A group blog about IBM storage, storage news, hints and technical discussions by EMEA storage experts. The postings on this site are our own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.
The product line of the IBM System Storage DS8300 and DS8100 machines has been among the most successful in the history of IBM storage, and along with their smaller sister DS6800, we still have many customers enjoying these products in the field, typically using extended warranty contracts by now.
As per the announcement http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/ShowDoc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/7/897/ENUS915-087/index.html (for Europe, cf. http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/printableversion.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_sm/6/877/ENUS2107-_h06/index.html ),... [More]
The 'Software Defined Storage' (SDS) as says in its wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software-defined_storage) is:
"an evolving concept for computer data storage software".
As such any storage vendor and client can see in it different things.
In this blog we give one such an observation of the SDS and how IBM Spectrum Storage™ family offerings, especially the new Spectrum Accelerate fits in.
Some Retro-perspective View:
In the beginning each server/computer had its own [direct... [More]
The countdown is on!
Meet IBM Storage at CeBIT 2015 in Hannover from March 16 to 20!
With IBM System Storage solutions , cost and complexity of managing large amounts of data can be reduced, while productivity of the staff and the infrastructure can simultaneously be increased to keep up with exponential data growth.
At CeBIT 2015, five demo booths for storage hardware and storage software will be showcased to demonstrate IBM’s storage topics, solutions and products:
Security as an Inhibitor to Cloud Adoption
"50% of executives stated that security concerns were the key inhibitors of cloud services usage" says a recent report by IDC.
Taking on this central concern brought Dominik Brugger, Erik Rüger, Marcus Breuer, Thorsten Mühge, Itzack Goldberg and Matthias Seul together - working cross-team, cross-division and even cross-geography. As Cloud is one of IBM's central business plays it was obvious that creating trust in the safety of data wherever it may be was the key... [More]
The ‘IBM Spectrum Scale / Elastic Storage / GPFS Expert Workshop 2015’ was a 2-day workshop delivered by experts for experts. This year we had again a mix of speakers ranging from customers and business partner to IBM technical services, development and research.
Before the official start Frank Krämer warmed up at 8.30am with ‘IBM Spectrum Scale for Beginners’. I was not able to join, because I had a customer briefing in parallel, but I was told that this session was very well attended. I like Frank’s... [More]
Recent news about the new IBM System z13 were the initiator to look back over the last years and summarize IBM synergies between IBM Storage and System z mainframe computers.
IBM System Storage synergy with System z has long tradition at IBM, resulting in many benefits like improved application efficiency, performance and highest possible system availability, due to resiliency functions like remote copy, which are managed by System z software and services packages for effective DR setups.
Already in the 1980s IBM... [More]
Just recently, Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com published the results of their ninth annual Tape Libraries Quality Awards. The results were derived out of 473 evaluations from 321 users, covering five main quality categories. So I believe there’s sufficient market insight and user experience behind the results.
In the “Enterprise Tape Libraries” category, IBM’s TS3500/TS4500 was compared against Hewlett-Packard’s ESL/EML Series and Oracle’s StorageTek SL3000/SL8500, among other competitors.
By Nils Haustein, Andre Gaschler, Sven Oehme and Joerg Walter
We would like to share the first preliminary results (see figure 1) of our Proof of Concept (PoC) running Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) workloads on Elastic Storage with GPFS Native RAID (GNR) over 40 Gbit Ethernet connections. Thanks to Sven Oehme from IBM Research who provided us with the infrastructure and expertise configuring the GNR and TSM server systems.
The peak throughput results are amazing as you can see below:
I would like to share some experiences configuring Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) with Elastic Storage GPFS 4.1, in particular regarding automatic migration with more than two storage pools and tape being one of them. The ILM function in GPFS allows to seamlessly and transparently migrate data from one file system storage pool to another. A file system storage pool is a collection of storage devices with the same characteristic.
GPFS ILM Function and Policies
For example a file system might have two... [More]
The emerging field of "brain inspired computing" has the potential to revolutionize the computer industry. So why is it so promising to design new computers inspired by the human brain?
