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IBM Tech University Atlanta - Day 2 Recap
Last week, I was in Atlanta for the "IBM TechU Comes to You" event at the beautiful Marriott Marquis hotel. This was a three-day event, so here is my recap of Day 2.
Data Pattern Analytics for IBM Storage Infrastructure
Justin Doster (IBM FlashSystem Center of Competency) presented Data Protection Analytics (DPA), an analysis performed by IBM experts similar to ILM and SIO studies I helped to launch in 2005. DPA will discover and review:
physical environment inventory
configuration issues (array, switches)
system availability/reliability issues
performance issues and bottlenecks
capacity by location
VMware vCenter configuration
host OS Inventory
The IBM experts gather the data using various tools, interview the storage administrators, and review the data in context of the issues raised. The resulting heat map allows the IBM experts to make recommendations, focused on how IBM FlashSystem, IBM DS8000 High Performance Flash Enclosures, and Solid-State Drives.
Identify LUNs/Servers/Applications most impacted from Latency
Identify high I/O Density patterns impairing performance
Identify tiering considerations
Rather than showing the results of individual clients, Justin averaged out several clients together to illustrate some of his key points.
IBM Spectrum Scale for File and Object Storage
I presented an overview of IBM Spectrum Scale v4.2.1 release. I covered our support for POSIX, NFS, SMB, Hadoop, OpenStack Swift and Amazon S3 interfaces. IBM Spectrum Scale is an ideal solution to replace NetApp filers, EMC Isilon or DataDomain storage devices.
In retrospect, I should have done this one before yesterday's "Integration between IBM Spectrum Scale and Cleversafe" discussion, but it went well nonetheless.
IBM Storage and OpenStack
This is one I have done in the past, but this time it was presented by Brian Sherman (IBM Distinguished Engineer). Brian covered the basics, particular the OpenStack Cinder driver, and the various IBM products like the DS8880 and XIV that provide this new interface.
What is Big Data? Architectures and Practical Use Cases
Another fun session. I cover the basics of Big Data analytics, IBM's Analytics Platform, and IBM InfoSpehere BigInsights. IBM Spectrum Scale iuncludes a Hadoop Connector for 100 percent HDFS compatibility. This let's you run all of the Hadoop and Spark Map-Reduce, Hive and HBase applications.
Attendees suggested I should have listed this as a "Cross-brand" session rather than a "Storage" session, since analytics can run on z Systems and POWER Systems. It was listed under Storage because I mention the key role IBM Spectrum Scale and its Hadoop Connector play in these deployments.
New Generation of Storage Tiering: Less Management, Lower Costs, and Improved Performance
It would be difficult to justify a whole hour on a single feature like "Easy Tier" or "Storage Analytics Engine" or "Information Lifecycle Management", so I combined them all into a single session.
Easy Tier offers single-system optimization, moving extents of data across Flash, Enterprise and Nearline drive tiers.
Storage Analytics Engine in the IBM Virtual Storage Center and IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Edition takes it up a level, automating the movement of LUNs and volumes across storage systems.
Lastly, Information Lifecycle Management policies in IBM Spectrum Scale allow files and objects to be moved from Flash, Disk and Tape, with Active File Management across data centers, remote office and branch offices forming a global namespace.
The Pendulum Swings Back -- Understanding Converged and Hyperconverged Systems
A few years ago, I explained to a client that Converged and Hyperconverged were like a pendulum swinging back. Over the past few decades, we have gone from internal disk, to externally attached disk, to SAN and LAN networks.
Each time, we gained more flexibility, greater connectivity and longer distances. Then I explained that Converged and Hyperconverged is like going backwards, the pendulum swinging back to the days of internal and externally-attached storage. The analogy was a hit, and thus this session was born!
IBM offers multiple Converged Systems. IBM PureSystems, PureData and PureApplication solutions offer racks of compute, storage and network gear. Last year, we collaborated with Cisco to create VersaStack, a converged system that combines Cisco's x86 blade servers and switches with IBM Spectrum Virtualize products.
IBM also offers Hyperconverged solutions. IBM Spectrum Accelerate allows the compute, storage and network functions run on 3 to 15 VMware ESXi hosts to form a cluster. The cluster can then make iSCSI-based volumes available to other virtual machines running on these same hosts. The volumes can also be made available to servers outside the cluster, such as bare metal servers or other Hypervisors.
IBM Spectrum Scale provides a clustered file system that allows the compute, storage and network functions to run on 3 to 16,000 machines. Over 200 of the world's largest supercomputers run IBM Spectrum Scale today. IBM Watson that beat the two smartest humans on Jeopardy TV game show was also based on IBM Spectrum Scale.
The day concluded with another reception serving drinks. Afterwards, I had dinner at [Agatha's -- A Taste of Mystery], a murder mystery dinner show, where the patrons "share the stage" with the paid actors. Everyone is handed their "script" and we each took turn reading when we heard our cue. The five-course meal was delicious, and the zany antics and southern accents were hilarious. The show I attended was a mash-up of two popular TV shows: [House of Cards] and [Scandal].
Did you miss Atlanta? Want to hear the latest technical information about IBM Storage, but not willing to wait until the big [IBM Edge Conference] this September? We will have several more "IBM TechU Comes to You" events in May and June. To learn more, or to register for one of these, check out the [IBM Technical Events in 2016] landing page. I have negotiated [special discounts] for those who read this blog!