd Party
I’ve been on the topic of software-defined storage for three posts now – one with my perspective, one covering a multi-vendor round table at Storage Networking World, and now on an intriguing bit of research.
Earlier this year, IBM sponsored EMA research into Demystifying Cloud. The project was intended to collect lessons learned from organizations of all sizes that had completed at least the first stage of their initial private cloud deployment, and then use that data to provide guidance to organizations considering the purchase of cloud technologies. Along the way, EMA discovered what most folks would not have predicted -- the critical role of storage for companies of any size and vertical when planning and implementing a private cloud.
Check out my latest post in TheLine for the rest of the story.
Royse Wells, Chief Storage Architect for International Paper discusses Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center, previewed at Pulse 2013.TSM Operations Center is a new graphical interface that helps administrators and management get quick summary views about the backup environment and simplify administration.
Jeff Jones, UNUM
UNUM Uses Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments
Jeff Jones is senior infrastructure manager at UNUM, a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the US and UK.UNUM has about 85% virtual servers today.UNIM uses Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments to deliver faster backups and restores, and reduce the risk of data loss for 650 Windows and Linux VMs.
Klavs Kabell, IT-WIT
Modernizing Backup for Today’s Virtual Environments
Klavs Kabell is a Senior System Consultant at IT-WIT, an IBM Business Partner in Denmark specializing in backup solutions.Klavs discusses how backup solutions have evolved, as VM deployments have grown.Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments helps simplify VM backup administration and tracking, while incremental ‘forever’ technology improves storage efficiency.
Thomas Bak, Front-safe
Cloud backup and archive using TSM and Frontsafe Portal
Front-safe received the Best Cloud Solution award at the IBM Pulse 2013 conference, and the 2013 IBM Beacon Award for the Best Solution to Optimize the World’s Infrastructure.Learn about the value of enabling backup as a cloud service, using Front-safe Portal software.
Laura DuBois, Program VP of Storage for IDC, and Steve Steve Wojtowecz, IBM VP of Storage and Networking Software discuss client opportunities and requirements for storage clouds and compute clouds.Client cloud storage requirements include backup and archive clouds, file storage clouds, and storage that supports compute clouds.
Chris Dotson, IBM CIO Office
IBM’s storage transformation featuring SmartCloud Virtual Center
Chris Dotson works in IBM’s CIO Office as a Senior IT Architect for Services Transformation.He is guiding IBM’s own storage transformation.As a large enterprise, IBM manages over 100 petabytes of data, growing at 25% per year.Chris discusses block storage virtualization, automated block storage tiering, file cloud storage, and automated block storage management at IBM.He shows how SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center is reducing storage costs by 50% with no noticeable performance impact to users.
BJ Klingenberg, IBM Global Technology Services
IBM Global Technology Services Uses Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) to Manage Clients’ Storage Environments
BJ Klingenberg is a Distinguished Engineer and Enterprise Storage Management lead for IBM.BJ shares his experiences using IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center in IBM’s Service Provider environment. Service Provider environments are governed by Service Level Agreements, so managing capacity, performance and availability are essential capabilities. Storage efficiency is essential to remaining competitive.See how TPC helps IBM deliver outstanding customer service at competitive prices.
Jason Buffington, ESG Senior Analyst, and Tom Hughes, IBM Worldwide Storage Executive discuss business and technical challenges for data protection.Tom and Jason discuss new solutions and Best Practices for protecting data more efficiently and effectively for today’s cloud, mobile and virtual environments.
Colin Dawson, TSM Server Architect introduces Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center, the next generation of backup administration from IBM. He describes how TSM Operations Center was designed and built, using extensive user feedback.
Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack Foundation founder and Todd Moore, IBM
OpenStack Provides Compute, Storage and Network Interoperability for Clouds
The OpenStack Foundation has gained 170 corporate and over 8,200 individual members since its inception in 2012, making it one of the fastest growing cloud standards.Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director and founder of the OpenStack Foundation, and Todd Moore, IBM Software Group Director of Interoperability and Partnerships discuss the capabilities and opportunities for building cloud solutions using OpenStack to manage compute, storage and network resources.
Deepak Advani, IBM
Optimizing IT Infrastructures for Today’s Workloads
Deepak Advani, General Manager of Tivoli Software discusses top issues and opportunities facing clients as they adopt new breeds of applications to engage with customers and improve operations using mobile devices, cloud and analytics.
