Helping busy IT executives with container-native Hybrid Cloud Storage Solutions

By | 4 minute read | April 26, 2021

Technician in server room

Eric Herzog is the VP of Business Development and Evangelism and VP of Worldwide Storage Channels at IBM. Mark Wyllie is the CEO of Flagship Solutions Group.

Ask any CEO and they’ll probably say their job is a heady mix of sweat, talent and coffee (lots of coffee). I recently had a chat with Mark Wyllie, CEO of Flagship Solutions Group, an IBM Gold Partner and MSP and a firm that sells managed storage and security products and services, about what keeps IT professionals and service providers like him up at night. He tells me that his company’s typical day starts with ensuring customer’s migration schedules, capacity questions and backup issues are completed, and ends with scheduling challenges. The recurring theme is always a discussion of how to provide more capabilities to his customers who are challenged with doing more with less.

Savvy IT leaders like Mark are always planning for the future. As firms like Flagship accelerate their customers’ digital transformations, containerization that enables applications to be written once and run anywhere becomes an obvious framework for AI. The right container-native architecture is essential for productivity, enabling greater agility and flexibility.

But as applications become more agile and can run at the edge, at the core data center, or in the cloud, data access takes center stage. According to Mark, “our customers need the right strategy that enables applications running anywhere to securely access data stored anywhere without the cost of moving or duplicating data”. That is Flagship’s challenge. To provide the right solutions for the next generation of IT while at the same time supporting their existing infrastructure and leading the efforts towards building a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Storage announcements

IBM® Storage is announcing enhancements to our storage portfolio that can enable organizations to improve the access to, and management of, data across increasingly complex hybrid cloud and container-native environments for greater data availability and resilience.

The IBM Elastic Storage Systems® (ESS) are just the ticket for Flagship’s customers. “We are about making technology solutions simple for our customers to consume. This applies from on premises, customer managed, as well as solutions where the customer owns the technology asset and Flagship manages and monitors it for them. The fact that ESS is pre-configured out of the box and can be up and running in a matter of hours is a huge benefit to both our customers and our own engineers”, says Mark.

Organizations of every size can enjoy the benefits of NVMe flash systems paired with IBM Spectrum Scale, a high performance and highly available parallel file system, thanks to the modular design of the Elastic Storage System. The new ESS 3200 model features double (1) the read performance of its predecessor the ESS 3000 for faster access to enterprise data, and the ESS 5000 SC model has been updated to support 12.5% (2) more capacity than previously available in the same rack space, helping improve CAPEX, OPEX and management. ESS systems feature containerized deployment capabilities automated with the latest version of Red Hat Ansible.

Flagship was an early adopter of the IBM ESS technology, most notably with clients in the sports and entertainment industry. Mark is enthusiastic about the ESS 3200: “High performance access to data is exactly what I need. The new IBM ESS 3200 fits the bill perfectly in an easy to deploy and manage pre-configured package for AI and the hybrid cloud. It also provides an upgrade path for our existing solutions and customers.”

IBM also unveiled plans to deliver a new container-native software-defined storage solution, IBM Spectrum Fusion. IBM Spectrum Fusion’s storage foundation and extensive storage data services are for customers who want to leverage the agility of a container-native platform for mission critical data applications and provide a faster and lower cost path to AI and hybrid cloud. The first solution that will leverage this technology is IBM Spectrum Fusion HCI, a complete hyper-converged system for containerized workloads, which has an anticipated release date of 2H 2021*. The single system, is being designed to integrate compute, storage and networking into a single solution, is being designed to come equipped with Red Hat® OpenShift and IBM Spectrum Fusion software defined storage designed to help enable organizations to support environments for both virtual machines and containers and provide software defined storage for hybrid cloud, edge and containerized data centers.

Mark sees great potential for his business by offering this new technology to help customers. “IBM Spectrum Fusion is an advanced approach in helping to provide global data management and storage services for container-native storage solutions”, says Mark. ”This will enable Flagship to deliver next generation hybrid cloud solutions to clients quickly and efficiently.”

For IBM Business Partners selling these solutions has never been more attractive. I encourage you to:

You can feel confident in offering the IBM Storage and data and AI solutions to any IT Leader looking for high performance yet simple AI solutions at manageable cost.

Statements by IBM regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at the sole discretion of IBM. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline general product direction and should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code, or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for IBM products remain at the sole discretion of IBM.

  • The ESS 3200 performance was measured using the IBM Large File Sequential Read Bandwidth test, which is based on the industry standard benchmark, IOR
  • The previous SC8 model supported 13.536PB of raw storage. The New SC9 model adds 1.696 of raw storage capacity. This is a 12.529% increase in capacity.