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IBM launches suite of hybrid cloud storage services

Two ESS hardware units as well as a new IBM Spectrum Fusion comprise the firm’s attempt to make enterprise data more accessible

IBM logo on the side of a building

IBM has unveiled a set of improvements to its storage portfolio designed to give its customers greater access to and management of their data across their complex hybrid cloud environments

The technology giant, which has pivoted its operations towards hybrid cloud in recent months, will launch IBM Spectrum Fusion later this year, in addition to updating its IBM Elastic Storage System (ESS). 

IBM Spectrum Fusion is described as a container-native hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) system that integrates compute, storage and networking functions into a single platform. It’s been designed to come equipped with Red Hat’s OpenShift to allow customers to support environments for both virtual machines (VMs) and containers, and provide software-defined storage for cloud, edge and containerised data centres. A software-defined storage (SDS) version will follow in 2022.

Updates to IBM’s ESS suite, meanwhile, include a revamped model ESS 5000 that delivers 10% greater capacity, as well as a new ESS 3200 which offers double the read performance of its predecessor. They’re designed to provide scalability at double the performance of previous models for faster access to enterprise data.

“It’s clear that to build, deploy and manage applications requires advanced capabilities that help provide rapid availability to data across the entire enterprise – from the edge to the data centre to the cloud,” said Denis Kennelly, general manager for IBM Storage Systems. 

“It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it starts with building a foundational data layer, a containerised information architecture and the right storage infrastructure.”

Spectrum Fusion integrates a fully containerised version of the parallel file system and data protection software to provide businesses with a streamlined way to discover data across the organisation. Customers can also use the system to virtualise and accelerate data sets more easily by using the most relevant storage tier. 

Businesses will also only need to manage a single copy of the data, no longer needing to create duplicate data when moving workloads across the business. This eases processing functions such as data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

With regards to IBM’s ESS updates, the IBM ESS 3200 is designed to provide data throughput of 80Gbps per node, which represents a 100% performance boost from its predecessor, the ESS 3000. The 3200 also offers up to eight InfiniBand HDR-200 or Ethernet-100 ports for high throughput and low latency.

The IBM ESS 5000 model has been updated to support 10% more density than the previously available, for a total storage capacity of 15.2PB. In addition, all ESS systems are now equipped with streamlined containerised deployment capabilities automated with the latest version of Red Hat Ansible. 

Both these models include containerised system software and support for Red Hat OpenShift and the Kubernetes Container Storage Interface (CSI), CSI snapshots and clones, Red Hat Ansible, Windows, Linux and bare metal environments. IBM Spectrum Scale is also built into them. The 3200 and 5000 units also work with IBM Cloud Pak for Data, its fully containerised platform of integrated data and AI services

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