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Elastic IBM Spectrum Scale

Stre-e-e-tch Storage Management Capabilities with the Elastic IBM Spectrum ScaleTM

With the advances in technology over the last decade, we are seeing industries produce more data than ever before. Healthcare, financial and governmental industries especially are creating billions of files of many different types that constantly need to be managed. IBM Spectrum ScaleTM, a proven, scalable, high-performance data and file management solution, provides world-class storage management with extreme scalability, flash accelerated performance, and automatic policy-based storage tiering from flash through disk to tape. Based on IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS), known by code name Elastic Storage, Spectrum Scale provides storage management and centralized administration over a wide variety of applications, for massive amounts of data.

Data organization doesn’t automatically happen in every storage solution. GPFS possesses a smart automation that will separate data based on the groupings you define. For example, files that are rarely touched can be delineated to another pool and put on tape, instead of filling up expensive, high-performance disk space.

GPFS allows for different groups of servers to have access to the same data over a mixture of connection types. Conveniently easy to integrate into existing solutions, GPFS provides for any type of OS a cocktail for the servers to run on, from Linux, to AIX, to Windows Server operating systems. It can be tricky to keep all of the servers “in the loop” when one file is being worked on, but GPFS provides a synchronous operation of the servers and the file system, while still protecting the integrity of the files. Through a managed token system, GPFS can protect data by ensuring that only one server can be working on a file at any given time. There’s another level of protective checks and balances, such as quotas and snapshots, built into GPFS because of its functionality as a clustered file system.

There are tons of cluster configurations to choose from when utilizing GPFS. You can use the basic environment of a shared disk cluster, and flow data over a SAN, but what if you don’t have a SAN…? Back to the cocktail concept; what if you don’t have vodka and all your special someone wants is a dirty Kettle martini? Well if you have Bombay Sapphire, you can make a gin martini and she or he might be just as happy! If you don’t have a SAN you could use Network Shared Disk (NSD) to provide high-speed data access to LAN-attached servers. Or you could utilize Active File Management (AFM) with GPFS, which writes data at one location and then conveys it to other servers all over the world. GPFS can administer and manage petabytes of data on a global scale with remote applications like AFM.

IBM Spectrum Storage software can be deployed on so many different types of systems, that it really has changed the game for IT storage solutions. It is smart, fast, and easily applicable even in the most demanding environments. It can be deployed as a software-only solution, as an integrated hardware-software-service solution dubbed IBM Elastic Storage Server, or as a cloud service in the IBM’s SoftLayer cloud. Enabling a global reach and integrating with Spectrum ProtectTM and Spectrum ArchiveTM, IBM’s end-to-end file management solution has been shown to reduce storage costs up to 90%. If your organization is evaluating storage management solutions consider a deeper dive with one of our SMEs.

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