Software Defined Storage Use Case – Block SAN Storage for Traditional Workloads

In my last post, IBM Spectrum Storage Suite – Revolutionizing How IT Managers License Software Defined Storage, I introduced a simple and predictable licensing model for most all the storage needs an IT manager might have. That’s a pretty big concept if you think about all the storage use cases an IT manager has to deal with.

  • Block SAN storage for traditional workloadsIBM Spectrum Storage Suite Symbol
  • File storage for analytic or Big Data workloads
  • Object storage for cloud and mobile workloads
  • Scale-out block storage for VMware datastores
  • Storage for housing archive or backup copies

Just to name a few… The idea behind software defined storage is that an IT manager optimizes storage hardware capacity purchases for performance, environmentals (like power and space consumption), and cost. Then he ‘software defines’ that capacity into something useful – something that meets the needs of whatever particular use case he is trying to deal with. But is that really possible under a single, predictable software defined storage license? The best way I can think of to answer the question is to look at several of the most common use cases we see with our clients.

Perhaps the most widely deployed enterprise use case today is block SAN storage for the traditional workloads that all our businesses are built on – databases, email systems, ERP, customer relationship management and the like. Most IT managers know exactly what kind of storage capabilities they need to deploy for this use case. It’s stuff like:

Here’s the thing… This use case has been evolving for years and most IT managers have it deployed. The problem isn’t that the capabilities don’t exist. The problem is that the capabilities are most often tied directly to a specific piece of hardware. If you like a particular capability, the only way to get it is to buy that vendors hardware. It’s a hardware-defined model and you were locked in. With IBM Spectrum Storage, IBM has securely unboxed with software defined. All the capabilities I just mentioned can be accomplished with one IBM Spectrum Storage Suite software license and you have complete flexibility to pick whatever hardware vendor or tier you like. The idea of software defined changes everything. With the software securely unboxed from the hardware, you really are free to choose whatever hardware you want from most any vendor you like. And since the software can stay the same even while hardware is changing, it means you don’t experience any operational or procedural tax when you make those changes.

All of the capabilities mentioned above for addressing this Block SAN storage for traditional workloads use case can be accomplished with one IBM Spectrum Storage Suite software license. This may be the most widely deployed use case today, but it’s not the fastest growing use case. In my next posts, I’ll continue looking at the wide variety of use cases that are covered by the simple, predictable IBM Spectrum Storage Suite software defined storage license.

Are you interested in taking the first step with software defined storage? Contact your IBM Business Partner or sales representative. And join the conversation with #IBMStorage and #softwaredefined.

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IBM Spectrum Storage Suite – Revolutionizing How IT Managers License Software Defined Storage

About a year age IBM shook up the software defined storage world with IBM Spectrum Storage.  It was the industry’s first complete family of software defined storage offerings that could drive cost efficiency and total management across most all the needs an IT manager might have:

IBM Spectrum Storage Family Tall

  • Software defined storage for traditional workloads like database, email and ERP systems as well as new-gen workloads like analytic, mobile, Big Data, cloud and Cognitive business.
  • Capabilities needed for primary data as well as backup or archive copies.
  • Access via block, file and object protocols.
  • Operating on heterogeneous storage hardware from most any vendor – traditional SAN storage infrastructure as well as newer scale out infrastructure with storage-rich servers.
  • …all nicely integrated with a consistent set of interfaces and vocabulary.


In a world where much of this type of capability had been tied to some piece of hardware – hardware defined storage – IBM had securely unboxed storage and forever changed storage economics. In the last year, over 2,000 brand new clients have started with IBM Spectrum Storage. Through those conversations, we’ve learned two important things about how enterprises are approaching software defined storage – things that have led us to revolutionize how software defined storage is licensed.