Current computer processors are based on the “Von Neumann”-architecture that originates from 1945. This design is extremely powerful for analytic tasks like calculations, regression analysis etc. State of the art computers can execute tasks with ultra-high speed of up to 5 Ghz or an equivalent of 0.2 nano-seconds per operation. In... [More]
When we look at IBM’s strategy for Software Defined Storage (SDS), then the clear focus lies on Elastic Storage .
Elastic Storage is a proven, scalable, high-performance data and file management solution, based upon IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS) technology. It provides simplified data management and integrated information lifecycle tools capable of managing petabytes of data and billions of files.
Today I want to focus on the fact that Elastic Storage supports Flash, Disk and Tape under a single name space. This is a... [More]
There are two major categories of problems usually reported to the technical support:
Ongoing problems, including problems that happen again and again and problems that can be recreated.
One-time occurrences where a so called root cause analysis (RCA) is necessary.
Technically problems from these both categories could be very similar, but the fact if the support person needs to investigate something in the past or something that will certainly happen again in the future totally changes the necessary approach.... [More]
Just recently, Gartner published a report, titled “Magic Quadrant for Deduplication Backup Target Appliances”. This is a completely new analysis, so I’d call it a “Gartner’s first look” on this market.
Strangely enough, the large majority of products were ranked as “niche players”. While this might be an obvious choice for many of the products, I was quite astonished to see IBM’s ProtecTIER solution also ranked as “niche player”.
In the report, Gartner mainly describes... [More]
By Andre Gaschler and Nils Haustein
Elastic storage lives from its use cases. One use case has been around for years: Running TSM servers on GPFS storage.
We would like to elaborate on this use case and demonstrate some outstanding performance test results.
For those who don’t know those product, IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager products provide backup, archive, recovery, space management, database and application protection, and bare machine recovery and disaster recovery capabilities. They can help protect a wide... [More]
Moving to software defined cloud environment, there is no way to get around OpenStack. OpenStack is an open source infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution that basically is able to control and manage entire IT infrastructures.
It is a component based solution that includes the following major components:
Storage: BlockStorage: Cinder
Storage: Object Storage: Swift
From the very beginning OpenStack is designed to be massively scalable from small to ultra large... [More]
I was recently involved in some customer engagements and briefings related to secure data access and NFSv4. There seems to be some general misconception that NFSv4 deployments provide much more secure data access than NFSv3 deployments. Here are a few facts which I feel worth to clarify and share:
1. The weakness of machine based authentication
The traditional Unix security model is also referred as machine based or server based authentication. The root user authorizes a user to login on a server by creating a user account which... [More]
The new LTFS Enterprise Edition (LTFS EE) release 126.96.36.199 is now available. There are many new functions in this release . I want to show you the most exciting ones, some of them I tested in our Lab.
Tape Libraries TS4500 and TS3310 are supported: In addition to the TS3500 two new IBM tape libraries are supported. The TS3310 allows creating small LTFS EE solutions, perhaps leveraging the LTFS EE entry configuration bundle . With the TS4500 enterprise solutions with LTFS EE can be established.
True flash architecture – that means being designed for the purpose of ultra-high performance from scratch, and not being limited by a Device Adapter, or FC-AL shortcomings. If you look at the specs of typical SSDs of today, each single drive could do tens of thousands of IOps, but when it comes to creating a RAID across a small pack of these, then we see the real results. Traditional architectures often also call themselves “flash”, but in fact were just using SSDs and kept putting them behind the same Device Adapters that... [More]
I have recently supported an implementation of System Storage Archive Manager (SSAM) with storage pools on N series Snaplock volumes. I would like to share some experiences especially when event based retention is used with SSAM.
The drawing below shows the system architecture. The SSAM software runs on AIX in this example. The AIX server is connected via 10 GBit Ethernet to the N series which is configured to provide NFS shares based on snaplock volumes. The SSAM DB is stored on internal mirrored disk of the AIX server. The storage pools... [More]
Will you be attending the 2014 IBM Systems Technical University (STU) in Istanbul next week?
If you’re not registered yet, you better hurry up now!
The STU is the perfect venue to ramp up quickly on smarter computing implementation, gain an in-depth look at the latest innovations from IBM Systems, learn about recent product announcements, exchange insights with colleagues and learn from the ESCC experts!
