Thursday, May 26, 2011

IBM Announcement Focuses on Big Data

The timing of the recent IBM announcement was to say the least rather unfortunate. For this writer at least the noise and hullabaloo that surrounded EMCWorld somewhat overshadowed the multiple announcement package IBM released (May 9th) coincident with the EMC event.

The top line theme of the announcement was that IBM is doubling down on its commitment to tape technology by continuing to declare in word and deed, a firm belief that tape remains the least expensive, most cost effective storage for “Big Data”. I am sure the folks at SpectraLogic, Oracle and Quantum etc heartily agree.

In keeping with the theme of big data, IBM announced an innovative shuttle interconnect technology that can connect up to 15 individual TS3500 tape libraries to support over 2.7 Exabytes of data. Now that is “BIG DATA”! With the claim that this is 80% greater capacity than the equivalent Oracle library I guess it is advantage IBM.

In summery the announcements were:

1. IBM announced a new tape drive the TS1140 that delivers a 4x capacity increase and a 56% throughput increase from the previous generation. For those who enjoy trivia the capacity of the TS1140 is 2M times greater than the first enterprise tape drive announced by IBM in 1952. IBM also introduced an enhancement to their version of LTFS (Linear Tape File System). The LTO-5 enhancement that I called in an earlier blog, one of the most important advancement in tape technology for many years.

2. They have introduced an interesting interconnect system that links multiple TS3500 library frames (15) into a single library image that can support over 2.7 exabytes of data. Supports both LTO and TS11xx versions of the TS3500.

3. TS7650 Protectier De-dupe Solution; Announced a many-to-many IP-based native replication capability and an ability to replicate data between multiple data centers (up to 4).

4. Storwize 7000 has sold more than 1600 systems, in 1000 customer since it was introduced in 4Q10. 40% of customers are new to IBM. Storewize 7000 is a mid-tier SAN storage solution that integrates SVC with storage efficiency features. Key announcement were capacity and throughput doubling, FlashCopy support with remote mirror volumes, 2.5” HDD support, 10GigE iSCSI support. Not a competitor to BlueArc but if you would like more detail let me know.

5. TS 7700 virtual tape Library. Doubled the number of virtual tape cartridges it will support up to 2M VTC’s.

6. Key announcements surrounding SONAS (Scale-out Network Attached Storage) were:
a. Software enhancements that increased random performance 40%
b. Dual active independent 10GigE port or 20GigE bonded - doubled interface bandwidth
c. NDMP support for back-up - support 128 simultaneous NDMP sessions per interface node - Back-ups can run on up to 30 SONAS nodes to get a maximum bandwidth of 60 GB/s. - fast scanning feature speeds up incremental back-ups - small file pre-fetch speed up small file back-ups. - supports Commvault, Symantec, Legato and disk-2-disk back-up, VTL and traditional tape.
d. McAfee and Symantec antivirus support - manual or automatic - scan on access - bulk scan feature - load balancing across all scan nodes.
e. Looking at a unified storage play with support for XiV and Storwize 7000
f. 400,000 spec IO from spinning disk. - 10 node configuration. Single node delivers 46,000 IOPS
g. Max bandwidth 60GB/s
h. Linear Scaling

7. N Series.
a. This is the product IBM OEM’s from NetApp.
b. Introduced the 6270 which replaces the 6060 and 6070 - claim a doubling of performance with adding two more processor cores and 32GB of RAM
c. Scales to 1.9PB
d. Real time compression appliance introduced with the 6270 - claim to reduce data footprint by 80%
e. EXN 3500 expansion cabinet introduced - 2U FF, 24 SAS or SATA HDD’s
f. Claims 2.8x more capacity.

An interesting potpourri of announcements that deserved attention. Perhaps IBM should take a page out of EMC book and be a bit more aggressive as they plan their announcements.


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