Leading solutions for every data storage challenge

By February 4, 2019

To begin 2019, IBM Storage is making big strides and accelerating the pace of innovation.

Today, IBM Storage is announcing an impressive number of enhancements to our portfolio. We are adding new IBM Storage Solutions for containers and cloud, with a focus on Blockchain and IBM Cloud Private. We continue to engineer powerful new features and functionality into our modern data protection portfolio and award-winning[1] object storage solution. IBM is also extending artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and tools into the IBM FlashSystem A9000 family.

IBM Storage continues to innovate at a brisk pace,” observes Scott Sinclair, senior analyst at ESG. “The announcements this week extend their leadership* in both the blockchain and AI arenas, while further strengthening their award-winning data protection and object storage offerings. It’s clear that IBM Storage is coming out strong in 2019.”

IBM Storage Solutions is a line of all-in-one offerings just introduced last year. We have rapidly been adding new Solutions designed to address the most pressing real-world business challenges while increasing the breadth and depth of existing Solutions. IBM Storage Solutions are driven by pre-tested and validated reference architectures (blueprints) designed to make deployment of these leading-edge Solutions easier, faster and lower risk. They include storage capacity, hardware, software infrastructure, and servers, plus deployment support, detailed configuration documentation and best practices advice.

Today we are announcing the new IBM Storage Solution for IBM Blockchain. This is a complete pre-tested and validated infrastructure solution for blockchain deployments. The new Solution:

  • Improves on- and off-chain data resiliency and performance with enterprise-proven NVMe-based IBM FlashSystem 9100 or LinuxONE Rockhopper II infrastructure.
  • Reduces test, development and deployment time for both on/off-chain solutions, improving time to new profits from days to hours.
  • Increases blockchain security with 100 percent application and data encryption support.
  • Increases data resiliency with a software-defined architecture featuring IBM Spectrum Virtualize, IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management and IBM Spectrum Protect Plus.

To address the infrastructure challenges of implementing the latest multicloud data analytics and AI applications, we are announcing the IBM Storage Solution for Analytics. This Solution is based on the recently introduced IBM Cloud Private for Data offering, now supported on NVMe-based IBM FlashSystem 9100. The new Solution:

  • Unifies and speeds up data collection, orchestration and analysis, while reducing time to value.
  • Simplifies Docker or Kubernetes container utilization for new analytics-based applications.
  • Increases data security inside your private cloud by supporting FIPS 140-2 encryption.
  • Leverages your on-premises data storage while adding cloud-based analytics tools.

In addition to these brand-new IBM Storage Solutions, we are also announcing a number of enhancements to existing Solutions and the market-leading[2] IBM Spectrum Storage family members that drive them:

  • We have enhanced the blueprint for our IBM Storage Solution for IBM Cloud Private with unstructured data support through IBM Spectrum Scale, giving our customers an uncompromised choice of persistent file storage along with the existing support for block and object storage resources.
  • IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS) now offers an integrated NFS/SMB access for object storage that provides an easier and more cost-effective way to read and write file data directly to IBM COS.

IBM Storage is aggressively adding new AI capabilities across the portfolio. For example, we’ve added AI to the powerful data deduplication capabilities in the IBM FlashSystem A9000 family. In a complex environment using deduplication, it can be hard to estimate the optimal location for data to maximize deduplication benefits. This patented technology drills into vast amounts[3] of metadata, analyzing it in real time using advanced heuristics. The new AI functionality for IBM FlashSystem A9000 family produces effective deduplication and capacity estimates without any performance impact.

IBM Business Partners are on the front lines of blockchain and AI initiatives. Today’s announcements give them even more ways to satisfy customer demands for these rapidly escalating technologies:

“All of our customers will soon be implementing blockchain and AI solutions,” notes Mike Trojecki, VP of Analytics and IoT for Logicalis, a longtime IBM business partner. “Working with IBM gives us distinct advantages, thanks to IBM’s leadership reputation in both domains. We can point to the latest IBM announcements in Storage, Cloud, and Software-defined as an underlying datacenter modernization approach and assure our customers that we can offer the best solutions in the business to support their workloads in AI & blockchain implementations.”

Blockchain and AI are new kids in the technology neighborhood, but cyber resilience is still a top priority. In 2018, the average cost of a data security breach approached $3.9 million, up 6.4 percent over the previous year. The average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information also increased by 4.8 percent to $148. But organizations that fully deployed security automation saved over $1.5 million per breach.[4]

Today, we are also announcing multiple enhancements to IBM Spectrum Protect and IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, including new cyber resilience capabilities. IBM Spectrum Protect Plus has added cost-effective long-term data retention and disaster recovery utilizing data offload to public cloud services, such as the IBM Cloud Object Storage service, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and on-premises object storage such as IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS) as well as IBM Spectrum Protect. Secured long-term data storage can be achieved using IBM Cloud Object Storage immutable object storage features such as retention enabled buckets. This ability to lock down data is a key part of an overall cyber resiliency plan.

In addition, IBM Spectrum Protect Plus has expanded database protection to include MongoDB, a leading NoSQL database, and added protection for Microsoft Exchange Server. Exchange support includes individual mailbox item-level restore functionality.

We are also announcing retention sets that simplify data management for Spectrum Protect customers. Retention sets streamline the management of retention data by leveraging existing operational recovery data to satisfy long-term retention requirements, eliminating the need to ingest additional copies.

The list of enhancements, new features, and brand-new products is long for this announcement because IBM Storage has set our sights on providing leading storage solutions for essentially every data challenge that a 21st century enterprise might face.  To learn more, visit us here.

[1] Multiple awards in past 3 years from Gartner, IT Brand Pulse, and IDC: IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Object-Based Storage 2018 Vendor Assessment, June 2018 named IBM Cloud Object Storage a Leader http://idcdocserv.com/US42665518e_IBM, this follows being named a leader that last time this vendor assessment was published by IDC in December 2016 http://idcdocserv.com/US41918416e_IBM

[2] “IBM Ranked # 1 in Worldwide Software-Defined Storage Software Market,” IBM, April 2017. http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/ pressrelease/52189.wss 

[3]  Harnik, Kaitzin and Sotnikov “Estimating Unseen Deduplication – from Theory to Practice”. At the 14th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies. FAST 2016.

[4] IBM Security: Cost of a Data Breach Study, 2018 (https://www.ibm.com/security/data-breach)