Innovation and synergy with IBM Storage for IBM Z and LinuxONE

By | 6 minute read | April 14, 2020

In September 2019, IBM announced the IBM z15TM, designed to deliver strong enterprise capabilities with the ability to manage the privacy of customer data across hybrid multicloud environments and to scale from one to four frames. This week, IBM is once again pushing the envelope with the announcement of the new z15 Model T02 and LinuxONE III Model LT2.

z15 Model T02 and LinuxONE III model LT2

And the innovation doesn’t stop there. IBM Storage prides itself on delivering value to our customers by creating strong synergies between IBM Z® and our number one storage systems[1] for enterprise servers–IBM DS8900F all-flash arrays and the IBM TS7700 virtual tape solution.

These enterprise storage solutions offer a crucial advantage over other products in the marketplace–deep integration with IBM Z. The design teams within these market-leading IBM product lines share intellectual capital and synchronize new technology releases.

This advantage is certainly recognized by IBM Business Partners:

As an IBM Business Partner with a strong commitment to IBM Storage, we’ve watched the recent surge in IBM Enterprise Server sales with great interest,” notes Rusell Schneider, Storage Director of Jeskell Systems, a long-time IBM Storage Business Partner. “Our customers understand that in mission-critical environments, IBM Storage solutions such as DS8900F and TS7700 offer many advantages. The integration among IBM Z and IBM Storage is deeper. Installations are easier. Performance and functionality are simply better. Innovation in integrating IBM Z with IBM Storage in multicloud environments offers our large data center users the flexibility, cost and scalability they want.”

The deep integration between IBM Enterprise Servers and IBM Storage means that the recent focus areas for IBM Z–cloud native, encryption, cyber resilience, and flexible compute–have been major directions of innovation for IBM DS8900F all-flash arrays and TS7700 virtual tape solutions as well. New storage capabilities in these domains demonstrate that IBM continues to invest in advancing IBM DS8900F and TS7700.

IBM Storage supports business transformation into a multicloud ecosystem through a series of innovations centered around Transparent Cloud Tiering (TCT), Red Hat® OpenShift® Container Platform, IBM Cloud PaksTM and IBM Storage Suite for Cloud Paks, among others. IBM DS8900F and TS7700 TCT functionality enables hybrid multicloud as an extension of the primary storage for data archiving and disaster recovery. It also provides physical separations of systems to help customers prevent widespread corruption of data due to system failures, intentional or accidental human error, malware or ransomware attacks.

IBM Storage Suite for Cloud Paks is the software-defined storage infrastructure supporting IBM Cloud Paks. These solutions are designed to enable organizations to easily deploy modern enterprise software either on premises, in the cloud, or with pre-integrated systems. They also bring workloads to production by seamlessly leveraging Kubernetes as the management framework, supporting production-level qualities of service and end-to-end lifecycle management. This is designed to give clients an open, faster, more secure way to move core business applications for any cloud.

Then, to protect multicloud environments, IBM TS7700 virtual tape systems can now be used as both traditional backup and archive solutions or as object store repositories.

One of the most successful collaborations between IBM Storage and IBM Z has been the implementation of encrypting data everywhere. Both IBM DS8900F and TS7700 solutions offer security integration to extend IBM Z pervasive encryption to the storage by providing encryption of data at rest, in flight[1] and in the cloud.  Additionally, when integrated with tape systems such as IBM TS4500, TS7770 solutions offer the ultimate physical air gap cyber security between data and online cyber threats.

Cyber resilience goes hand-in-hand with data protection. The modern enterprise demands that digital systems and assets be available 24/365. Part of the reason that IBM Z remains as popular as ever for business-critical workloads is due to its reputation for reliability[2]. IBM DS8900F systems complement IBM Z resilience with multiple data replication, backup, and protection capabilities such as IBM HyperSwap and Safeguarded Copy technologies that result in 2 to 4 second recovery point objectives and better than seven nines overall system availability–that’s three seconds of downtime in a 365x7x24 year[3].

Because information is now our most valuable business resource, data protection and cyber resilience have become our most important business tasks,” states Andreas Kirrstetter, Platform Manager Tape Infrastructure of IBM client Fiducia & GAD IT AG. “Part of the reason we use IBM Z is for their security and resilience. But this means that our storage and archiving systems must offer just as much security. This is why we’ve turned to IBM solutions such as TS7700 virtual tape libraries. They help us lower costs while allowing us to implement ‘air gaps’ for the ultimate data security. We see IBM TS7700 as the future of data archiving and protection.

In addition to multicloud capabilities, encryption, and extraordinary cyber resilience, the IBM Z focus on flexible compute solutions means that the power of IBM Z is available for medium to large organizations, thanks to innovations such as the newly announced entry-level IBM z15 Model T02.

IBM Storage has innovated in step with this move toward greater flexibility and accessibility. The IBM DS8900F and TS7700 families both now offer smaller-footprint, lower-entry cost options: The entry-level DS8910F model has been available since last autumn and includes a smaller footprint with a rackless configuration that can be mounted in an industry standard 19-inch rack. This week, TS7700 is also announcing flexible configurations for organizations with different business needs. The same virtual tape capabilities are delivered as prepackaged racked solutions or rack mounted configurations with flexible deployments across client-supplied 19-inch industry standard racks. Enterprises starting with modest investments can surround them with the same deeply integrated, highly functional multicloud storage used by the largest organizations.

And innovation continues at a brisk pace; IBM TS7700 is working on a number of new features that will enhance cyber security, increase object store functionality and accelerate disaster recovery from the cloud[4].

One of the significant advantages of IBM Z has always been its tight integration across hardware, operating systems/application software and storage.” states analyst Ray Lucchesi, president and founder of Silverton Consulting. “The new IBM z15 model T02 now brings those capabilities to medium and entry level businesses. So, these businesses can now enjoy the comprehensive data security, cyber resilience and multicloud capabilities as well as the sophisticated functionality of DS8900F AFA and TS7700 virtual tape library storage previously only available to high-end enterprise customers.”

IBM Storage works closely with the IBM Z and LinuxONE teams to synchronize our development and release of new technologies in order to give organizations the greatest benefits and advantages possible. This is the definition of synergy–when the team is greater than the individuals involved. And it’s exactly what IBM Storage gives our clients every day around the world.

To learn more about Storage solutions for IBM Z, please visit us here. To read more from IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE, click here.

[1] Based on calculations performed on the IDC Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker file, published on March 12, 2020 Using topology = Mainframe Networked

[2] Encryption in-flight is enabled using the IBM Fibre Channel Endpoint Security capability present in IBM z15 Model T01.

[3] ITIC 2019 Global Reliability Survey Mid-Year Update: https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/DV0XZV6R

[4] Based on real customer metrics with GDPS continuous availability environments

[5] Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only.

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