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Dave Raffo, Senior information Editor
IBM tweaked its enterprise storage programs these days, adding thin provisioning to its system Storage DS8000, and asynchronous mirroring and twin processors to its XIV Storage gadget. In both situations, the points are already protected in opponents' programs and fill gaps in IBM's structures.
IBM not noted skinny provisioning when it upgraded the DS8000 final February with full disk encryption and solid-state power (SSD) assist. First made common by way of 3PAR Inc., thin provisioning is becoming a common characteristic on commercial enterprise systems now that Hitachi records techniques (HDS) and EMC Corp. offer it. IBM already helps thin provisioning for its SAN extent Controller (SVC) storage virtualization box, and on the XIV Storage equipment.along with thin provisioning, IBM is making utility improvements for the DS8000 that are intended to improve the velocity of volume initiation and supply stronger throughput for systems using FICON on IBM mainframes.
XIV is still a work in progress
IBM got XIV systems in January 2008, and launched its first IBM-branded XIV device ultimate September. Critics claimed the XIV lacked enterprise aspects similar to asynchronous mirroring for distance replication, scalability beyond a hundred and eighty TB raw, support for IBM system z mainframes and concurrent code load for non-disruptive software setting up.
latest improve offers the XIV Storage gadget asynchronous mirroring and concurrent code load, but the other boundaries remain.
"we now have been including capabilities to XIV in a very brief duration of time on account that they got it," stated David Vaughn, IBM's suggestions infrastructure platform supervisor. "Asynchronous mirroring is a big step to finished the primary requirements for their clients."
New dual processor modules provide the XIV Storage device as much as 30% performance development, Vaughn pointed out. XIV additionally now has an SMI-S interface for faraway administration of IBM's Tivoli utility and an LDAP interface. additionally, IBM is giving valued clientele a choice between a one-year and three-12 months base warranty for the XIV Storage device. It up to now offered a one-12 months base guarantee and valued clientele could add extra years.
IBM introduced a 27 TB entry-degree XIV Storage equipment version previous this 12 months, however hasn't long gone past one hundred eighty TB. Vaughn said the XIV structure will allow it to move beyond 180 TB, "but it doesn't scale that high yet." He additionally said mainframe help for XIV is on the roadmap, but "there may be nothing forthcoming."
As is the case with IBM storage rival EMC, there was confusion in the business about where the lines are drawn with IBM's programs. IBM considers the DS8000 and the XIV Storage device enterprise techniques besides the fact that children they're diverse architectures. How does an organization be aware of if it'll consider a DS8000 or an XIV?
"If we're dealing with somebody who's a DS8000 customer these days, they expect them to buy the DS8000 as a result of they've standardized with it and are at ease with it," Vaughn stated. "If they go into a brand new account, we'd birth the conversation with the DS8000 if it's a mainframe account. If the account is absolutely open programs, they might beginning with the XIV."
Analysts talked about the latest enhancements are quintessential for commercial enterprise-grade storage methods. "if you are going to name it [XIV] an enterprise equipment, the expectation is that each one these items is there," observed Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst at Hopkinton, Mass.-based mostly Taneja neighborhood. "In a terrific condition, a seller would have all this functionality from day one, but how do you try this? What they brought out remaining yr with XIV became a first volley."
"it's now not like they're the first with these elements," spoke of Mark Peters, an analyst at Milford, Mass.-based commercial enterprise strategy group. He would not predict valued clientele to buy systems according to which have the ideal skinny provisioning, however they do expect enterprise programs to have it.
As for IBM's product positioning, Peters talked about it might confuse valued clientele, but "it be a long way greater to have an overlap in items than a hole. americans ask the equal query with EMC [with Clariion and Symmetrix platforms] about which device to purchase, and in both instances the reply that comes lower back is 'mainframe.' Mainframe guide is the leading difference, and one gadget is a scintilla greater reliable than the different."