  1. CFO’s are exasperated with the unpredictability of storage and storage software licensing. IT managers generally have a good feel for what type of capabilities they need to accomplish the use cases they want. But have you ever paused to think about how confusing it must be for them to figure out exactly how much software they need to license? Think about it from the perspective of someone not using IBM Spectrum Storage.
    • SAN Virtualization software can be licensed starting with a per frame base and then adding a per TB managed
    • Storage Resource Management software can be licensed per system and per tiered-TB
    • Backup software can be licensed per operating platform or application and then adding a per TB
    • Data stores for Virtual Machines can be licensed per server and per VM
    • Deduplication software can be licensed per system
    • …and the list can go on. If the IT manager can figure out how much of this stuff he wants at a given point in time, how is a CFO supposed to predict future costs?
  2. IT managers are dealing with transition in storage infrastructure. What software they need can shift rapidly. Most IT managers reading this post are responsible for estates of SAN storage. For the traditional workloads that our businesses are built on, this has been the dominant storage infrastructure approach for years. But there is a transition well underway. Who hasn’t been impacted by newer mobile and cloud workloads? What company or organization isn’t looking to make better use of Big Data and analytic workloads? These applications are being built to take advantage of a different kind of storage infrastructure, one that is characterized by direct-attach JBODs and fields of servers with lots of internal capacity, and really none of it connected to a SAN. IDC data suggests that IT managers are now purchasing more TB’s of this type of storage than they are SAN storage, and the trend isn’t likely to ever change. In many enterprises, the capacity mix is shifting from traditional SAN to newer storage-rich servers. The transition presents a challenge in storage software licensing. When physical infrastructure shifts from big SAN-attached storage systems to scale-out storage-rich servers, the types of capabilities needed don’t change dramatically, but the specific vendor software packages change a lot. Instead of a virtualizer for block SAN storage, an IT manager might need to shift toward offerings that software-define his field of storage-rich servers into something useful like performance optimized file storage for analytics, an integrated VMware block data store, or cost optimized object storage for backup and archive. This is all new and the rate of change is unknown – and that presents a challenge. Flexibility is paramount.

IBM Spectrum Storage Suite SymbolWith IBM Spectrum Storage Suite, IT managers now have a simple and predictable licensing model for the entire IBM Spectrum Storage family. Its straightforward per-TB pricing relates costs to the amount of storage capacity being software-defined, regardless of use case. That makes it easy for IT managers to grow and transition how they use storage, and for CFOs to predict costs. And with the Suite, clients can save up to 40% compared with licensing all capabilities separately.

Consider a typical enterprise starting with its existing SAN storage infrastructure but rapidly growing a new kind of infrastructure for new workloads. In most datacenters this transition is coming, but few really understand how fast or exactly which use cases will emerge. There’s going to be some experimentation and rapid change.

IBM Spectrum Storage Suite evolving use case 1Attempting to navigate the next few years using a’ la carte licenses of point products from multiple vendors is going to be difficult. In fact, CFO’s are going to push back against the unpredictability and may ration what software can be licensed. That can slow down innovation. IBM Spectrum Storage Suite offers cost predictability and frees IT managers to exploit any IBM Spectrum Storage capability required to get the job done.

IBM Spectrum Storage Suite evolving use case 2Let’s suppose you are an IT manager at the front end of this picture. You’ve deployed Block SAN storage for traditional workloads as your first IBM Spectrum Storage Suite use case. Now you want to explore another use case. Well, with IBM Spectrum Storage Suite you already own entitlement to all capabilities in the IBM Spectrum Storage family, so you are free to download any of the software you like. To help you quickly adopt the additional use cases your business may need, IBM Spectrum Storage Suite licensing offers the ability to perform extended tests in an evaluation sandbox proving ground without additional charge. So go ahead, experiment with your next use case. Prove it, become familiar with it, pay for it when it’s deployed for productive use.

Are you interested in taking the first step with software defined storage? Contact your IBM Business Partner or sales representative. And join the conversation with #IBMStorage and #softwaredefined

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How software defined is changing storage economics

About a year ago, IBM’s bold move into software defined storage changed how IT looks at storage. The introduction of IBM Spectrum Storage incorporated more than 700 patents and was backed by plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next five years toward propelling the use of software defined storage in any form – as software, appliance or cloud service.

