Nothing stays the same. Change is the one constant in our world, especially in the world of information technology (IT). This paradigm certainly holds true for the storage software technology that until recently was known as IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS). It has changed, and continues to evolve to meet evolving challenges faced by enterprises around the globe. To reflect these significant changes, GPFS is now known as Elastic Storage. Rapid evolution is also the rule with another intriguing IT technology – flash storage. IBM FlashSystem represents the culmination of many years of very successful solid state storage engineering. When combined, these two complementary technologies offer a new and very powerful solution for a wide spectrum of enterprise storage challenges.
Elastic Storage has its roots in solving the storage and processing challenges found in high performance computing (HPC) environments. For example, if you needed to efficiently and simultaneously process the thousands of individual files involved in sequencing human genomes, Elastic Storage couldn’t be matched for this task. And it still can’t. But times have changed, and so has Elastic Storage. Now Elastic Storage offers solutions for a wide range of workloads to enterprises of all types and sizes.
Cloud, analytics, mobile, and social environment offers a good example of how Elastic Storage now offers industry leading advantages in many types of IT environments. There is no doubt that Cloud, analytics, mobile, and social is driving IT today and these certainly appears to be key in the future of IT. Elastic Storage plays very well in Cloud, analytics, mobile, and social environments. Analytics, mobile, and social are types of application workloads, and cloud is a deployment model. Elastic Storage is an excellent choice for constructing cloud infrastructures, including private clouds which have various attributes that Elastic Storage is particularly well suited to support and enable. It handles a wide range of structured and unstructured data types with block, file and object storage. It is designed to support geographically distributed compute / storage infrastructures. Elastic Storage provides the granularity of storage management necessary to enable dynamic resource allocation modes. Elastic Storage provides a flexible, software-defined storage platform that supports a broad set of cloud, analytics, mobile, and social workloads.
IBM FlashSystem technology has certainly been on a fast evolutionary track lately, just like Elastic Storage. A key focus of recent FlashSystem engineering has been its integration with other IBM technologies and product lines. Because of the synergies created between FlashSystem and Elastic Storage functionality and capabilities, IBM quickly began the process of combining them as a bundled solution, called “Elastic Flash”.
FlashSystem accelerates Elastic Storage, and makes Elastic Storage deployments more cost effective. FlashSystem boosts Elastic Storage performance in 3 ways:
- It can store and dramatically accelerate Elastic Storage metadata,
- It can be used as a very large storage cache for active data sets,
- And FlashSystem can operate as one tier in a tiered Elastic Storage environment.
Elastic Storage provides excellent dynamic / automated data storage tiering, so it works effectively with FlashSystem to lower costs while dramatically improving performance. Additionally, FlashSystem offers easy scalability and much lower storage operational costs that can turn private cloud deployments from failures into successes.
The evolution that led to Elastic Flash resulted in a very significant benefit that deserves further emphasis – lower cost. Flash storage has traditionally been seen as a niche player for high performance requirements, but that has changed. There are FlashSystem platforms now that offer all the features and functionality of conventional disk-based Tier 1 storage, at acquisition prices very comparable to those of Tier 1 disk arrays. FlashSystem offers multiple operational cost benefits, such as 74% lower environmental costs, 85% better storage utilization, and 35% lower maintenance/support costs. The evolution in flash price/performance has opened the door for Elastic Flash to small and medium-sized enterprises that in an earlier era would not have considered the solution on the basis of cost. Now, the economics are major advantage that Elastic Flash offers all types of enterprises.
Times and technologies have changed. IBM FlashSystem and Elastic Storage have adapted to meet the evolving requirements of modern and future business and IT environments driven by cloud, analytics, mobile, and social. Elastic Flash offers storage features, capabilities, and performance needed to enable you to innovate as you wish – take on new workloads and data types, match performance to new analytics capabilities – and storage isn’t a limiting factor, it’s an enabling technology. Most importantly, Elastic Flash provides you with a powerful new tool to create competitive advantage, make better business decisions, lower operating costs, and innovate, innovate, innovate!
More information about Elastic Storage, please visit our website. You can also download and read the Introduction to Elastic Storage white paper here. And if you have any IT infrastructure related questions, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you. Follow @IBMSDE for latest updates.
Elastic Storage Product Marketing Manager
IBM Platform Computing Division