IBM's timing with thin provisioning is rarely top notch. Its announcement comes a day after EMC noted it might present skinny provisioning at no cost with its Symmetrix systems. IBM is charging at least $sixty nine,000 to activate thin provisioning for its DS8000 methods.
still, IBM's Vaughn talked about skinny provisioning is a funds-saver as a result of "you get plenty enhanced utilization of your disks."
skinny provisioning for the DS8000 and twin processors for the XIV Storage gadget could be accessible next month, with the XIV's asynchronous mirroring due later in the yr.
via Kevin Komiega
-- IBM is now providing nine different information management software tools for managing and relocating records in tiered storage environments with strong-state disk (SSD) drives.
The company's portfolio comprises a suite of application tools that manage the migration, monitoring and dynamic placement of statistics on SSDs.
The equipment include "wise facts placement" expertise in the form of IBM's information Facility Storage administration Subsystem (DFSMS) for zSeries and DS8000 environments. For its energy programs servers, IBM now presents SSD records Balancer tools that enable directors to move commonly accessed information to SSDs, whereas relocating infrequently accessed data to normal hard drives.
On the hardware front, IBM also multiplied its use of SSDs to include energy methods, becoming a member of system x servers and device Storage DS8000 gadgets, which already present SSDs.
SSDs might be supported on all POWER6 techniques, from Blades to commercial enterprise servers, as well as on the system x lineup of diskless pressure alternatives with new SATA-fashion SSDs. A 50GB pressure, designed for better I/O efficiency, is attainable in either a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch kind component for blades and equipment x rack and tower servers. The SSDs support windows, Linux, and ESX Server.
IBM additionally invested in integrating DS8000 storage systems with servers and utility to maximize the efficiency advantage of SSDs. The built-in answer will permit users to optimize the hybrid ambiance with SSDs and HDDs.
Mike Desens, IBM's vp of system design, says the enterprise's strategy to SSDs recognizes that the majority users will have hybrid storage environments that use high-pace SSDs in tandem with HDDs.
"we've been enabling [the use of SSDs] throughout all of their hardware, working equipment and software systems so as to assist consumers utilize SSDs in the correct approaches and to get statistics onto the correct tier of storage," says Desens.
He says flash-based mostly SSD drives have the talents to revolutionize the trade, but expenditures still should come down.
"SSDs are going to have a huge impact on the business as costs continue to come down at a faster pace than natural HDDs and they see more potential," says Desens.
IBM is using two different types of single-level telephone (SLC) SSDs, together with drives from STEC and Fusion-io. Desens says IBM is working on methods to use higher means multi-degree mobilephone (MLC) technology.
"SLC technology is reliable through wear-leveling, over provisioning and blunder correction technologies, however MLC nevertheless wants greater work and innovation to convey it into enterprise-type applications," he says.
related articles:sorting out SSD strengths and weaknessesSTEC ships MLC-based SSD
IBM has announced to expand its storage portfolio with the introduction of new and faster techniques, better items, and a new business alternative guarantee carrier alternative for the IBM device Storage DS6000 collection.
Enhancements across the business’s excessive-conclusion disk methods, as well as its N series portfolio, statistics retention solutions, and offerings for SMBs, are designed to supply valued clientele with increased efficiency and administration capabilities, infrastructure simplification, and lower costs.
Shailesh Agarwal, nation supervisor, IBM Storage stated, “We’re rapid charging their storage systems and accelerating their NetApp relationship to help clients control their suggestions on demand needs. today’s announcement extra demonstrates IBM’s dedication to give their consumers with increased flexibility and accelerated alternative that allows them to take handle of their storage infrastructures. The option for customers is apparent - greater effective and quicker storage options from IBM, versus proprietary solutions from EMC.”
Updating its flagship DS8000 series, the company is introducing new DS8000 rapid models. the new models - the IBM equipment Storage DS8100 turbo and DS8300 faster techniques - are in response to POWER5+ processors, with the addition of 4Gbps Fibre Channel and FICON know-how allowing for the discount of the number of network elements.
DS8000 turbo models encompass improved tiered storage alternate options, services to enable superior performance and effectivity for DB2 functions on IBM gadget p servers, and support for three-site company continuity options.
