Edge 2013 Day 2 – “I could have cried!”

In my post yesterday I mentioned that we heard the first of over 75 client testimonials being shared at IBM Edge 2013. Today, the client stories came fast and furious. Several caught my attention.

Sprint is a US telecommunications firm who has 90% of their 16 petabytes of SAN storage capacity under the control of software-defined storage – specifically the Storwize family software running on IBM SAN Volume Controller engines. Because of the flexibility of software-defined storage, Sprint was able to seamlessly introduce IBM FlashSystem capacity as a new tier of MicroLatency capacity and transparently move a call center workload to the new flash storage. The results were impressive: 45x faster access to customer records. That’s right, a 4,500% improvement!

eBay is both the world’s largest online marketplace as well as a company that offers solutions to help foster merchant growth. They are serious about open collaborative solutions in their datacenters. When it comes to cloud, they use OpenStack. eBay implemented IBM XIV storage with its OpenStack Cinder driver integration and now is able to guarantee storage service levels to their internal customers.

Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. All of their physical storage capacity is under the control of a Storwize family software-defined layer inside the IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center. This enabled extreme efficiency saving them 125TB of real capacity and a 40% cost reduction with tiering. As the Ricoh speaker left the stage, the IBM host asked an unscripted question “Can you imagine running your IT without software-defined storage virtualization?” to which Ricoh responded “No! It would be catastrophic.”

LPL Financial is the largest independent financial dealer-broker in the US. Their physical storage infrastructure was multi-vendor, isolated in islands, underutilized, with little administrative visibility. The inflexible nature of physical storage had isolated workloads with certain disk arrays even though excess capacity might exist elsewhere in the datacenter. LPL implemented SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center (built on a Storwize family software-defined layer) for their most problem areas in just three months – 3 months! The seamless workload mobility provided by this software-defined storage approach solved issues like performance incident resolution, islands of waste, and the headaches associated with retiring old physical arrays. The quote of the day came from tears-of-joyChris Peek, Senior Vice President of Production Engineering at LPL Financial: “It was so good I could have cried!” LPL continued by building a new datacenter with a 100% software-defined storage infrastructure using SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center. Using software layer capabilities like tiering, thin provisioning and real-time compression they were able to save an astounding 47% in total infrastructure.

Arkivum is a public archive cloud provider in Europe. They use tape media with the IBM Linear Tape File System as the foundation of an archive service that economically offers a 100% guarantee for 25 years. The thing that struck me is in a storage industry that speaks of things in terms of five-9’s, Arkivum are combining cloud and tape with a 100% guarantee.

There were others too. Kroger is a grocery chain in the US. They implemented IBM FlashSystem and reduced latency tenfold for their Oracle Retail platform. And CloudAccess.net is a cloud service provider who needed to drive 400,000 I/O’s per second. They replaced a bank of disk drives with a single IBM FlashSystem drawer at one-tenth the cost.

I have to say that all the focus on client outcomes is refreshing. Sure, Edge has plenty of discussion around IBM’s strategy and the innovative technology being announced this week But I agree with Kim Stevenson, Chief Information Officer at Intel, who said “Organizations don’t buy technology, they buy benefits.”

I’m sure there were other client stories shared in sessions that I missed. Share your favorite outcomes below. Leave a comment!


About Ron Riffe

IBM Manager, Software Defined Portfolio. Adoring husband, proud daddy, imperfect but redeemed. I have a thirty year background in the storage industry having held positions as both a consumer and a peddler and in roles spanning from administrator, to thought leader, to strategic planner, to senior manager. I’m also a passionate leader, speaker and author. My perspectives are my own.
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4 Responses to Edge 2013 Day 2 – “I could have cried!”

  1. Pingback: Edge 2013 Day 4 – Poke in the eye | The Line — by Ron Riffe

  2. Pingback: Final Thoughts – Edge 2013 Top 5 Observations | The Line — by Ron Riffe

  3. Pingback: IBM on Software Defined Storage | The Line — by Ron Riffe

  4. Pingback: Does trying to find a better economic approach to storage give you “Butterflies”? (Part 2) | The Line — by Ron Riffe

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