Storage made simple for containers and hybrid cloud

By | 5 minute read | October 27, 2020

Announcing new enhancements that are designed to:

  • Enrich protection for containers, and expand cloud options for backup, disaster recovery, and data retention
  • Expand support for container-native data access on Red Hat OpenShift
  • Increase container app flexibility with object storage

Today, IBM Storage announces new capabilities and enhancements to its storage and modern data protection solutions. These enhancements are primarily designed to support the rapidly expanding container and Kubernetes ecosystem, including RedHat OpenShift, and to accelerate our clients’ journeys to hybrid cloud.

This announcement aims to further extend IBM’s innovation in cross-platform data needed for enterprises to fully adopt containers, Kubernetes, and Red Hat OpenShift as our standard across physical, virtual and cloud platforms.

According to Enterprise Strategy Group, 74 percent of organizations are using containers in production now or planning to do so within the next year.[1]

As container adoption grows year-to-year, businesses are also facing storage challenges that require more specialized strategies and offerings, such as data management, data protection and backup.

IBM introduced its first storage for containers in 2017 to enable enterprise storage to be persistently provisioned for containers and Kubernetes. Building on this depth of experience, and working closely with Red Hat, IBM is announcing new capabilities designed to advance its storage for containers offerings:

The IBM Storage Suite for Cloud Paks is designed to expand support for container-native data access on OpenShift. This suite aims to provide our greatest flexibility for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) teams who often need file, object, and block as software-defined storage.

IBM packages Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, Red Hat Ceph Storage, and IBM Spectrum Storage software under a common license. In this 4Q 2020 release, IBM Spectrum Scale adds a fully containerized client and run-time operators to provide access to a leading filesystem for HPC, AI, and scalable data lakes on any Red Hat OpenShift cluster. In addition, IBM Cloud Object Storage adds support for the open source s3fs file to object storage interface bundled with Red Hat OpenShift.

“As we embark on a journey to modernize our infrastructure with containerized applications and Red Hat OpenShift we needed an infrastructure that could support our application modernization in a safe and secure way,” says Christoph Buchstätter, Head of Computing and Platform Services, Porsche Informatik. “We chose IBM Cloud Object Storage because of the built-in security and stability with high availability it will provide our containerized applications. The system is simple to manage and maintains the data in our control.”

For those who are evaluating container support in their existing infrastructure, IBM FlashSystem provides low latency, high performance, and high-availability storage for physical, virtual, or container workloads with broad CSI support. The latest release in 4Q 2020 includes updated Ansible scripts for rapid deployment, enhanced support for storage-class memory, and improvements in snapshot and data efficiency, which you can read here.

In the most exciting news, IBM Storage has laid out plans for adding integrated storage management in a fully container-native software-defined solution. Building on IBM’s long-standing experience in scale-out storage, this solution will be managed by the Kubernetes administrator, and is designed to provide the performance and capacity scalability demanded by AI and ML workloads in a Red Hat OpenShift environment.

IBM intends to enhance IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, its industry leading modern data protection solution, to protect Red Hat OpenShift environments in 4Q 2020. Enhancements include ease of deployment with the ability to deploy IBM Spectrum Protect Plus server as a container using a certified Red Hat OpenShift operator, the ability to protect metadata which provides the ability to recover applications, namespaces, and clusters to a different location, and expanded container-native and container-ready storage support. IBM is also announcing the availability of a beta of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus on Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

“IBM Storage continues to drive innovation in a direction where customers are moving,” says Richard Potts, General Manager, Enterprise Software and Solutions at IBM Business Partner SCC. “Bringing new innovation and solutions to Kubernetes containers and the Red Hat OpenShift hybrid cloud platform shows IBM storage has a good pulse on the industry. Innovations with new IBM Spectrum Scale container-native storage access or integrating IBM Spectrum Discover with Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage (OCS) are examples of commitment to the hybrid cloud data center.”

Completing this announcement, IBM is announcing expanded hybrid cloud support for IBM Spectrum Protect, new Gen7 b-type SAN switches and directors with new IBM SANnav management software, both available in 4Q 2020, and plans for products based on new LTO 9 tape technology designed to enhance cyber resilience, expected in 1H 2021.

Just as Red Hat matures and hardens open source innovation for enterprises, IBM Storage bridges the gaps between traditional IT platforms and concerns and the rapid evolution of open source projects. Once again, IBM Storage provides consistent data services across physical, virtual, cloud and containerized workloads on high-performance storage solutions or as software-defined storage. IT professionals can extend their current storage and data protection infrastructure or establish new platforms that bring together open source innovation and enterprise data services. In this way, IBM Storage helps organizations as they work to protect their business and accelerate innovation.

>> To learn more, tune in to our Storage Made Simple for Containers and Hybrid Cloud webinar.

DISCLAIMER: IBM’s statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and at IBM’s sole discretion.

Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision.

The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract.

The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion.

Performance is based on measurements and projections using standard IBM benchmarks in a controlled environment. The actual throughput or performance that any user will experience will vary depending upon many factors, including considerations such as the amount of multiprogramming in the user’s job stream, the I/O configuration, the storage configuration, and the workload processed. Therefore, no assurance can be given that an individual user will achieve results similar to those stated here.

[1] Source: ESG Research Report, Data Storage Trends in an Increasingly Hybrid Cloud World, March 2020, https://www.esg-global.com/research/esg-research-report-data-storage-trends-in-an-increasingly-hybrid-cloud-world
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