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Smarter Storage

by Administrator on October 24, 2012

I moderated a web cast today for InformationWeek and IBM entitled Smarter Enterprises Need Smarter Storage.  If you missed it, a replay should be available in 24 hours, so just Google it.

As always, it was fun mixing it up with IBM organizers.  And the speakers were very competent at delivering the messaging around their slides.  They covered “enterprise” storage kits, including the DS8870 (a much evolved version of the old Shark array, what the SyFy Channel would call a MegaShark), the latest XIV, and their VTL kits for Mainframe and big open systems.  Note that I put “enterprise” in quotes because I no longer feel that there is any distinction between “enterprise”-class and some lesser business class of storage…except the price tag.

I also had the following questions after reading the slide deck and listening to the presentation:

  1. The title of your presentation says “smarter storage” – is IBM’s definition of smart storage simply storage with lots of extra value add software embedded on their array controllers? Does this reflect a lack of “storage savvy” personnel to plan, deploy and administer storage infrastructure?
  2. What does “cloud-ready” mean? It sounds like you mean scalability and ease of allocation to workload. Is that the correct read?
  3. What is the key difference between the DS8870 and XIV? Can XIV software functions be extended to DS8870?
  4. SPC 1 results on DS8870 are impressive – 451,082 IOPS. How many disk drives? Are there any plans to add flash caching to the 8870 a la XIV to reduce the aggregate number of disks and maintain the speed? Wouldn’t that get you closer to your green/energy efficiency objectives?
  5. How are encryption keys maintained across your DS8870 rigs? Does IBM provide key management software?
  6. XIV has always sounded interesting, but the limitation was the scalability of an individual array. You couldn’t aggregate functionality or volumes across multiple heads. Does Multi System Manager address this, or is it just for putting all of the XIV element managers on one screen for ease of management?
  7. Does XIV use RESTful management for its mobile dashboard?
  8. You pushed disk based data protection (TS7700) and gave no love to tape. Does this reflect competition within IBM between the disk guys and the tape guys?
  9. You have a neat product in SAN Volume Controller (SVC) that wasn’t mentioned today. Does it not play a role in your infrastructure design strategy going forward?
  10. Why not put XIV functionality on SVC then virtualize DS8870 rigs so you can share the XIV functionality across those boxes? XIV was originally just software, wasn’t it?

Just in case any of the folks at IBM want to tackle any or all of these questions in a post in one of their blogs, I would gladly link to the post.  In fact, if Mary Hall wants to cross post this in the Storage Community, together with a link to the webcast replay, it might make some good fodder for the message board.

Did I mention, it is a real pleasure working with the UBM TechWeb folks and with IBM on these webcasts.  Big Blue is surprisingly open to discussing both the marketing and the technological/architectural aspects of their products.  Maybe because they don’t seek to hide anything about what they are doing.

EMC might consider this model.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

MaryCHall October 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm

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