Wow!What an exciting week it has
been at Pulse 2013!Especially, for Tivoli Storage!In addition to the inspiring words of Day 3’s
keynote speaker, Peyton Manning, I was also equally inspired by many of our
Tivoli Storage Business Partners like Cobalt Iron, Silverstring, Front-Safe and
STORServer, who led sessions on exciting topics like how to create a cloud
service in a TSM environment, to how to transform your data backup costs into
Lets start with the final day of Pulse General
Sessions which kicked off to a packed auditorium…..Jamie Thomas, IBM
Tivoli VP of Strategy and Development, took the stage first with a panel of IBM
Experts including CTOs Dave Lindquist, Jerry Cuomo, Sandy Bird,
and Sky Matthews.These key
technology leaders, with Jamie facilitating the discussion, led us through
their technology roadmaps around what’s new and what’s coming in Cloud,
Security Intelligence, the Mobile Enterprise and Smarter Physical
Infrastructure.Following this panel
discussion, Bruce Ross, General Manager for IBM GTS, helped explain how
his team is helping to enable the acceleration of cloud services.It was a great line-up of experts and many
shared examples of how our technologies are driving innovation.You canwatch the replay of the General Session here.
Next up on the main stage was Pulse
2013 Guest Speaker Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos.Peyton gave a heartfelt speech on the “art
and science of decision-making.”Are you
making the right decisions to deliver innovation?Are you sticking to your decisions?...were
some of the key topics covered.Offering
his perspective on Leadership, I think my favorite all-time quote was
this:“You can either be a warrior or a
worrier.”So true.Decisions backed by facts and data analysis
helps you drive the best decisions, and technology has greatly impacted this
process, he pointed out.Scott Hebner,
WW Tivoli VP of Marketing, joined him onstage with some great Q&A, that
ended with Scott going long, “up and out,” to catch a bullet pass from
Peyton.And, yes, pass caught, no
Now, on to our Tivoli Storage
sessions today which featured many of our Business Partners.Thomas Bak, CSO & Partner of
Denmark-based Front-safe, kicked off the morning with a very interactive
discussion on the topic of how to create cloud service around your Tivoli
Storage Manager environment.Front-safe,
a recent 2013 Beacon Award winner, is bringing TSM into new markets via a
cloud-enabled portal.He mentioned 3,000
end customers are already using this solution for backup, and backing up
literally 10,000+ servers!Front-safe’s
new cloud backup service provider, i-Sanity, also addressed their model of
“backup as a service” and they are the first Front-safe backup service provider
in South Africa.You can learn more by watching this great
Silverstring Ltd, another Tivoli
Storage Business Partner, led a session with customer Rabobank International, a
large global financial institution with many dispersed TSM systems, who told us
all about best practices that have been used for daily TSM administration.Great content was also shared that focused on
how these best practices and cloud-based automation software can be combined to
actually lower the cost of delivering TSM services and improve service levels.
Later in the
day, Richard Spurlock of Cobalt Iron
held an engaging session on how to transform your backup costs into business
opportunities.Cobalt Iron combines TSM
backup with a cloud experience in a simple deployment model that’s all about
flexible deployment options.Richard
really helped the audience better grasp how the costs and complexity of
enterprise backup can really “bankrupt” its value – and how Cobalt Iron’s
solutions can leverage your backup investments into a flexible and high
value data protection solution.Earlier
in the week, Cobalt Iron had been honored as a recipient of the 2013 Tivoli
Business Partner Awards finalist. Congratulations!
In one of the final Pulse 2013
storage sessions of the day, Business Partner STORServer delivered a compelling
presentation on how to provide Backup-as-a-Service with their STORServer Backup
Appliance and TSM.This session was of
great help for both large enterprises who were looking for how best to charge
for backup services, and also MSPs looking for additional revenue streams.
