IBM Elastic Storage Server adds Storage Utility Offering option

By | 5 minute read | July 3, 2018

IBM ESS, Scale on Demand, Software-Defined Infrastructure, Mainframe DevOps

IBM introduces a flexible procurement method that aligns your unstructured data capacity costs to your business initiatives. Buy scale-out file and object storage with cognitive data management your way.

Unstructured data creation continues at an explosive and accelerating rate and does not appear to be slowing down. Customers are looking to their trusted IT partners to help them deal with this onslaught of data and the storage demand it drives. Unstructured data workloads also tend to be more volatile and explosive, typically exhibiting much higher and less predictable growth rates, often resulting in a common set of questions…

  • How can I better align my capacity consumption and associated costs with my ever-changing business needs?
  • How can I optimize my annual IT spend under constant pressure to reduce costs and improve capacity planning?
  • How do I gain control over growing storage capacity demands without breaking the bank?

Progress has been made with flash and cloud technologies. However, business leaders continue to struggle with capacity procurement. The IBM Storage Utility Offering deals with the questions above, defining a new way to align business initiatives with your unstructured data capacity procurement, while also mitigating risk and taking some of the guesswork out of capacity planning.

In many ways, the storage procurement process remains stuck in the 90’s, and is often a painful, time-consuming experience:

  • Calculate current capacity needs and extrapolate growth out 12 months.
  • Develop an RFQ, RFP or other torturous procurement vehicle.
  • Invite the vendors you know (and probably some you don’t…) to pitch their solution(s).
  • Inevitably find out that your needs are much more expensive than you thought.
  • Six months later, you are reviewing responses and thinking POC.
  • You then realize your needs have changed and plans are no longer valid.
  • Nine months later you have your new capacity and hope you won’t repeat it all over again next year (which is now only three months away!)

IBM Elastic Storage Server (ESS) is a modern implementation of software-defined storage, combining IBM Spectrum Scale software with the IBM POWER8® servers. IBM Spectrum Scale is the parallel file system at the heart of IBM ESS and scales system throughput as it grows while still providing a single namespace. This simplifies storage management, eliminates data silos, delivers high performance and drives tremendous costs out of your business. Together, you will save time and money, gain predictability and support new demanding workloads as you move forward with your future IT plans.

IBM Elastic Storage Server delivers a seamless and easily managed single name-space view for your unstructured data featuring:

group talking, IBM ESSPerformance at scale

  • Supporting massive volumes in the exabyte scale with up to 40GB/s of throughput.
  • Maximum uptime while delivering your data where you want it and when you need it.

Cost savings

  • Requires less raw capacity by using erasure coding vs replication for data protection.
  • Seamlessly extends storage to the cloud with native tiering capabilities that allow moving data to or from the cloud, based on business policies.

Cover your needs today and in the future

  • Share data across multiple locations under a single namespace with Advanced File Management, intelligent routing and caching.
  • Support your entire environment of unstructured data such as File with POSIX, NFS, SMB, Object with S3 and Swift, Block with iSCSI and Hadoop with HDFS.

Easy to manage

  • Enjoy a simplified intuitive GUI, compatible with IBM Spectrum Control to simplify deployment, troubleshooting and administration.
  • Make smarter financial decisions by seeing trends in performance and capacity while the storage health information enables you to focus on areas needing attention.

IBM’s Storage Utility Offering shines a new light on the storage refresh cycle for clients of all sizes in all industries, adding unstructured data as a new capability with IBM Elastic Storage Server. The entire 3-year projected capacity is delivered on day one (additional contracted timeframes are available to meet other business needs), ready for rapid on-demand consumption, so your business and IT staff can react instantly as business needs grow or shift. The benefit is that you only pay for what you use. It is architected to keep your enterprise delivering against your evolving business goals.

figure of a person standing out of the crowd, IBM ESSWhat differentiates IBM’s Storage Utility Offering from the rest? IBM leads by offering a dedicated solution designed specifically for unstructured data. And unlike the competition, we differentiate our solution from the rest through thoughtful, forward-looking execution and by deploying the entire contracted capacity on day 1. In comparison, other vendors prefer to pass risk on to the customer by delivering just enough capacity to meet initial needs, plus a small buffer. This buffer attempts to keep your unstructured data capacity slightly ahead of your needs. Unstructured data’s growth, however, is much more volatile than typical application data… so as the buffer fills, technicians are sent to disruptively add incremental capacity (often separate and isolated from your initial storage pool) to true-up or add-on, trying to stay just ahead of your needs. This unfortunately often leads to a rebalancing, rebuilding and slowing down of the infrastructure.

The idea of a buffer is good for vendor risk and profits. This approach, however, also leads to potential disruption and reduction in performance for your business.


  • You pay only for what you use whether your consumption grows or shrinks.
  • Additional capacities are available on-demand by easily provisioning or consuming what you need, when you need it.
  • No need for a technician to disrupt your data center or your business to add buffer capacity.
  • Eliminate the cumbersome procurement cycle when adding new capacity within the contract period.
  • Move high upfront costs to predictable quarterly charges aligned directly with business needs and unstructured data growth.

Today, IBM adds the IBM Elastic Storage Server solutions to the extensive family of IBM storage solutions already available through the Storage Utility Offering. To get started, contact your local IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, who will work with you to define your unstructured data needs while building a plan for your future.

In summary, the IBM Storage Utility Offering for ESS ensures your file and object storage capacity needs are ready to go as the pace of your business dictates. This solution helps you plan for growth while giving you the agility to manage the unpredictable demands that unstructured data puts on your IT environment. It delivers an opportunity for you to build a closer alignment of operational costs to business drivers. Buy it your way, with a procurement process aligned to your business needs. Click here to learn more.