IBM announced a series of enhancements across its systems portfolio that are designed to help organizations adopt cloud computing as they build toward software-defined environments (SDE).
At its IBM Edge 2013 conference in Las Vegas on June 10, IBM announced enhancements to the company’s Smarter Storage line of flash, disk and tape systems, new high-performance computing (HPC) solutions and new capabilities for IBM’s PureSystems line of systems, among other things.
In addition, IBM released its FlashSystem series today. Announced in April, the series of all-flash appliances has been enhanced to deliver less than one-tenth the cost per transaction while using 4 percent of the energy and 2 percent of the space compared with hybrid disk and flash systems, IBM said.
The new hardware push behind the cloud comes just days after IBM announced the acquisition of SoftLayer and the formation of a new cloud services division at the company.
Moreover, new capabilities added to the IBM PureSystems family of expert integrated systems are designed to help clients reduce the security risks often faced when deploying cloud solutions, as well as enable quick recovery and restoration after disasters.
IBM also announced a new mobile solution—the IBM Mobile Application Platform Pattern—based on IBM Worklight server on PureSystems for both Power and x86 processors to accelerate clients’ access to millions of mobile users by allowing mobile applications to be deployed in as little as 30 minutes.
“Cloud computing and big data analytics are playing key roles in helping organizations lower operating expenses, improve efficiencies and increase productivity,” Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems & Technology Group, said in a statement. “But they’re also enabling greater and faster access to business insights, which is fundamentally transforming the ways in which organizations, public and private, are interacting with, learning from and supporting their customers.”
In addition to rolling out its new IBM FlashSystem family of all-flash appliances, IBM announced enhancements to its storage portfolio that will help more clients achieve faster and continuous access to information. For example, IBM added support for 4TB drives to its Storwize V7000 and XIV storage systems for 33 percent more capacity in the same space, and new capabilities to XIV that enable users to send large volumes of data between systems through the cloud without performance degradation.
IBM also enhanced its Easy Tier technology, which automatically moves data to the most effective storage tier in a storage system for faster performance and greater efficiency. The new Easy Tier Server function helps boost performance even further by caching the “hottest,” most-frequently accessed data to the EXP30 Ultra solid-state drive (SSD) I/O Drawer on IBM Power Systems. When these servers are used in conjunction with the IBM DS8870 Storage System, the new Easy Tier Server capabilities can help boost storage performance by up to five times, IBM said.
Meanwhile, IBM also rolled out nine new Power Systems offerings, each providing new capabilities in big data analytics and cloud computing. There are five packaged solutions for the health care and retail industries. IBM is focusing on a series of new industry-themed solutions that combine IBM Power Systems with specialized software to meet big data and analytics needs unique to specific industries. For health care, the new solutions are designed to improve patient care and experience, reduce health care costs and maximize health resource utilization; the retail solution is geared toward helping retailers provide customers with more personalized shopping experiences.
IBM Hardware Systems Bolstered for Cloud at Edge 2013
Three additional solutions provide organizations in any industry sector with new capabilities, including predictive analytics, scoring and optimization techniques, as well as turnkey cloud offerings that support “pay-per-use” business models or fit-for-purpose private cloud infrastructures. Built on Power Systems’ open platform for choice, both cloud solutions manage industry-standard Linux, AIX and IBM i operating system environments.
And to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the IBM i operating system, IBM introduced the IBM i 25th Anniversary Edition. Available on either a Power 720 or Power 740 server, this special edition includes a no-charge IBM i 7.1 processor license and three service vouchers.
IBM also announced new entry-level technical computing solutions that integrate the company’s Platform Computing with IBM Power Systems, Flex Systems, System x, iDataPlex and IBM Storage Systems. These IBM Application Ready Solutions for Technical Computing address the challenges clients face with the rise of big data, computationally intensive workloads and cloud computing. The Application Ready Solutions, designed for the automotive, aerospace, oil and gas and life sciences industries, are tuned by IBM and its partners and designed to get clients up and running fast.
The solutions come pre-integrated with Platform Computing workload management software, IBM Flex System or IBM System x servers, IBM System Storage and applications. IBM says this will enable entry-level and midrange clients to more easily deploy and manage high-performance clusters, grids and remote 3D visualization clouds.
The new PureSystems offerings announced at IBM Edge include the IBM PureFlex solution for cloud backup and recovery, which incorporates specialized patterns based on Tivoli Storage Manager, Microsoft Hyper-V and the SAP Business Suite to help clients reduce the security risks they often face when deploying cloud solutions. In the event of a site disaster, data can be restored to operating status in minutes and most applications will be able to recover to operation in minutes. Also, IBM announced the new IBM Connections Pattern, which enables users to deploy their social business platform on IBM PureSystems.
Since its introduction a year ago, more than 4,000 PureSystems have shipped to organizations in more than 90 countries, with wide adoption in key growth markets and by managed-service providers (MSPs) who are building cloud data centers with PureFlex at their core.
Meanwhile, IBM said its Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) Operations Center provides a new and intuitive management dashboard that lets users manage more backups with less complexity. The health of data protection environments can be assessed at a glance, combining thousands of data points into a dashboard screen.
Based on a combination of analytics, workflow automation and advanced visualization, the new software also offers, improved scalability with consolidated backup and recovery capabilities that manage thousands of backups at multiple sites. It also has the ability to monitor systems with any browser-enabled device. In addition, to help find and resolve backup issues faster, a centralized view of backup problems can be seen across multiple TSM servers. Essential problem information is also highlighted, eliminating diagnostic steps.
IBM delivered other updates to its storage line, including the new IBM Linear File System Enterprise Edition, which is based on LTFS Library Edition and enables users to use tape storage as a separate tier for greater management and access. It is integrated with the IBM GPFS file system and can help lower storage and archive costs up to 90 percent, the company said.
Finally, in addition to the system enhancement news, IBM also announced the IBM SAN96B-5 96-port, a 16G-bps Gen 5 Fibre Channel storage-area networking (FC SAN) switch with Fabric Vision technology. The new switch enables faster insights by doubling the data throughput as compared to previous generation SANs. With the new switch, clients can maximize uptime, optimize data performance and unify SAN management through Fabric Vision diagnostic, monitoring and management technology.