Enhancements to the gadget Storage DS6000 are also announced. The S6000 series will additionally come with one-commonplace guarantee and the alternative for clients to take potential of a new bendy commercial enterprise alternative choice for guarantee extensions.
IBM has additionally announced high-end business and gateway solutions, IBM equipment Storage N7000 household. With this, the business has added a complete line of unified storage products in line with NetApp know-how designed to supply conclusion-to-conclusion solutions for environments desiring enterprise class NAS, FC SAN, and iSCSI choices, from the smallest of agencies to the biggest data centers.
The N collection fashions, IBM gadget Storage N7600 and N7800, present Fibre Channel and SATA disk drive guide and provide simultaneous NAS, iSCSI and 4Gbps FC SAN (FCP) attachment. additionally, they offer over 35 superior utility elements with FlexShare and MetroCluster capabilities, and are scalable as much as 504 terabytes of physical ability.
additionally bettering IBM’s compliance and archiving options, designed for lengthy-time period information retention, including retention driven by law or corporate governance necessities, the IBM system Storage DR550 V3.0 and DR550 specific is designed to offer expanded flexibility, capability and value efficiency by together with the IBM system Storage DS4700 storage controller and the EXP810 storage expansion as its disk storage subsystem
The announcement completes a huge expansion of IBM’s storage line, which all started past this month. IBM currently expanded its DS4000 line of midrange storage servers with the introduction of the IBM equipment Storage DS4200 categorical mannequin, a powerful and low in cost storage server this is most reliable for small and medium-sized agencies. It also delivered new points and performance across its entire DS4000 household of products to enhance capability, pace and standard efficiency, helping customers to create most suitable tiered information storage techniques and present robust facts insurance policy and duplication features.
The DS8000 turbo fashions and enhancements for the DS6000 series will each be purchasable on September 9, 2006, the N series enterprise appliance models will be available on September 1, 2006 and the N series enterprise gateway options on September 22, 2006.
Single server and categorical model configurations are at the moment attainable. twin-server fashions will be obtainable on September 15, 2006. The DS4200 specific could be obtainable on August 25, 2006.
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IBM has launched a new set of solutions designed to tackle the challenges of improving security, managing and analysing vast amounts of data, cloud-computing utility and mainframe technologies billed as a new addition to the enterprise Power Systems family.
Spending over $1.4 billion on research and development per annum, IBM has developed its enterprise Power Systems with new hardware and software innovations designed to help customers gain business insights fast and securely.
The System and Technology Group Manager at IBM Egypt Ahmed Bourham said “this announcement reflects the continued focus of IBM on smarter computing systems, aimed at solving the varied and intensifying challenges organisations are facing.”
Power 770 and Power 780 servers now the feature Power7+ microprocessor, offering a performance boost of 30 to 40 per cent on application workloads compared to previous issues; at the top of the Power line, the Power 795 server has been enhanced to enable customers to run very demanding applications, such as business analytics.
IBM has added several new capabilities to its family of Power Systems servers, dubbed the Elastic Capacity on Demand for Power Systems Pools, in order to enable the sharing of resources across multiple servers.
“When managing a cloud-based infrastructure with IBM PowerVM virtualisation software, customers can now more easily move individual server partitions to quickly balance resources in reaction to changing business needs. Single virtual machines can be moved three times faster and concurrent migrations can occur up to 4.7 times faster than with previous versions,” IBM said in a statement.
The average corporate IT infrastructure is cyber-attacked nearly 60,000 times every day and the average total organisational cost of a data breach is $5.5 million, making security one of the top priorities of enterprise organisations.
On the other hand, IT managers have been facing continuous dynamic challenges because of the massive data volumes, which do not only stress system performance and manageability, but also affects security as well.
The IBM System Storage DS8870 is the newest member of the company’s DS8000 family of “high-density” enterprise class storage systems; it delivers up to three times more performance for transaction processing applications than the current DS8800 model.
IBM also had updated the IBM Virtualisation Engine TS7700 Release 3, which is a system that melds virtualisation with magnetic tape; this system is an update of the TS7700 Enterprise Virtual Tape Library System.
