All-flash innovation part I: Cloud first

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Today, IBM launched the latest additions to its award-winning FlashSystem family. During such events, two key questions always arise: how do these solutions fit in the marketplace? And how do they stack up against their competition? In both cases, the answer is simple: Cloud first.

cloud first, FlashSystem

Cloud leads
Every enterprise wants to lower costs, yet everyone wants to continue to store almost everything for forever. Meanwhile, business data volumes and velocities steadily climb, while IT budgets do not. Cloud-based IT services provide very attractive solutions. Costs in the cloud can be lower and can be pushed over to the operations budget. Capacity is unlimited, by definition. But performance—now there’s a challenge.

IBM FlashSystem A9000 and FlashSystem A9000R are purpose-designed to help enterprises profit from the benefits of cloud computing, while helping solve cloud-related challenges. They integrate the microsecond latency and high availability of IBM FlashCore technology with the innovative grid architecture, simple scalability and software-defined storage (SDS) advantages of IBM Spectrum Accelerate. FlashSystem A9000R differs from its sister model in that it offers the advantages of a rack configuration for scalability up to 1.8 petabytes (PB) per rack to meet any cloud, cognitive or big data analytics storage requirement.

The new FlashSystem platforms are designed specifically to lead the cloud portion of the enterprise storage marketplace. What’s the best description for where the marketplace is headed and what’s leading it? Cloud first.

Maturity and innovation in one family
The list of FlashSystem A9000 and FlashSystem A9000R discriminators is too long to properly summarize, but I’ll mention some of the most exciting:

  • Highly parallel all-flash architectures: The integration of IBM FlashCore and Spectrum Accelerate technologies results in a highly parallel or “grid” architecture that produces a wide spectrum of benefits to FlashSystem customers, from higher performance, through better data protection, to the elimination of most traditional storage management chores.
  • Flash-optimized efficiency: In addition to compression, we’ve added pattern removal, re-imagined the real-time compression algorithm, and built flash-optimized dedupe from scratch. The latency penalties are notably low, while the reduction rates can be strong across a large spectrum of applications.
  • Cloud integration: These new systems aren’t just something to be dumped into an existing cloud environment; they bring cloud with them. They help our customers realize hybrid cloud with cutting edge secure multi-tenancy and QoS features baked in.
  • SDS capabilities: IBM brings an ecosystem-level vision to the cloud. The new FlashSystem models can tap into this broad perspective, which involves all the cloud-enabling capabilities of the IBM Spectrum Storage family, plus an innovative new licensing regime.

There’s much more, but there’s one FlashSystem discriminator that few competitors have matched: the level of maturity and innovation combined in one product family. The technologies at the heart of every FlashSystem array have already been deployed in mission-critical environments for years—in some cases decades—and they have resulted in multiple awards from the storage community. IBM is innovating from stable, extensively proven base platforms. And the place to arrive at is cloud. This is where IBM FlashSystem offers distinct advantages over competitors. Nobody does cloud like IBM. Learn more here.

And read part two of “All-flash innovation” by Eric Herzog here.

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