Feature spotlights

Enhancing storage function

IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) includes IBM Spectrum Virtualize technology to help insulate applications from physical storage. This enables applications to run without disruption, even when changes are made to the storage infrastructure. It also helps make new and existing storage more effective. SVC includes many enterprise-class functions traditionally deployed separately in storage systems, providing greater flexibility and lower costs.

Hybrid cloud advancements

The challenge for organizations trying to take advantage of hybrid cloud technology is how to implement it without the expense of replacing current storage with cloud-capable storage systems. IBM Spectrum Virtualize in SVC and hosted private or public clouds enables data migration to cloud or use of cloud storage for disaster recovery from any of more than 400 supported storage systems, dramatically speeding the ability to deploy hybrid cloud configurations while slashing the potential cost.

Real-time data compression

Unlike other approaches to compression, IBM Real-time Compression™ can be used with active primary data such as production databases and email systems, which dramatically expands the range of candidate data that can benefit from compression. Real-time Compression with hardware acceleration transforms the economics of data storage. When applied to new or existing storage, it can significantly increase the usable capacity while maintaining application performance

Extraordinary storage efficiency

IBM Spectrum Virtualize software in SVC combines a variety of IBM technologies including high-performance thin provisioning, automated tiering, data virtualization, Real-time Compression, clustering, replication, multi-protocol support and a next-generation graphical user interface (GUI). It also includes leading third-party technologies, such as Bridgeworks WANrockIT network optimization. Together, these technologies deliver extraordinary levels of storage efficiency.

Improved application availability

Large enterprises cannot tolerate application downtime and yet moving data is one of the most common causes of planned downtime. IBM Spectrum Virtualize data virtualization with SVC enables moving data from one storage system to another or between arrays, while maintaining access to the data. This function might be used when replacing older storage with newer storage, as part of load-balancing work or when moving data in a tiered storage infrastructure from disk drives to flash.

Cognitive support

IBM is offering a limited availability program in 2017 to provide cognitive support services to its cloud-based storage management platform, IBM Spectrum Control™ Storage Insights. The new capability is designed to dramatically expand the volume of diagnostic data collected and to use the latest AI technologies to increase insights into storage health, performance and capacity. It is designed to help clients enjoy faster resolution of issues, an enhanced user experience, and high availability.

Tiered storage

Deploying tiered storage is an important strategy for controlling storage costs. Until now, however, management and functional differences among different types of storage—even from the same vendor—have made implementing tiered storage operationally complex, limiting deployments. Automated storage tiering with Easy Tier® can help improve performance at a lower cost by enabling more efficient use of flash storage or multiple tiers of disk drives.

Flexible replication

With many storage systems, replication operations are limited to in-box or like-box-to-like-box circumstances. Functions from different vendors can operate in different ways making operations in mixed environments more complex and increasing the cost of changing storage types. But IBM Spectrum Virtualize software in SVC enables use of a single set of advanced network-based replication services that operate in a consistent manner, regardless of the type of storage being used.

Multi-site high availability

The IBM HyperSwap® function supports storage and servers in two data centers. In this configuration, the solution enables servers at both data centers to access data concurrently with automated switch-over in case of failure. When combined with server data mobility functions such as VMware vMotion or PowerVM® Live Partition Mobility, this configuration enables nondisruptive storage and virtual machine mobility between the two data centers, which can be up to 300 km (186 miles) apart.

Scalability and performance

SVC is an integrated, modular solution that is highly scalable. The SVC Data Engine has two 8- core Intel E5- 2667v4 3.2GHz processors with 64 to 256 GB of system memory in increments of 64 GB. One or two compression accelerators based on Intel QuickAssist technology are available. Flexible host interface options support four built-in 10 Gbps Ethernet ports with up to sixteen 16 Gbps Fibre Channel ports, up to twelve 16 Gbps Fibre Channel ports, and four additional 10 Gbps Ethernet ports.

Simplified management

IBM Spectrum Virtualize software provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for centralized management. With this single interface, administrators can perform configuration, management and service tasks in a consistent manner over multiple storage systems—even from different vendors—vastly simplifying management and helping reduce the risk of errors. Plug-ins to support Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and VMware vCenter help enable consolidated management in these environments.

Complement server virtualization

IBM Spectrum Virtualize in SVC complements server virtualization with technologies such as PowerVM, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vSphere, Docker, and Kubernetes. Server virtualization helps speed provisioning of new server images because provisioning becomes a software operation rather than one requiring hardware changes. Similarly, provisioning with SVC is achieved with software and with thin provisioning, and is designed to become an almost entirely automated function.

Customer case study

  • University of Pittsburgh gives users faster access to data

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