The new solution of Big Data Technical Computing includes IBM’s General Parallel File System (GPFS), an advanced file management platform often used in high performance computing environments for storing and delivering large volumes of data for weather modelling, oil exploration and digital media production.
Moreover, IBM announced software offerings for IBM’s newest mainframe – the “zEnterprise EC12” which helps clients operate their IT more efficiently and make good use of critical information to extract statistical data concerning their activities, and to provide better service to clients.
References to a mysterious IBM storage array are popping up across the web. Is this the hardware refresh of IBM's flagship DS8000 storage array line?
The first reference they spotted was from Freddie Sanchez, a firmware engineering guy at IBM in Arizona. His LinkedIn entry reads: "I develop and maintain embedded software for the enterprise high-performance IBM System Storage DS8700, DS8000 and DS6000 products. This includes system wide level debugging, architectural planning, iterative design, following established documentation procedures, implementation, unit test, and executing successful hardware integration."
Then there was a Bell Micro web page note about an IBM Business Partners' Enablement workshop - "DS8000 Technical update: Last announcements (R4.2) and Roadmap (DS8700)" - held yesterday at IBM Warwick, and given by Dominique Salomon from IBM's Product Solutions and Support Center in Montpellier.
Lastly they found an internal IBM bug report: "DS8700 systems with more than 170 GB memory may experience missing or corrupted memory."
We know IBM has DS8100 and 8300 systems in its flagship DS8000 enterprise storage array product line, but there is no DS8700. They think the DS8700 is a new high-end DS8000, a hardware refresh, and they reckon it will use POWER6 processors.
The 8100 and 8300 both use POWER5+ processors with the 8100 using dual 2-way processors and the 8300 using dual 4-way ones. POWER5+ is old hat in processing engine terms, having been succeeded by POWER6 and POWER 6+. POWER6 added decimal math and vectors and better threads to the microprocessor and POWER6+ added a few more tweaks and higher clock speeds.
Our information is that the p550 with four Power5+ cores running at 2.1 Ghz had a relative performance rating of 24.86. A p550 with four POWER6+ cores running at 4.2 Ghz is rated at 36.28 relative performance, and 52.24 with six cores, 46 per cent more oomph, core for core.
IBM has already starting phasing out the first generation POWER6 processors and is shipping POWER6+ systems. They can be fairly certain that a DS8700 will use at least POWER6 CPUs and possibly POWER6+. It may also increase the core count to get a greater boost in CPU horsepower for the new array and whatever software functions it's going to have. They don't know anything about them or any speeds and feeds data for the new box.
If the channel (Bell Micro) is being briefed now then they can expect a public announcement in the next few weeks. Following on from the introduction of thin provisioning for the DS8000 this should knock any ideas that the DS8000 is a dead array line on the head. Big Blue is most definitely still in the high-end enterprise array line. ®
Next version of z/VSE looks like an operating system reborn
IBM Corp.’s z/VSE operating environment is still going strong. Although z/VSE doesn’t boast much in the way of market share or revenue growth—not, at least, when compared to other, sexier System z workloads, such as Linux or zSeries Integrated Information Processor—Big Blue continues to invest in and improve the z/VSE experience.
If ongoing technology investment and new operating system revisions are positive indications of a platform’s viability, z/VSE looks as viable as ever.
Consider IBM’s upcoming z/VSE 4.2 release, for example. While Big Blue has been slow to introduce support for Linux and other next-gen workloads in previous iterations of z/VSE—at least relative to what it’s done with both z/VM and z/OS—the latest version of that venerable operating environment looks like VSE reborn, with better support for z/Linux, a new Encryption Facility, expanded storage support, and improved performance and scalability.
The rub, of course, is that customers will have to wait until late next year to get their hands on it: z/VSE 4.2 isn’t slated to ship until Q4 of 2008.
By the time it does ship, it could help fuel pent-up demand.
The impetus, IBM officials say, is the ever-increasing uptake of Big Iron Linux: as customers deploy more zLinux workloads on System z mainframes, they’re increasingly running them in conjunction with z/VSE applications.
