IBM Improves Storage with NVMe and AI, while Delivering the Tools to Tackle a Universe of File Data

storage_connectionsToday, IBM released a massive storage-related announcement with a variety of new innovations offering value to modern, data-driven businesses. There is a ton in this release, so let’s look at some of the highlights, which I have conveniently divided into two categories.

  1. Better Storage with NVMe and Better Intelligence
  • NVMe end-to-end with the Storwize V7000 – While IBM has already released NVMe-based storage (its FlashSystem 9100 is just one example), this release adds NVMe to the Storwize portfolio. NVMe technology is poised to transform the industry. NVMe unlocks the potential of flash storage, and this release provides simply more evidence that it will quickly become the de facto communication path to flash media. For example, IBM claims the V7000 offers up to 2.7 times greater throughput.
  • NVMe over Fibre Channel – Extending the benefits of NVMe to FC SANs was inevitable, and this release adds support for a number of IBM systems including, FlashSystem 9100, FlashSystem V9000, StoreWize V7000, and San Volume Controller (SVC to its friends). Multiple Fibre Channel network devices already support NVMe over Fabrics, such as Generation 6 Fibre Channel HBAs and switches from Broadcom’s Emulex and Brocade. Operating system support can lag (so check your solution and what is supported), but harnessing the low latency benefits of NVMe over FC is quickly becoming a reality.
  • IBM Storage Insights – As flash adoption increases, the data path bottleneck moves away from the storage system and often into the network. While flash has improved application performance, it has also made it more difficult to identify and isolate performance bottlenecks. IBM Storage Insights leverages AI technology to identify those bottlenecks that can slow down SAN performance, making IT incredibly simpler. Coupled with NVMe over Fabrics, Storage Insights can offer incredible insight on where best to leverage the new technology for maximum benefit.
  1. Better Understanding Your Data
  • IBM Spectrum Discover - Remember 10 years ago or so when the IT industry first noticed that file data was growing exponentially, then remember how that trend continued for a decade. Well, in case you haven’t noticed, there is a ton of file data out there. While the growth hasn’t changed (it may have accelerated), what has changed is that businesses actually want to access and use their file data now, rather than just store it in case they needed it. The bottom line is that whether it is for regulatory compliance, data governance, data analytics, or data preparation and cleansing for artificial intelligence workloads, businesses need a way to sift through all the content and quickly capture the relevant data. Here is where Spectrum Discover plays a role: It rapidly ingests, consolidates, and indexes metadata information to provide a full picture of your entire file data environment. While it supports only IBM technology at release, they have announced Dell EMC Isilon support as a road map item. Given the scale and diversity of modern file environments, heterogeneous support is a must and it looks like IBM understands that.

This is a huge release with a lot of value packed inside. Ultimately, IBM is delivering next generation infrastructure with NVMe, the intelligence to optimize that infrastructure with Storage Insights, and tools to manage your diverse file data universe with Spectrum Discover. Like I said, a lot of value in just one announcement.

Topics: Storage