To better understand why this is redefining the economics of storage and helping IT optimize cost, performance and security, consider some of what IBM Spectrum Storage is bringing to the IT landscape.

In February, IBM introduced the IBM Spectrum Storage family, the first comprehensive family of software defined storage offerings that can centrally manage yottabytes of data on more than 300 different storage devices.
(Related: Introducing IBM Spectrum Storage – Inside Perspective)

Efficiency and speed
As workloads like cloud, analytic, mobile, social, and Big Data began affecting scale, performance and cost requirements, it became clear that traditional IT infrastructures had to change. Software defined can be used with common building block storage to construct file and object systems built for efficiency and optimized for speed.
(Related: IBM Spectrum Scale – Built for Efficiency, Optimized for Speed)

Implemented in minutes
The same dynamic is also at work in the block storage that dominates today’s enterprise datacenters. The genius of software defined storage is that the complete set of enterprise storage capabilities available on high end arrays is now available for IT managers to leverage on common building block hardware.
(Related: IBM Spectrum Accelerate – Enterprise Storage in Minutes)

SAN storage efficiency doubled
Despite the rapid growth in newer cloud, analytic, mobile, social and big data workloads, more than half of the worldwide spend is still on traditional SAN storage, the choice for more traditional workloads like transaction systems, email, supply chain, HR and virtual servers. Software defined storage can help IT managers gain a great deal of efficiency in this part of the data center.
(Related: IBM Spectrum Virtualize – Traditional SAN Storage at Twice the Efficiency)

Intelligent analytics
Whether it’s the traditional workloads we have all grown up with or the new generation workloads, it’s well understood that there is a mismatch between data growth and the budgets that are allocated to deal with the problem. Software defined storage can provide IT managers with intelligent analytics for managing storage.
(Related: IBM Spectrum Control – Intelligent Analytics for Managing Storage)

Dramatic cost reduction
A looming question for many IT managers is just how efficiently the job of data protection can be done. They want to minimize the budget for data copies so they can shift investment to new business growth initiatives. Software defined storage can be, on average, 38 percent more efficient.
(Related: IBM Spectrum Protect – Crash Diet for Your Data Protection Budget)

Ultra-low cost and flexibility
Data growth is being fueled by new workloads and their seemingly insatiable need for data to process. But in many enterprises, even more of the data growth is the result of simply keeping data around – stuff like regulatory archives you have to keep and asset archives you just want to keep. Software defined storage can balance the convenience of online access with ultra-low cost and flexibility.
(Related: IBM Spectrum Archive – Ultra-low Cost Storage for Retaining Data)

How is software defined changing your approach to storage? Connect with me on Twitter at @RonRiffe, and join the conversation with #IBMStorage and #SoftwareDefined.

Originally posted June 1, 2015 on the IBM SmarterComputing blog

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She’s Married! A Daddy’s Speech

Friday Night at the reception for our daughter’s wedding, I had the opportunity to do something every father should have the privilege of experiencing. I got to stand at the front of a ballroom and tell the story of my child. As I scanned the audience it was like watching the movie of our lives. Every face held a happy memory. When I was done speaking, several folks encouraged me to write down what was just said. So here you go…

Before I start, I just want to say a personal THANK YOU to my sweet wife Staci, who has invested a tremendous amount of time, and energy, and emotion into making this a perfect evening for Brenna and Austin. Nicely done sweetheart!

Riffe Pennington 3Riffe Pennington 4Riffe Pennington 1Riffe Pennington 2

With that, I can now officially say “welcome to the after party!”

I haven’t yet had the privilege of meeting each of you, but those of you who I know and who I have met so far have reconfirmed for me that God has indeed been good to Brenna and Austin. For all of their lives He has surrounded them with family, and friends, and mentors, and teachers who have helped to mold and shape them into the extraordinary couple they are today. Thank you for investing in their lives. And thank you for being here to share this evening with them!

