The Market Leader in Software Defined Storage (SDS)
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IBM: The Market Leader in Software Defined Storage
In my opinion, the IBM Fast Data Forum held recently in Boston, Massachusetts established IBM as the market leader in the next phase of storage, specifically in regards to Software Defined Storage (SDS). I’ve provide links at the bottom to allow you to view the recorded live stream of the event as well as other resources recapping the event
Storage is a key element of the Software Defined Environment (SDE), and with the IBM SDS announcements, we delivered the required storage innovation to enable dynamic, scalable SDE solutions, hybrid clouds and that also address the new era of workloads.
During the Fast Data Forum, IBM highlighted critical aspects of what it takes for you to drive successful SDS infrastructures, including flexible expansion, predictable performance, and universal data access. As you may be aware, SDS works by providing an abstraction layer between user applications and physical storage, in much the same way that Virtual Machines form a layer between user applications and physical servers. The result is an infrastructure that expands and can be manage more easily.
Storage and data management play a critical role in the evolving big data, fast data and elastic storage era. The challenges that our clients face in storage management, however, don't go away in software defined storage, and in fact can become even more difficult. In the past, storage has been static and immovable, but as businesses transition to leveraging software defined environments, the initial approach simply doesn't work anymore.
In a software defined environment, the ultimate goal is effective workload management - we have workloads coming and going, scaling rapidly, and aging over time. Storage must become a much more dynamic resource. SDS enables storage administrators to prescribe how they want their storage managed and then automate requests made through open interfaces such as those provided by OpenStack.
There are 3 essential underlying technologies that make SDS effective and practical: Integrated analytics, intelligent data copying, and simplified management.
First, we it is important to leverage analytics to meet SLAs in such a dynamic environment. Automation alone isn’t nearly enough. Analytics can optimize the deployment and management of storage, including the initial placement of data, and later, movement within the environment to optimize performance and cost.
In IBM SDS environments, analytics can take into account the applications in the environment, the storage layout, the types of storage and their performance characteristics, and the storage network to create a dynamic, optimized storage environment. By using IBM SDS solutions which includes analytics combined with storage virtualization, large enterprises can potentially save millions of dollars in storage costs, [reducing their storage TCO by up to 70%].
The second essential area of SDS innovation is intelligent management of secondary data copies. With IBM’s methodology for SDS, virtual data becomes dynamically available where and when needed from a single secondary copy. That means data can be available immediately for additional uses e.g. for test environments, to spin up new environments, for data analytics, etc, etc.. IBM helps clients achieve this essential capability by utilizing an integrated set of advanced techniques such as incremental forever backup, snapshots, deduplication and replication to make very efficient data copies in virtual environments.
A final area I'll mention is the data and storage management innovation needed to help you transition to SDS, the management of combined on premises and cloud resources -- the type of hybrid operation expect that most customers will adopt in the near future. Data and storage management solutions address the complex issues that SDS off-loads from users and administrators, such as performance management, data protection, and above all, data economics. Without data management, users will be inclined to put data on the fastest storage (which is the most expensive storage), keep it forever, and maintain thousands of copies. IBM enables organizations to define and enforce management policies that enable data growth within your existing budget level.
To get to the next level of business operation, organizations are asking themselves new questions, like …
Therefore, client seeking proven answers should reach to IBM, the storage leader who delivers solutions with built-in intelligence that manages the transition to as well as the operation of dynamic, software defined storage environments. In addition to managing hybrid cloud environments, it is critical to also enable the storage management stack to be deployed in a hybrid manner - on premises, cloud based Software as a Service, or a combination of the two to drive the best business outcomes.
Learn more about Software Defined Storage and how IBM storage software can help, at the [IBM Edge conference] next week in Las Vegas
If you can’t attend Edge, look for my video interview on [TheCUBE, by Wikibon], live on Monday, May 19, at 6:20 PM Pacific time, and afterwards on demand.
About the author:
Steve Wojtowecz is Vice President, Storage Software Development in IBM’s Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure group. Views expressed are my own.
Tony Pearson’s Inside System Storage blog post about the IBM Fast Data Forum
IBM Fast Data Forum Livestream replay
ITG Management Report: Cost/Benefit Analysis of IBM Virtual Storage Center Compared to EMC Storage Virtualization Solutions
ITG Management Report: Cost/Benefit Analysis of IBM Virtual Storage Center Compared to VMware Tools for Storage Virtualization and Management
IBM Software Defined Storage
TheCUBE by Wikibon