Modern and transformational storage infrastructure and technologies are better equipping IT leaders to keep pace with modern data demands, and to better enable business success. That’s not just a glib assertion – it is the quantifiable result from recent ESG market research; some initial specific ‘headlines’ of which can be read about in this blog about ESG's research.
Of course, as the commissioner of the research, IBM has a distinct interest in the results – not just because it has an extremely broad and dynamic storage portfolio already, but because it is very actively engaged in a multiple-stage revamping and extension of its overall ‘story’ in this regard, as well as the delivery of specific new supporting products.
Following IBM’s recent announcement event in Mexico, we took the chance to sit down with Ed Walsh, IBM’s storage supremo, to talk about both the big picture design and one of the latest new product deliveries.
There are a couple of things to emphasize about the new FlashSystem 9100, partly because it can be a key element in the transformational delivery of data, and partly because the importance of ‘new boxes’ can sometimes be overlooked as we increasingly concentrate on talking apps, clouds, AI/ML etc. These all matter of course, but they all have to run on something!
As we heard from Ed in the video, the 9100 is an NVMe-based flash array with storage infrastructure virtualization built-in. NVMe is poised to dramatically improve data-access latencies, enough to serve the needs of the many emergent and data-hungry workloads. The integrated storage infrastructure virtualization - that also supports heterogenous infrastructure by the way - can significantly reduce the time that valuable IT personnel spend maintaining and optimizing their infrastructure.
But the story has more depth: IBM is so bullish on its NVMe-based I/O acceleration capabilities, that it foresees the FlashSystem 9100 as becoming more than ‘just’ a really good all flash array. As such, IBM has developed three multi-cloud software options that leverage its FlashSystem 9100 as the foundation for a multi-cloud architecture. These solution blueprints (to borrow IBM’s term) can enable users to:
- leverage public cloud resources in concert with the FlashSystem for backup or disaster recovery.
- leverage data to be reused to support DevOps/analytics activities.
- for cloud-like infrastructure on-premises, the FlashSystem 9100 can also be a part of IBM’s Cloud Private solution.
The combination of sophistication and simplicity in the 9100 is core to IT transformation. With traditional systems, valuable IT personnel waste too much time with basic and routine tasks, such as data migrations, isolating performance issues, or trying to figure optimum usage. With greater automation, more performant infrastructure, and integrated software/solution blueprints, applications can respond faster, management headaches are reduced, and scarce IT personnel are freed-up to focus on more valuable tasks such as better enabling their business to compete in the digital economy.