To be honest, we are certainly quite proud that a significant portion of the... [More]
Flash storage, cloud and data analytics are three technologies which impose significant change to storage. All three cover three different aspects. I have noticed that a clear definition of these topics is beneficial for discussions about storage. Here are my definitions:
1. Cloud Storage
Cloud (storage) is imposing disruptive change to IT by offering a very cost effective delivery model which forces vendors, providers and customers to optimize hardware, software and operations for the new cloud delivery model. This... [More]
In classical IT, every data set expires at some point in time. “But not anymore!” I hear those Big Data analysts shout! “We want to store as much data for as long as possible, just in case we find an attractive use case for it in future!” Or, stealing a line from my favorite comic strip, “Calvin and Hobbes”: In Big Data, there’s treasure everywhere! (By the way: You might want to visit http://www.ibm.com/analytics/us/en/index.html to find out how IBM helps you to uncover that treasure…)
The English translation of the assessment report for System Storage Archive Manager 6.3 (SSAM) is available now. This is an important milestone, because SSAM has been certified for compliance according to international laws and regulations .
System Storage Archive Manager (SSAM) is a variation of Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) which is made for compliant archiving. SSAM provides... [More]
Several times in a row, Mainz once again had been selected to become the core ITSO Redbooks site for the updates of the main DS8000 Redbooks publications. In Q4/2012, we had hosted the Redbooks for the first generation of DS8870. In Q2/2013, updates on the Easy Tier Redpapers were done. along with the Copy Services books. Now October and November 2013, the updates dealt with the second generation of DS8870 (sixth generation of DS8000), which has been announced 19 November 2013 .
Cloud storage is an often discussed topic in various industries. There are various solutions being evaluated for cloud storage, but only a few seem to consider the usage of tape technology. By ignoring tape, you miss a great range of potential advantages.
Let me describe some use cases with LTFS EE (Linear Tape File System, Enterprise Edition) technology, based on a technical paper summarizing “ Applications of LTFS for Cloud Storage Use Cases ”, which was published by the Storage Networking and Industry Association (SNIA)... [More]
We have great news: There is an excellent replacement alternative for IBM Information Archive (IA) and DR550 as well as for new archiving solutions: the SSAM solution . System Storage Archive Manager (SSAM) is a variation of Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) which is made for compliant archiving and is key component in IA and DR550. SSAM solutions can be well positioned as DR550 / IA replacement and for new archive solutions based on three invincible arguments:
SSAM is certified for compliance according to international laws and... [More]
Last week IBM released a security bulletin named " Unauthorized access exposure on IBM SAN Volume Controller and Storwize Family ". It's about vulnerabilities in Apache Struts that could allow a person with access to the IP interface of a Storwize family product to gain 'superuser' rights on said machine. Being a superuser you can configure the machine and yes, with the sufficient amount of criminal energy you could even delete the whole configuration. Given the... [More]
In 2011 a DS8000 client changed from IBM to a different service provider in order to service his DS8000 machines.
As they were out of warranty this was a legal way to go.
Just recently the client has signed again new maintenance-contract with IBM.
Shortly after signing the contract several DS8000 boxes reported defective battery-sets.
These battery sets are needed in case of an AC power-loss to preserve client data.
What happened ?
Whilst the maintenance was done by the service provider, client... [More]
It's like big family which gathers for an annual reunion, and by saying big, I mean really big. More than 250 customers, business partners and IBMers gathered for the fifth "SVC & Storwize User Day" in Mainz, Germany with attendees from all over Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Speakers from those countries but also from Israel, USA and UK gave insights on history and future of the SVC & Storwize product family. Several customers from small to big business presented their experiences of implementing their storage... [More]
Tape storage has been around since more than 60 years now. Since 1952, to be exact, when IBM invented the concept of magnetic tape storage. There have been many great inventions and improvements in that time frame, and although the statement "Tape is dead!" was exclaimed quite regularly over the last two decades, tape storage is still here! And I believe it's here to stay, at least for as far into the future as I dare to look.
Let me explain, why:
Nobody in the storage industry would deny that tape still has a... [More]