We also heard from
customers like Nyherji who told the audience all about how they use FlashCopy
Manager with TSM Node Replication to increase service levels and obtain high
availability.I was especially interested to hear about all the stellar benefits that these Tivoli storage solutions brought to their
business – from absolutely 0 downtime to hugely improved backup and recovery
times.As a result, Petur Eythorsson of
Nyherji, told a great story of how they completely redesigned their TSM
environment and added TSM Node Replication and FlashCopy Manager to complete
I wrapped up my week at Pulse
2013 visiting with both old and new friends and colleagues later that evening,
continuing to recap what was my 3rd, and, I believe, BEST Pulse
ever!Congratulations and thank you to the IBM Tivoli Pulse team for a job well done.....I can’t imagine how the next Pulse
will trump this one, but, in true Tivoli
fashion, I am sure it will.
And, in case you are having Pulse 2013 withdrawals already, we’ve captured some engaging storage
videos this week that are already available to you now. I hope you can take a moment to relive some
of the great Tivoli Storage moments this week and listen to all the great things that analysts, thought leaders, our customers, and Business Partners are saying
about Tivoli Storage solutions:
And, in case you would like to hear more about what’s
new and cool coming from Tivoli Storage, you can always join us again in Vegas
this June for IBM Edge2013, which will
bring you more opportunities to connect with your colleagues and learn about
industry best practices for storage management, virtualization, and cloud technologies.
Following an outstanding PurePalooza party on Monday night that featured a 2-hour performance by 6-time Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood, you might have expected Tuesday’s General Session to be a little quieter than usual. However, that wasn’t the case at all as the energetic vibe from today’s session picked up right where Monday left off -- helping to quickly shake off the effects of a wild Monday night for many.
This morning’s 90-minute general session was themed “Best Practices in Action” and featured a client panel of IT leaders from AT&T, Equifax, Carolinas Healthcare System and the Port of Cartagena sharing how they are converting opportunities from Cloud, Mobility and Smarter Physical Infrastructures into tangible business outcomes.
The Unified Recovery & Storage Management track picked up on the General session theme with Tuesday’s breakout sessions featuring no fewer than TEN Tivoli Storage clients sharing real-life examples of how they were applying IBM Tivoli Back-Up and Recovery and Storage Management solutions to address a host of complex challenges. While this represents a just a tiny sliver of the valuable content, some of the session take-aways included:
• Irfan Karachiwala (Ph. D), Manager, Enterprise Data Strategy at Kindred Healthcare, a post-acute healthcare provider with over 450 locations in the U.S. has realized improvements in Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives by switching from data only backups to VM-based image back-ups using Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments;
• Redbook author Gerd Becker of Empalis Consulting, a German-based IBM Premier Business Partner recommended the use of TSM Fastback for Workstations to provide continuous protection and meet shorter Recovery Point Objectives (by the way you can try TSM Fastback for Workstations for free through the currently available trial);
• BJ Klingenberg, Distinguished Engineer in IBM Global Technology Services that uses Tivoli Storage Productivity Center to manage the storage environments of over 1000 accounts and 400 petabytes of data suggested taking 12-hour Storage environment snapshots to facilitate problem isolation and determination as part of a sound change and configuration management strategy;
• Petur Eythorsson of Nyherji, a Managed Service Provider in Iceland that provides management for 50 TSM servers mainly supporting mid-sized Windows-based environments confirmed that like many others, his client base has little patience for any recovery time beyond 2 hours;
• Huey Cantrell of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana reminded us that the overwhelming number of restore requests are for data that was recently backed-up so his IT organization spends it’s time and energy focused on the ability to quickly recover data created in the past few days;
• Eduardo Zalamena of Mitsubishi Motors of Brasil pointed out that within large organizations you can’t treat all data the same way. For example, a 2-hour restore time within some systems can be a catastrophic while for others it may be very appropriate. Eduardo recommended the implementation of system-specific recovery objectives to cost-effectively address requirements;
• John Clarke from United Healthcare that protects over 70 million Americans, has altered his teams approach back-up and recovery focus – emphasizing the restore over back-up primarily because of the emergence of Big Data systems such as Netezza and Teradata.
On a day that put IBM clients “front and center”, it was only fitting to close Tuesday with the Tivoli Storage Birds of Feather meeting. This two hour, highly-interactive discussion gave clients the opportunity to get all their questions answered and provide direct feedback to Tivoli Storage Executives, Developers and Product Managers.
Based on the buzz around the Storage breakouts it was clear that the client focus on Tuesday was a hit so a huge thank-you to all the clients who took the time to prepare and share their stories at Pulse2013. Pulse wouldn't be a reality without your contributions!!!