I have something important I want to say about Austin. To get there though, I need to first paint you a picture of Brenna. It will take three quick stories. But before I start, Staci asked me to read this statement.

“The views and opinions expressed in this speech are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the entire wedding party. The author is getting along in years, some events and timelines may have become jumbled. Audience interested in exact historical accuracy should consult with the author’s wife. The author is also the daddy of his baby girl, most memories are colored by an understandable bias.”

Brenna has always been a very obedient and respectful child. She was that child… you know the cabinet in the kitchen with all the pots and pans. We told her “don’t get in that” and she was like “okay…”. We never had to put the child safety locks on anything. She was just that kind of a child.  Brenna preschoolWhen she was little, still preschool age, she started using some phrase that wasn’t very becoming of a young lady. Staci and I were talking recently trying to remember what that phrase was – for the life of us we can’t remember. Whatever it was, we were trying to break her of the habit. So we had told her… “Brenna, the next time you say that, we are going to wash your mouth out with soap.” Sometime after that threat, we were busy getting dinner ready in the kitchen when we heard her use the phrase again. I looked at her and sort of sternly said. “Brenna Anne, what did we tell you about using that phrase”. She immediately ducked her little head and apologized… I was satisfied so we went back to fixing dinner. It wasn’t just a few moments later that I heard her in the hall bathroom gagging. We ran around the corner to find her standing there on her little stool holding a bar of soap and rubbing it on her tongue… I know… worst parent ‘ever’ award right here!

When she was in the later years of elementary school, around that time when boys are miraculously cured of their coodies, we sat Brenna down and sort of laid out some rules for dating. Brenna middle schoolNo boyfriends right now… No holding hands until middle school… No kissing until high school… True to her character, she accepted and respected what we had told her.  You can imagine my surprise on that last day of 8th grade when I learned she had… had her first kiss. I said “Brenna, you know what we talked about. No kissing until high school” to which she answered… with a BIG smile on her face… “Daddy, middle school was over three hours ago, I am in high school!”…   Note to self… must be more specific!

When it came time for her to go to college, we were quite pleased that she chose Texas A&M University.  Brenna collegeAnd not just because it’s the alma mater of her parents. Staci and I have worked with students in our church long enough to know that all too often, when high school kids head off to college, many of them leave their faith at home. Texas A&M is not only a very conservative university, it also has one of the largest on-campus Christian movements in the nation.  So before Brenna left, we told her two things. First, surround yourself with Christian girl friends who will encourage you in your faith and who will keep you accountable in your walk with the Lord.  The ladies in the wedding party standing behind me are who Brenna surrounded herself with. Several of them are from a club she joined called Aggie Sisters for Christ. All of them have encouraged her in her faith and kept her accountable.

Brenna and her inner circle “Girls, thank you for being her inner circle!”…   She had done exactly what we asked her to.

The second thing we said was, “if you decide to date – when you decide to date, look for a guy whose heart is after the Lord, somebody who at least has the potential to someday lead his home spiritually.”

The summer before her Junior year – notice I didn’t say it was ‘after her Sophomore year’ because that had been over for at least three hours… not gonna make that mistake again… — anyway, before her Junior year, she decided to go with our church as a sponsor to children’s camp. Brenna is an elementary education major and I’m thinking… “elementary education major… week at children’s camp… seems like a good match.” When she came home, I asked how her week with the little kids was. She said “Oh daddy, it was great, I found a boyfriend!”…  Now, I did remind her that she was a 20 year old woman and there were laws against her dating grade school kids. To which she said “Daddy, he’s not in grade school, he’s already a teenager!”… I’m thinking “Oh, gooooood…” Now this particular children’s camp is down in the general vicinity of College Station TX where Texas A&M is so I’m hoping maybe this ‘already a teenager’ is ‘already a teenager’ enough to be an underclassman at Texas A&M who just has a summer job at the camp. So, with my fingers crossed, I asked “What school does he go to?”… “The University of Texas!”… (for readers who don’t know, the University of Texas Longhorns are the oldest and deepest rival of the Texas A&M Aggies. Just listen to the Aggie War Hymn)

