December 14, 2017 By Amy Blea 3 min read

Expand and adjust your block and file storage with our latest releases

Let’s be honest: The concepts of over and under-provisioning are nothing new to IT. Priorities shift, data patterns change, and unexpected costs flare up overnight. The tier or volume size you thought you needed ends up being the tier or volume size that brings you down (one way or another—and fast). Flexible provisioning is widely appreciated by our IBM Cloud block and file storage customers.

That’s why we’re pleased to announce the recent release of expandable volumes and adjustable IOPS(input/output operations per second)—both easy on management and easy on budgets. You can now expand an existing volume and adjust your IOPS non-disruptively and on-the-fly while balancing dynamic, unruly, or undefined workloads without service disruption. Both features come standard at no additional cost and are widely available across upgraded IBM Cloud data centers worldwide (see list below).

Choose how you expand existing volumes

Block and file storage customers can now expand an existing volume at 1GB increments up to 12TB—no duplicate volume creations or side host migrations necessary. Expanded volumes are available in minutes, and replica volume updates are automatic.

In the past, customers needing larger volumes had to create a new and resized volume, copy the data over, then cancel the old volume—leading to two volume bills in one month. Now customers can expand an existing volume, pay for the prorated increase on the current month’s bill, then pay for the resized volume on the next bill.

The ability to expand volumes so conveniently solves serious capacity issues for those in the trenches. It also decreases high turnover rates where volumes and LUNs are created over and over again and deleted on a regular basis.

Expandable volumes in the real world: a case study

We asked one of our block and file customers in the life sciences and geometric tracking industry to explain how and why they’ll use expandable volumes once available.

The business obstacle

Its IT team takes on cumulative, seasonal data forecasted to double in size—from 6TB to 12TB—over the next five years. Rather than deep archiving or deleting, the team needs to safely store all historical data for statistical analysis—which must be accessible at any given time.

One option is to purchase incremental storage each year. Although more cost effective, it requires annual data migration and maintenance, including a full system-wide shutdown to detach and reattach storage. In addition, the customer would pay for both the old and new storage during the migration.

Another option is to purchase the maximum amount of storage needed each year. Although no data migration or shutdown is necessary, the extraordinary near-term cost increases would significantly cut into essential funds.

The business solution

The convenience of expandable volumes gives the IT team the ability to easily make changes and increase storage capacity on the fly without having to pay for two storage volumes or do any data migrations—saving both time and money.

Easily increase or decrease IOPS

Users can now better provision IOPS to properly match their workload needs—especially workloads that fluctuate. Increasing and decreasing IOPS is now a simple adjustment without creating duplicates or manually migrating data to new storage.

Retail customers, for example, can increase from 4 to 10 IOPS for a particular event, like the holidays. And when the rush is over? Quickly and easily decrease to 4 IOPS without experiencing any kind of outage or lack of access. Adjustable IOPS is also ideal for customers who initially underestimated their general workload requirements and chose a lower IOPS tier than needed. The fix is now a fast and simple one.

The ability to independently modulate storage sizes and IOPS is also a huge advantage for companies with workloads that peak cyclically, like banks that process an abundant amount of checks on the 15th and final day of the month. Most of the time, their storage needs stay static—only experiencing their highest IOPS demands twice a month.

Expanding volume sizes or adjusting IOPS with our block and file storage takes just a few clicks—completed within minutes—through the portal UI, SLCLI, or API via simple drop-down selections.

Join us as we continue to make significant investments in block and file storage services designed for your ease of use and flexibility.

Fire up our block and file storage services today!

List of our upgraded data centers for block and file storage:
DAL09, DAL10, DAL12, DAL13, SJC03, WDC04, WDC06, WDC07, LON02, FRA02, AMS03, OSLO01, PAR01, SYD01, MEL01, TOR01, MON01, MEX01, TOK02, HKG01

Learn more about our upgraded data centers for IBM Cloud storage.

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