IBM's Smarter Storage Webcast :Answers to Our Listeners Questions on Cloud, Performance and the meaning of Smarter Storage
Recently IBM did a webcast to present product updates to our IBM Storage Porfolio. If you missed the webcast you listen to the replay of the webcast by clicking here :Smarter Enterprises Need Smarter Storage . The program was designed to focus on IBM's new high-end disk and Virtual Tape solutions. On Oct. 3rd IBM announced new enhancements to IBM's solution to enhance performance . Our webcast program gave listeners and IBM customers an opportunity to have a dialogue with our developers and storage experts to dig a little deeper into the details of the announcements. The webcasts work well for us as a way for our customers to get answers to their specific questions. Following are the questions that we took from listeners and analyst Jon Toigo along with IBM's answers. Thanks to IBM Expert Allen Marin, of IBM System Storage Marketing for helping us answer these questions and respond to our attendees!
1. The title of your presentation says “smarter storage” – is IBM’s definition of smart storage simply storage with lots of extra value add software embedded on their array controllers? Does this reflect a lack of “storage savvy” personnel to plan, deploy and administer storage infrastructure?
We introduced IBM Smarter Storage last June in an effort to provide storage solutions that enable fast information delivery, enhanced data security and built-in efficiency, so clients can take control of your data and storage costs. This is becoming more essential as intelligent devices and systems are increasingly becoming instrumented, interconnected and intelligent, creating more valuable data every day. Organizations that can harness that data have a competitive advantage.
2. What does “cloud-ready” mean? It sounds like you mean scalability and ease of allocation to workload. Is that the correct read?
In part, yes. Our view is that cloud-agile storage should be optimized for rapid deployment in cloud environments and simplify management for users and administrators with automated provisioning, virtualized capacity, performance optimization, QoS management, etc.
3. What is the key difference between the DS8870 and XIV? Can XIV software functions be extended to DS8870?
Although they both are high-end disk systems, the DS8870 and XIV systems have different architectures that address the the distinct requirements for different users. For example, the DS8870 is a dual-controller design that offers multiple drive tiers, higher scalability, and IBM System z support, whereas XIV offers a unique scale-out 'grid' architecture that offers enterprise performance with large capacity drives for distributed server platforms only. Both offer enterprise-class performance and high availability, but XIV's self-tuning, self-healing design greatly simplifies management more than a multi-tiered system. Their functions are not compatible with each other.
4. SPC 1 results on DS8870 are impressive – 451,082 IOPS. How many disk drives? Are there any plans to add flash caching to the 8870 a la XIV to reduce the aggregate number of disks and maintain the speed? Wouldn’t that get you closer to your green/energy efficiency objectives?
The 451k IOPS measured by SPC-1 benchmarks was done with 1,536 HDDs. We plan to support a high-density flash storage module within the DS8870 next year, which will increase performance and provide additional energy efficiency benefits.
5. How are encryption keys maintained across your DS8870 rigs? Does IBM provide key management software?
The IBM Storage encryption solution requires either the Tivoli Key Lifecycle Manager (runs on distributed servers) or the IBM Secure Key Lifecycle Manager (runs on System z servers) for key management.
6. XIV has always sounded interesting, but the limitation was the scalability of an individual array. You couldn’t aggregate functionality or volumes across multiple heads. Does Multi System Manager address this, or is it just for putting all of the XIV element managers on one screen for ease of management?
XIV Multi-System Manager simplifies management of large XIV environments by both aggregating and integrating the views of all XIV systems (initially up to 144) in the environment. Administrators not only have multiple, integrated views of the environment, but also can automate the configuration of multiple systems as a single action, rather than configuring them separately. Next year, we plan on providing the capability to migrate volumes across the XIV environment without disrupting applications, which will provide the ability to move a volume to a new system that can accommodate more capacity.
7. You pushed disk based data protection (TS7700) and gave no love to tape. Does this reflect competition within IBM between the disk guys and the tape guys?
There is competition between the IBM disk and tape teams. The presentation was meant to highlight the enterprise storage systems that were new or updated in the October 3 announcement, which did not include any enterprise tape updates.
8. You have a neat product in SAN Volume Controller (SVC) that wasn’t mentioned today. Does it not play a role in your infrastructure design strategy going forward?
Yes, although the IBM Storwize V7000 system includes the storage virtualization functionality made popular by SAN Volume Controller, the latter remains our strategic heterogeneous storage virtualization platform going forward.
9. Why not put XIV functionality on SVC then virtualize DS8870 rigs so you can share the XIV functionality across those boxes? XIV was originally just software, wasn’t it?
The XIV architecture is unique in that it provides high-end, self-tuning performance with a scale-out, 'grid' design using only large capacity drives, which doesn't apply to the SVC design.
Fri, Oct 26 2012 7:33 AM
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