TAMU vs UTAt that point I can’t contain myself any more. “What the…? I send you to Texas A&M University where there are 50,000 full grown men who are good Aggies and you come home with a teenage longhorn from a children’s camp?!?”  She says “Daddy, you didn’t say anything about how old he had to be or what school he needed to come from…”

“… Daddy… what you said was… find a man after God’s own heart… A man who will lead me… and lead our home… and lead our children in pursuit of the Lord… You know me daddy, I did what you said… His name is Austin Pennington.”

Proverbs 23:24 says “The father of a godly child has cause for joy.”  Amen to that!

“Brian and Jennifer (parents of the groom), thank you for raising your son to be a friend of God! Staci and I… with Austin, our hearts are full!”

“Austin, do you remember what we talked about the night you asked Staci and me for permission to marry Brenna? Well, it’s time dude. About an hour ago, you became the spiritual leader of a brand new household. I want you to choose this day whom you will serve!”

“Brenna, your momma and I pretty much said all the words we know to say to you last night. But if, by some miracle, you missed it, we want you to know that it continues to be the high privilege of our lives to be known as your parents. You have done well baby girl!”

“A man after God’s heart… A woman of grace… Brenna & Austin PenningtonI want you to now go build a home centered on the Lord. Be a beacon to a world that desperately needs to see an example of a lifelong, God honoring marriage.”

With that, I’ll welcome you again and thank you for sharing this evening with Brenna and Austin. Let me pray for us and thank God for all He has done, then we can get on with enjoying the evening!

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She’s engaged! A Daddy’s Perspective

He said Will you? She said Yes!! Now they have a hashtag. #PracticallyPennington

Some of you reading this post have already experienced giving away your daughter so you know exactly what I’m feeling right now. Others are parents or parents-to-be of younger children so listen carefully 🙂

Just over 21 years ago this little life was conceived and 9 months later I got to hold her for the first time.  The emotions, thoughts and realizations that rocket through you at that moment are indescribable. For me they were compounded by the fact that I am a natural born strategic planner. I think in terms of the end game. In the rush of those first months of parenthood I was also thinking about the fact that I was now responsible for helping her to become all that God had created her to be – in the woefully short span of the next 20-ish years. Ugh!! Of all the myriads of life lessons she would need, there were two things in particular that I wanted to make certain of.

  1. Those of you who have read my personal thought posts know that I have an unshakable faith in the God of the Bible because of a personal relationship with his Son. If you want to know more about how that works, check out My Story.  As a daddy, the first thing I wanted to make certain of was that I passed down a heritage of faith. There’s a great passage in the Bible that describes how I approached the task. She is today a follower of Christ.She is engaged
  2. The second thing I wanted to make certain of was that her future husband was a man after God’s own heart. I knew that somewhere in the world a little boy was growing up but the problem was I didn’t know his name, so how could I influence what kind of man he would become? Back to the Bible. There’s a great story where Jesus describes a woman who, day after day, badgered a king into finally taking action. The point of the story is that we should pray like that to the King of kings. So, my prayer became… “God, give him godly parents who will help him come to know You. Mold and shape him into a man after Your heart. Give him role models that will teach him how to honor You. Build in him the character and habits he will need to be a life-long, God honoring husband and father… Please God, bring him into her life at just the right time.” For 21 years my wife and I prayed for that little boy over and over and over. Last week when he came and asked permission to marry our daughter, we thanked God for being faithful and answering all those prayers. He is indeed a man after God’s heart.

The way she tells it, he got down on one knee and before he could speak she started blurting out this uncontrollable run-on sentence

Her: “What-are-you-doing-Is-this-really-happening-Am-I-getting-engaged-Are-you-asking-me-to-marry-you?”

Him: “Well, I’m trying to, but…”

Her: “Yes!!!!!!!”

Him: “I haven’t asked yet…”

The run-on sentences didn’t stop all night. It makes a daddy happy to see his baby girl overwhelmed like that – and for good cause. Yesterday I had a daughter. Today I have a future son-in-law. The Bible is right when it says “The father of godly children has cause for joy.”

Congratulations baby girl on being #PracticallyPennington!!

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IBM Spectrum Archive – Ultra-low Cost Storage for Retaining Data

In my last several posts on members of the IBM Spectrum Storage family, I’ve talked a lot about the growth in data that is forcing IT managers to think differently about storage. Much of the data growth is being fueled by new workloads and their seemingly insatiable need for data to process. But in many enterprises, even more of the data growth is the result of simply keeping data around – stuff like regulatory archives you have to keep and asset archives you just want to keep. As this type of inactive data continues to grow, questions arise about the best way to store and manage it without losing many of the conveniences of online storage. This is where IBM Spectrum Archive excels, balancing the convenience of file system access with the ultra-low cost and flexibility of tape.

My daughter is a student at Texas A&M University, and is her daddy’s pride and joy. She’s part of the millennial generation, a demographic who can’t remember a world without almost unlimited access to digital information. I don’t recall a mental image of her without a smartphone, tablet or laptop in the picture. For her, the answer to every question is found in those devices. Every daily activity – listening to music as she runs, working on school assignments, talking with friends, capturing pictures or videos of important events, watching a movie, and a myriad of other apps – is done with those devices. In her world, a television set is just a bigger screen for Chromecast and a USB flash drive is something you use when Dropbox or Google Docs won’t do the job. Like, for example, when she needs to carry a document into a print center or load a presentation on her professor’s laptop to present to the class. It’s her version of data interchange.

The digitally native world my daughter lives in is what’s responsible for the tremendous data growth we are seeing in IT. These are the customers that business is trying to reach and the employees who are increasingly developing new workloads. They don’t use terms like “data archive”, but they do it for stuff like pictures that they just want to keep – and they use places like Dropbox that don’t really work for most corporate applications. They also don’t say “data interchange”, but they have grown up doing it on media like USB flash drives that don’t have the scale required by most businesses. As they bring their expectations into business, what they need is a super-sized alternative with reliability, security and duty cycle fit for business IT. That’s IBM Spectrum Archive.

In my post IBM Spectrum Scale – Built For Efficiency, Optimized For Speed, I introduced a software defined file and object store that includes rich policy for optimizing data placement across tiers of online storage. With Spectrum Scale and common building block storage, a single namespace can house something like 9 quintillion files. In my daughters mind, that’s like a super-sized business IT alternative to the storage on one of her personal devices. IBM Spectrum ArchiveThink about it for a second. For many datacenters, 9 quintillion files could represent all their data – all of it – neatly organized in a single namespace so it’s easy to find and easy to manage. While it’s cool for applications and people to be able to access data through a neatly organized file system interface, not all data needs to be housed in prime online real estate. It’s like the pictures on my daughters’ phone – easy to find, but when space on that prime real estate gets tight, the older pictures need to be “archived” someplace else.  The super-sized business IT alternative is IBM Spectrum Archive plugged-in to IBM Spectrum Scale.

Here’s the scenario.

  • You’ve got a pile of files in a single IBM Spectrum Scale namespace and you’ve leveraged policy to optimize data placement across online storage like Flash and spinning disk.
  • Some of your data needs to be archived (you’re a regulated business or you’ve just got intellectual property records you want to keep). So you plug in IBM Spectrum Archive to add a tape tier. The same policies are now extended to automatically place the right data on tape. In doing the selection, there’s all kind of granularity in the metadata you can write the policies against.
  • A tape tier requires some unique handling that Spectrum Archive seamlessly provides. Tapes can be grouped into pools, files can be replicated across multiple pools, and media is reclaimed as files move on.
  • The wow factor in all this is that workloads and users who had their files in Spectrum Scale don’t lose the neatly organized file system interface when files are archived to tape with Spectrum Archive. It’s transparent. All the files are still there in the common namespace.
  • For data interchange, a tape and its files can be exported from the namespace – basically checking those files out. Conversely, a Spectrum Archive tape can be checked in too (imported), and its files automatically appear in the Spectrum Scale namespace. Encrypting interchange tapes is also an option with the keys managed by IBM Security Key Lifecycle Manager.

Tape entered the IT landscape in the baby boom generation. With software defined storage and Spectrum Archive, it continues as a core storage media for millennials.

Join the conversation with #IBMStorage and #softwaredefined.

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IBM Spectrum Protect – Crash Diet for Your Data Protection Budget

My career in storage started back in the late 1980’s when the IT world revolved around the computer system and everything else was considered a sub-system (I guess in some ways that made me a sub-administrator). The discipline of managing storage assets was just taking hold and the first order of business was to ensure all the corporate data was protected. Data that fed mainframe applications topped the list for most organizations but data associated with mission critical client-server workloads was growing rapidly. It was into this world that the great-great-grandfather of IBM Spectrum Protect was born.

Trivia question
Trivia question – leave a comment to play: Who can name the complete family lineage of IBM Spectrum Protect? Bonus points for expanding all the acronyms.


The world of IT has evolved a lot since then. Data is no longer a sub-thought, it is central – the new currency of business. The race to simply get all the important data protected is largely over. Spectrum Protect is now a highly evolved one-stop family that IT managers use to do that job. It is tightly integrated with workloads like databases, email systems and ERP applications; with the hypervisors they run in; with the file systems and storage devices they store their data on; and with the data capture tools that surround them such as snapshot and replication. It also includes advanced data reduction techniques like deduplication and compression.  Check out the live demo!

IBM Spectrum Protect dashboardThe question of simply ensuring your important data can be protected has been answered. The question now for most of the clients I talk to is just how efficiently the job of data protection can be done. They want to minimize the budget for data copies so they can shift investment to new business growth initiatives.

A few years ago IBM acquired Butterfly Software, a small company in the United Kingdom who had developed some BIG thoughts around communicating the economic benefits brought by certain approaches to storage. Butterfly had developed what they called an Analysis Engine Report (AER) that followed a straight forward thought process.

  1. Using a very light weight collector, gather real data about the existing storage infrastructure at a potential customer.
  2. Using that data, explain in good detail what the as-is effectiveness of the environment is and what costs will look like in five years time if the customer continues on the current approach.
  3. Show what a transformed storage infrastructure would look like compared to the as-is approach, and more importantly what future costs could look like compared to continuing as-is.

Using the Butterfly technology, IBM has partnered with clients to analyze thousands of different infrastructures scattered across every industry in most parts of the world and comprising exabytes of data. In all that analysis, our clients have discovered some remarkable things about software-defining storage and IBM’s ability to help transform the economic future of storage. One area of specialty for Butterfly is backup environments.

When compared to as-is competitive backup environments, transforming to an IBM Financial Belt Tightening 8595689Spectrum Protect approach can be, on average, 38% more efficient.  Of course your results may vary. For example, when we look at  just the mass of results from as-is Symantec NetBackup or CommVault Simpana or EMC NetWorker environments, each shows that transforming to a Spectrum Protect approach produces different, and in these three cases at least, somewhat stronger economic savings. We’ve got data by industry and for many other competitive backup approaches but you get the picture. Upgrading a backup environment to IBM Spectrum Protect is like a crash diet for your data protection budget. (Tweet this)

The best way to see for yourself is to contact IBM or an IBM Business Partner and ask for a Butterfly Backup AER study.

Join the conversation with #IBMStorage and #softwaredefined

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