As another Pulse begins to wind down, it’s time to start thinking about IBM Edge2013 in June. The Edge conference will bring us back to Las Vegas to hear more clients describe how they are Optimizing Storage and IT. If you weren’t able to join the 8000 of us at Pulse2013, start making plans to attend Edge by finding out everything you need to know (including the early-bird discount available through the end of April) at the IBM Edge2013 Conference website.
seen tremendous growth in recent years due to the size, type, and complexity of
data that is being created. Multimedia files, efforts to go “Green”, and the
general desire to be more collaborative in our daily work with all of our data
on hand as needed has increased the demand for storage. Analysts state that
half of all data in existence today was created within the last five years.What does that say about what the next five
digital world, this growth is driving the need for new thoughts around the cost
and complexity of managing storage, a desire for hyper efficiency to get the
absolute most out of storage resources is now the norm.This
requires new inventions in storage techniques and data analytics. You have
likely heard of cloud. In fact, you probably back up some portion of your data
to a cloud service today, either from your personal computer, tablet, or smart
phone. These services enable self-service delivery of storage and are built on
an integrated, optimized infrastructure. Services like these are a model for
doing business that can be translated into datacenters all over the world.
The IBM SmartCloud
Virtual Storage Center is the cornerstone of our storage cloud services because
it enables users to easily migrate to an agile, cloud-based storage
environment—and then to manage it effectively. VSC delivers unique capabilities for our customers including
automated provisioning of virtual storage resources pooled across heterogeneous
storage platforms, built-in efficiency features that remove traditional
barriers to increase the utilization of your existing storage assets, and
non-disruptive data mobility so that your data is available no matter where you
are. Storage can be provisioned directly
from a catalog in a self-service fashion and then placed on the appropriate
class of storage based on the required characteristics of the workload, with
integrated data protection and resiliency to match service level requirements.
As workload characteristics change over time, VSC can help reduce costs by
migrating less critical data to less expensive media.
United Kingdom-based investment and insurance company recently implemented IBM
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center to build a more flexible, automated approach
to managing data that they had not previously been able to. Their IT department
is now able to offer an improved service to all lines of business at a far
lower cost. They have been able to reduce the amount of physical disk drives
they will need to invest in moving forward, while improving performance, which has
allowed them to redistribute their IT budget into other key areas.
Here in the
United States, one of our major telecom providers has been leveraging Virtual
Storage Center to increase the utilization of their storage assets to over 80%,
while reducing their reliance on tier 1 storage to greatly improve their total
cost of ownership. In addition, they have been able to automate many of the manual
tasks associated with managing their enterprise data center, freeing IT
resources to focus on strategic initiatives.
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center has experienced a meteoric rise within our
storage software portfolio, with over 60 new customers in just one quarter of
general availability. This integrated approach to dealing with the major
obstacles in enterprise data centers has been well received by analysts and customers
alike. Leveraging key capabilities from our existing storage software
portfolio, built on years of experience and leadership, IBM SmartCloud Virtual
Storage Center has helped customers address the demands of rapid storage growth
and provide built in resiliency to ensure 24x7 operations.
information on IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center and Pulse 2013, please
check out Tivoli Storage at Pulse by clicking here.
Please plan to join IBM and thousands of your peers at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, March 3 to 6, 2013.
PULSE 2013 is IBM’s premier event focused on business transformation and IT optimization, helping clients learn how to turn opportunities into outcomes.
As the planet becomes smarter, it becomes clear that a solid, robust, scalable and cost-effective IT infrastructure is required to create, store and manage all the information at the heart of these new opportunities.
Unified Recovery and Storage Management is the cornerstone track within the Cloud and IT Optimization stream at PULSE 2013. We are putting together a very excited agenda, and I’d like to give you a preview of what you can learn from your peers, thought leaders, and yes, a few IBMers, by attending this track.
We kick off the track on Monday with a keynote presentation by Dave Russell, Research Vice President at Gartner. Dave will describe the trends that his team is seeing, and encourage you to take a position on transforming and optimizing your data management infrastructure.
