If you are like most of the clients I deal with, you are starting to recognize the storage part of your infrastructure represents a BIG opportunity for improvement in 2013 – in agility, in efficiency, and in cost. When demand (data growth) outpaces supply (ability of hardware vendors to increase areal density driving down costs) as dramatically as it has begun to do, something has to change in the way storage infrastructure is approached in order to help balance the equation again. That ‘change’ creates a perfect economic environment for vendor innovation resulting in creative new solutions for clients. If you have been paying attention to the storage space, you’ve noticed an increased investment pace as vendors explore technical innovations and try to explain these innovations to potential clients. One of my biggest frustrations though is when the industry can’t settle on terminology for describing a solution approach leaving clients thoroughly confused and paralyzed. Read more...
Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure Storage Blog
Ron Riffe 100000EXC7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  storage_hypervisor softwaredefinedstorage storage idc hypervisor virtualization 907 Visits
Ron Riffe 100000EXC7 email@example.com Tags:  softwaredefinedstorage storage_hypervisor virtual_storage_center hypervisor storage cloud vsc 551 Visits
A recent Enterprise Management Associates (EMATM) research report suggests it is.
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.
Check out my latest post in TheLine for the rest of the story.
Ron Riffe 100000EXC7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  softwaredefinedstorage esg snw vsc hypervisor storage storage_hypervisor virtual_storage_center 549 Visits
I’m just returning from the SNW Spring conference in Orlando. It seemed sparsely attended but my 5-foot tall wife of almost 28 years has always told me that dynamite comes in small packages (I believe her!).
As I noted in my last post, I was in Orlando to participate in a round table discussion on storage hypervisors hosted by ESG Senior Analyst Mark Peters. I was joined by Claus Mikkelsen - Chief Scientist at Hitachi Data Systems, Mark Davis – CEO of Virsto (now a VMware company), and George Teixeira – CEO of DataCore. Conspicuously missing from the conversation both at this SNW and at a similar round table held during the SNW Fall 2012 conference was any representation from EMC. More on that in a moment.
The session this time drew a crowd roughly three times the size of the Fall 2012 installment – a completely full room. And the level of audience participation in questioning the panel members further demonstrated just how much the industry conversation is accelerating. I was pleased to see that most of the discussion was focused on use cases for what was interchangeably referred to as storage virtualization, storage hypervisors, and software-defined storage. Check out my new blog – TheLine – for a view on a few of the use cases that were probed on.
Richard Vining 2700019R2A email@example.com Tags:  virtual_storage_center storage snw vsc hypervisor esg storage_hypervisor 514 Visits
In response to: Storage hypervisor round table at SNW Spring 2013Great timing on this post, Ron. I was just reading an editorial by Rich Castagna on searchstorage.com (http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/opinion/Software-defined-storage-Is-hardware-obsolete), pondering whether "software-defined storage" was just the latest marketing hype and that vendors were somehow claiming that this new capability would make storage hardware obsolete.
Ron Riffe 100000EXC7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  esg virtual_storage_center hypervisor vsc storage_hypervisor snw storage 593 Visits
Back at the Storage Networking World Fall 2012 conference, I participated in a round table on storage hypervisors hosted by ESG Senior Analyst Mark Peters. I was joined by Claus Mikkelsen - Chief Scientist at Hitachi Data Systems, Mark Davis – CEO of Virsto (now a VMware company), and George Teixeira – CEO of DataCore. Following the conference, Mark Peters posted a very nice series of three video blogs with perspective from the round table participants. They are worth a listen.
The discussion is continuing at SNW Spring 2013 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. The panel discussion "Analyst Perspective: The Storage Hypervisor: Myth or Reality?" will happen on Tuesday, April 2 at 5:00 pm EDT.
As we prepare for the round table next week, I thought it worthwhile to offer a point of view on storage hypervisors. Check out my new blog – The Line – for more information.
Richard Vining 2700019R2A email@example.com Tags:  volume hypervisor manager unified vcenter restore protection controller backup recovery vsphere data cloud storage tivoli vadp vm ibmpulse productivity center san 2,021 Visits
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.
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 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."
Richard Vining 2700019R2A firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  restore vm productivity center vsphere backup volume manager vadp virtual tivoli data unified controller hypervisor san vcenter protection recovery cloud storage 2,147 Visits
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."
Richard Vining 2700019R2A email@example.com Tags:  productivity vadp vsphere backup protection recovery volume controller cloud manager hypervisor vm san tivoli center restore vcenter storage unified data 2,114 Visits
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…
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 (TPC SE)
Data protection integration: Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager and Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery
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.
Maria Huntalas 1200007VFS firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  storage unified-recovery-manageme... hypervisor storage-cloud tivoli-storage tivoli-storage-manager 694 Visits
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: