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IBM Boosts Smarter Computing Initiative to Help Customers Deal with Big Data


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IBM stepped up its smarter computing initiative with a broad range of performance and efficiency enhancements to its storage and technical computing systems – the engines of big data. As part of its ongoing smarter computing effort, IBM has announced a new strategic approach to designing and managing storage infrastructures with greater automation and intelligence, as well as performance enhancements to several key storage systems and the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center suite. IBM also announced its first offerings that incorporate software from IBM’s acquisition of Platform Computing earlier this year. These offerings are intended to help enterprise customers use technical computing to achieve faster results with applications that require substantial computing resources to process growing volumes of data.

“Enterprises are dealing with data that is increasing exponentially in both size and complexity,” said Rod Adkins, senior vice president of IBM Systems & Technology Group. The enhanced systems and storage solutions have the performance, efficiency, and intelligence to handle this big data, he added.

IBM Smarter Storage for Smarter Computing:

According to IBM, constructing and evolving storage infrastructures to better respond to constant social, economic, and business change is critical to the long-term viability of every organization. By implementing techniques such as virtualization, de-duplication, automated tiering and cataloging, IT leaders are able to reduce the amount of time their architects spend provisioning storage by up to 50% as well as reduce the cost by up to 20%. 

With the new IBM Smarter Storage approach, customers are able to architect storage infrastructures that leverage such technologies as real-time compression and automated tiering to help get more performance out of their systems, faster and at lower cost.

As part of this initiative, IBM is announcing enhancements to several key products – such as adding real-time compression to IBM Storwize V7000, as well as to the IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC), the company’s storage virtualization system.

IBM has added efficiency and performance boosts to several other systems as well, including:

IBM System Storage DS3500, designed for small and mid-sized organizations, and DCS3700, designed with high density for high performance computing environments, now feature Enhanced FlashCopy capabilities that result in 50 percent more snapshots, designed to speed up backups; and thin provisioning, which helps increase utilization of disk storage while lowering storage costs by reserving unused pools of storage for applications on an as-needed basis;

IBM Tape System Library Manager (TSLM) is new software that expands and can simplify the use of IBM TS3500 tape libraries by providing customers a single, consolidated view of multiple libraries. The TSLM works with multiple generations of enterprise and LTO-based drives and media to store data into a single reservoir of tape that can be managed from a central point through IBM Tivoli Storage Manager;

IBM Linear Tape File System (LTFS) Storage Manager is new software that provides lifecycle management of multimedia files, such as large video files, to customers using IBM LTO 5 tape libraries and IBM’s LTFS Library Edition. As a result, video archive licensing costs can be dramatically lowered, as well as video tape cartridge costs.

In addition, new enhancements to the IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) suite are aimed at enabling organizations to better manage big data storage requirements. With a new web-based user interface, IBM says TPC can change the way IT managers view and manage their storage infrastructures. Also new to TPC is the integration of IBM Cognos, which provides intuitive reporting and modeling that can enable customers to easily create high-quality ad hoc and customized reports for better decision making. TPC offers simplified packaging that provides comprehensive management, discovery, configuration, performance and replication in a single license.

In addition to these new enhancements, IBM plans to advance the Smarter Storage approach further when it extends its IBM Easy Tier capabilities to direct-attached, server-based SSDs to help customers coordinate data migration between their disk systems and servers. IBM Easy Tier automatically moves data to the most appropriate storage, including multiple tiers of disk and SSD, based on policy and activity.

Strengthening Technical Computing Portfolio for Enterprise Clients:

In addition, to make technical computing easier to use, IBM is also enhancing its portfolio of hardware platforms with software to create integrated solutions that can help enterprises derive value from high performance applications that require a lot of computing power and data. IBM also says it is committed to maintaining support for non-IBM systems with existing Platform Computing partners. 

The highlights of what IBM is announcing include:

The IBM Platform Symphony family, a grid manager that is now integrated with the MapReduce software framework to provide faster throughput and performance for demanding analytics and big data workloads in a single grid environment. Platform Symphony’s resource sharing model makes it cost-efficient for clients to expand their analytics environment as needed.

The IBM System x Intelligent Cluster integrated with IBM Platform HPC software to simplify cluster deployment, deliver results more quickly and improve productivity so clients can focus on research and analysis instead of managing their IT infrastructure.

The High Performance Computing (HPC) Cloud portfolio from IBM expanded with the new IBM Platform Cluster Manager offering as well as IBM Platform LSF to provide clients with a shared pool of cloud resources available from anywhere, making it easy to create and manage HPC clouds. The new IBM Platform Cluster Manager enables clients to self-provision clusters in minutes and automatically, dynamically manage cluster environments that include both IBM Platform Computing and non-IBM workload managers.

Other technical computing offerings from IBM span:

IBM Platform LSF family – IBM Platform LSF is a comprehensive set of intelligent, policy-driven workload management and scheduling tools that can be used to manage high performance workloads across a distributed, virtualized IT environment with up to 100% utilization to help keep costs low.

IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS) – GPFS now includes Active File Management (AFM) software to provide fast, trusted access to unstructured data regardless of where the data resides so it can quickly be turned in to insight.

IBM System x iDataPlex dx360 M4 – The latest iDataPlex system can double performance on selected workloads with the latest Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) from NVIDIA, increases maximum memory to 512GB and – with the new slotless FDR (Fourteen Data Rate) Infiniband adapter – provides superior performance and flexibility for technical computing environments.

Services and Financing:

Complementing the new storage enhancements, IBM is offering a suite of services that encompass virtualization, automation and cloud technologies and that address the supply and demand side of storage.

For more information on IBM Storage, go to www.ibm.com/storage

For more on IBM technical computing, go to www.ibm.com/technicalcomputing


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