Lowering the costs of downtime

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Business downtime is very costly. Some IT industry analysts estimate that the average per-minute cost to businesses of data center downtime can be nearly 8,000 dollars [1]. In 2016 the average outage duration was 95 minutes.[2] This is up from 5,000 dollars a minute just a few years ago.[3]

IBM data storage solutions such as IBM Storwize systems are deployed in tens of thousands of business-critical environments around the planet.[4] We have firsthand experience helping to solve the problems associated with scheduled and unscheduled IT system downtime. Now, IBM has taken this quest a significant step further by offering an All-flash Array (AFA) High Availability Guarantee, which is designed to eliminate IBM storage system downtime worries for enterprises deploying designated IBM Storwize and IBM FlashSystem solutions.

When deploying a high-availability configuration utilizing IBM HyperSwap, IBM offers zero interruption to data availability protection during the guarantee period.[5]  The HyperSwap implementation must be performed by IBM System Lab Services [6], and the offer is only valid for eligible, newly purchased IBM Storwize V5030F, V7000F and IBM FlashSystem V9000 and A9000 storage systems.

sample graphic, All-Flash ArrayThe new AFA high availability (HA) guarantee highlights the advantages of IBM’s deeply integrated storage portfolio. IBM HyperSwap technology lies at the heart of this extraordinary ability to offer IBM customers the opportunity to implement high availability configurations. IBM HyperSwap allows systems to automatically fail over from a primary data copy to a locally stored secondary copy in the event of a storage failure. This capability is available across the IBM Storage portfolio. It allows customer operations to automatically fail over without human intervention or additional application code.

The implications for IBM customers are significant. The IBM Storwize and IBM FlashSystem arrays designated for this offer provide a wide range of capabilities and price points. This is not a program limited to only a few organizations that can afford complex and expensive storage solutions. Instead, thanks to the cost-efficiency inherent in IBM Storwize solutions, enterprises with many different storage requirements and budget constraints can participate. For those organizations needing consistent microsecond storage performance, and a rich set of storage virtualization, security, and management capabilities; and simplified scalability into the petabyte range, IBM FlashSystem arrays offer dynamic solutions.

Perhaps most importantly, with this new HA program IBM has moved beyond the industry-standard rhetoric of carefully suggesting that very high storage availability can be achieved.

Instead, this is an IT industry leader offering protection for AFA HA program participants. For IBM customers who adhere to the program guidelines, business risks associated with downtime can be significantly reduced. And thanks to the virtualization capabilities offered with the Spectrum Virtualize-based members of the eligible IBM arrays, very high availability can be extended to existing systems from other storage vendors, adding to their value and longevity.

Unscheduled IT system outages can cause airlines to lose revenue and reputation, healthcare organizations to lose access to patient records, and customer experience and satisfaction in many industries to plummet. The costs of downtime are real. Now, some real solutions are available from IBM.

[1]451 Research: Datacenter downtime: when it happens, it (still) really hurts, Andy Lawrence, March 24, 2016

[2] 451 Research: Datacenter downtime: when it happens, it (still) really hurts, Andy Lawrence, March 24, 2016

[3] eWeek: Unplanned IT Downtime Can Cost $5K Per Minute: Report (

[4] Taneja Group Technology Brief: Got Mid-size Workloads? Storwize to the Rescue. June 2016

[5] Interruption to data available does not include any interruptions due to a temporary I/O hold during a planned or unplanned HyperSwap. In the event a customer doesn’t achieve zero interruption to data availability and subject to the terms of the IBM All Flash Array (AFA) Availability Guarantee Agreement, customer is eligible to receive up to 40 hours of IBM Systems Lab Services consultation and support at no charge. The Guarantee Period ends upon the sooner of the following two occurrences:  (i) customer submits a claim and obtains the above-mentioned 40 hours of consultation and support; or (ii) the expiration of the initial three (3) year hardware warranty on the Eligible Machine.

[6] Customer will execute a contract for the IBM Systems Lab Services implementation of IBM HyperSwap; terms and conditions (including pricing) set forth therein.

Business Line Executive for Spectrum Virtualize & Converged Solutions

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