During the 3 days of breakout sessions, you will learn how many of our customers have started on this journey, including best practices and outcomes. Our speakers include subject matter experts from:
• Two major banks • Two universities • Five healthcare organizations • Several consumer and industrial companies • Five managed service providers • A leader in media and entertainment
Some of the top-of-mind topics that will be covered include management and protection of virtualized server and storage environments; advancements in disaster recovery and business continuity; storage in the Cloud, storage as the Cloud, and storage to the Cloud; backup consolidation and simplification; and how to easily cost-justify an efficiency improvement project to your management.
You can also learn how IBM “eats its own cooking” as the IBM Office of the CIO describes its use of IBM storage management software to drive costs out of our business while meeting the computing demands of a company the size of IBM.
You will also have the opportunity to learn about new products and enhancements – we can’t tell you what they are yet, but we’re pretty excited.
You can see who our expert speakers are, what they’ll be speaking about, and start to build your experience at Pulse this year by visiting the Pulse SmartSite and Agenda Builder at: http://www.pulsesmartsite.com/
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
We’re getting deep into the planning for our 6th annual PULSE conference (ibm.com/pulse), and I’m getting very excited about the storage content that is being assembled. Again, it will be at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, March 3 – 6, 2013.
At our Storage Track Kickoff session, we’ll have some new things to announce and highlight, and we’re close to announcing an exciting keynote speaker.
Following the track kickoff, we’ll have 20 breakout sessions on data protection and storage management topics, covering advances in virtual machine protection, disaster recovery, cloud integration, and a lot more. We’re mixing it up a lot more this year to ensure you get a range of perspectives. We’ll have 21 client speakers discussing their experiences and best practices; plus 8 business and technology partners providing insights into added value approaches to storage management who will be complemented by IBMers sharing the new stuff we’ve been working on.
Among the client speakers will be storage professionals from across the globe representing major banking, healthcare, media, industrial and university organizations. There will also be sessions on a variety of cloud topics, including private cloud storage and backup-as-a-service opportunities.
To follow on a theme mentioned by Steve Mills in his keynote at PULSE 2012, we’ll show how IBM “eats its own cooking”, sharing how IBM’s Office of the CIO transformed its massive storage infrastructure; and how IBM’s Strategic Outsourcing services organization is leveraging our products to more effectively manage their clients’ storage environments.
There will be many cool things to see in the expo center again this year, including offerings from many of our ecosystem partners, and you can roll up your sleeves in the hands-on labs and product training and certification areas.
Have you heard about this year’s PULSE PALOOZA entertainment? We rocked the Grand Garden Arena with Maroon5 in 2012, and will follow that with Carrie Underwood in 2013.
Now’s the time to act. Early bird registration, which saves client attendees $500 off the conference fee, closes December 31st. Go to http://ibm.co/pulseregister and get ready for an outstanding event. I look forward to seeing you there.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."
Server virtualization and storage virtualization go hand in hand. Centralized, virtualized storage is crucial for advanced server virtualization to be flexible and easy to manage.Companies are realizing that to unleash the real potential of cloud agile infrastructure, storage virtualization has to become mainstream like server virtualization.
For many companies, there is a constant need for additional storage resources to supportgrowing volumes of information.And if you don’t focus on managing your storage infrastructure, you can find that one virtual server is running out of storage capacity, even while there is ample capacity in other parts of the network.
With storage virtualization, companies now can make better use of existing investments in disk capacity and can often postpone the need to purchase additional capacity. As storage becomes virtualized, it becomes easier to manage and helps companies to adapt to business needs much faster.And not to forget, it actually costs less!
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.
Sound interesting?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
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!).
Efficient storage: 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.
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.
Cloud storage technologies made impressive strides in 2009, and the trend looks to build on that momentum in 2010. IBM is expecting steady growth in cloud storage deployments, especially in the areas of test environments, Web serving, and other non-mission-critical scale-out storage needs.
Standards in this area are just beginning to be discussed and will also be evolving in 2010. Standard file protocols such as CIFS and NFS are obvious starting points for cloud storage access, but other approaches utilizing object storage techniques have also been proposed.
To prepare for cloud storage within the data centers, IT managers will need to determine a small number of focused areas to use as starting points. In the short term, cloud storage is a technology that will be deployed to address specific and unique requirements across the enterprise. Therefore, it is recommended to carefully choose areas to pilot the technology where managers can gain insight into where they can extend usage into other areas and build skills for when it becomes more widely deployable.
Watch this video to gain important insight into what it takes to deploy and manage high available Cloud Storage environments.