For one thing, says Jerry Johnston, System z technical sales specialist and Boeblingen Lab senior advisor with IBM, the new release should make it easier for customers to expose their VSE applications to zLinux.
"There are a number of integration possibilities," he says. "Each customer is different. For example, four European customers presented solutions at the recent [Guide Share Europe] conference in Boeblingen. A couple of them have z/VSE applications that access data stored in DB2 UDB on Linux on System z. Another is working on WebSphere applications under Linux on System z that can access data stored in files on z/VSE."
There’s also HiperSockets, z/VM, and Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) integration, too. "Customers can implement integrated solutions that exploit System z 'HiperSockets' for fast, secure communications between z/VSE and Linux on System z," he continues. "They can take advantage of low-cost IBM System z Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) specialty engines. Last, but not least, customers can take advantage of IBM's world-class virtualization technology, z/VM, to get the most from their Linux on System z and z/VSE systems."
z/VSE 4.2 also eliminates a long-standing VSE bottleneck: a limit of 255 concurrent processes. In most cases, Johnston says, users have been able to work around this; once z/VSE 4.2 becomes generally available, they won’t have to. "The z/VSE operating system itself uses 32 of those [tasks]. Subsystems like CICS, VTAM, TCP/IP, DB2, [and so on] each use a number of tasks. They reduce the number of tasks available to the user for application programs," he explains. "z/VSE V4.2 users will have more than 255 tasks to work with. That means, for example, they can create more CICS and batch partitions in z/VSE V4.2. More partitions increase the ability of the system to do useful work, [which leads to] better scalability."
The new revision will also explode a traditional storage bottleneck, Johnston continues. True, z/VSE 4.1—which shipped earlier this year—eliminated the long-standing 2 GB central storage restriction (it boasted support for up to 8 GB of real storage), but z/VSE 4.2 will go that several orders of magnitude better.
"Now, z/VSE V4.2 is designed to support up to 32 GB … of real processor storage," he says, which could entail additional scalability benefits. "Larger real memory may lead to a reduction in paging. Paging occurs when a task needs central storage but no free storage is available. At that point, the operating system has to find a page to remove, transfer it to external page storage, and start the new activity. From a system point of view, paging is just wasted activity and to be avoided. z/VSE V4.2's support for up to 32 GB of real storage means that, in many cases, less paging will occur."
Finally, Johnston concludes, z/VSE 4.2 will ship with a new Encryption Facility to better secure business data. This is a more involved proposition than it might seem, he points out. For starters, the function of the new Encryption Facility for z/VSE V1.1 is roughly equivalent to that of the z/OS variant (also at version 1.1). This means both implementations are also interoperable. "Tapes created by one can be read by the other," Johnston says.
At all events, z/VSE’s new Encryption Facility will help protect against the accidental (and frequently quite literal) loss of data.
"You may have seen news stories about tapes that have been 'lost.' There have been articles about tapes that have been misplaced, stolen, dropped off the back of a delivery truck, taken from a truck while the driver was having coffee, etc.," he explains. "One solution to avoid the compromise of business/personal data is to encrypt the tape. … If a tape falls into the wrong hands, the information is safe because it cannot be read without knowing the key."
VSE’s new Encryption Facility will be packaged and licensed as an optional, priced feature of IBM’s VSE Central Functions version 8, according to Johnston. This product includes the basic VSE operating system, along with a passel of other features. As with z/OS, the Encryption Facility for z/VSE also exploits built-in System z features to accelerate encryption and reduce processing costs. "[Encryption Facility] for z/VSE exploits new System z hardware instructions designed to accelerate the encryption process. These instructions are part of a no-charge, optional hardware feature—available on z990/890, z9 EC, and z9 BC models—known as CP Assist for Cryptographic Function," Johnston indicates. "Similarly, when compressing data, [Encryption Facility] for z/VSE uses System z hardware compression instructions."
As an added bonus, it’ll also be eligible for the Midrange Workload License Charges pricing scheme that Big Blue introduced earlier this year.
Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.
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