After a full first day at VMworld, I started to think more about IBM and their technology solutions that help customers in a VMware environment. Here is a top ten list of things to consider when looking at a VMware implementation and how IBM can help.

#1 Integration

VMware is playing Switzerland and ensuring all vendors are on a level playing field, so when other vendors state that they have “better” or “closer” technology integration than other vendors its probably not true. Some vendors may not choose to integrate with certain things, but rest assured, all of VMware’s APIs are open to all vendors. Take a look and see how IBM is providing plug-ins for vSphere, SRM, and VAAI in XIV as well as other storage platforms.

#2 Ease of Use

IBM has seen, firsthand, a number of our customers switch from different competitive platforms to XIV because of the simplicity of the XIV solution. A large manufacturer is one example of a customer who is provisioning new VMware instances in less than five minutes with XIV.

Another XIV customer, who is a very experienced storage administrator, saw the XIV GUI and quoted "I don't get it (XIV GUI). It can't be that easy. Either I'm missing something or they are not showing me everything." Well, the reality is, it is that easy and that interface is prolific throughout the IBM storage portfolio including the Storwize V7000 and SVC.

#3 Storage Efficiency

Probably one of the most important topics this year is Storage Efficiency and IBM is a leader in this department. The N-Series with the Real-time Compression appliance can reduce the VMware storage footprint up to 75%. Users tell us that by implementing VMware, their storage footprint has grown by as much as 4x. Therefore their overall IT budgets didn’t get better, the dollars just shifted from servers to storage. IBM’s Real-time Compression users can save up to 75% without any performance impact. Additionally, Real-time Compression is the only compression technology that works in conjunction with deduplication, compressing the data before it is dedplicated, giving an added benefit to the technology.

Now users have the opportunity to get their overall IT budget back under control.

#4 Data Protection

The reality here is that many enterprises are waiting for the war to be fought out between the vendors in this space, or looking to embedded snapshots and disk based technologies with mirroring to cut out all of the host based challenges with data protection.

A report by Taneja Group, sponsored by multiple clients, suggests that the biggest issue in virtual environment is data protection as many enterprise do not know what they need to do and they are looking at their current vendors to provide solutions. So work closely with the IBM team and leverage all of the work that IBM has done with Tivoli and VMware to help solve your data protection challenges.

A lot of folks like to talk about deduplication when it comes to VMware, just make sure it is implemented properly and at the right place. ProtecTIER has great deduplication ratios and great performance.

#5 Flexibility

I am not sure how you get more flexible then working with IBM. From hardware to software to services to partners, IBM offers solutions across a wide spectrum. Whether it be hardware solutions that can meet a range of performance requirements and application types, to software that can help users analyze their data more effectively. IBM can also deliver all of these solutions through our relationships with or ISVs as well as partners offering superior flexibility.

#6 Availability

When it comes to high availability in storage, it is hard to beat the new V7000 or the XIV product. Innovatively designed specifically around high availability, users can move to a virtualized storage platform such as XIV and users can see the real-world of availability and reliability that does not sacrifice performance in any of their applications.

#7 Scalability

With IBM XIV, you can simple scale as you need to and automatically and take advantage of new capacity and linear performance improvements as well as managing the entire enterprise from a single, easy to use GUI.

Also, with Real-time Compression, you now have the added benefit of putting more capacity in your existing footprint to do even more analytics while saving on footprint, power and cooling – all in real-time.

#8 Services / Solutions

IBM is the worldwide leader in providing services. IBM is the largest OEM of VMware solutions on the planet and provides support and services in 170 countries around the globe. IBM’s Global Services team has architected and installed hundreds, if not thousands of VMware implementations, helping customers go from a non-virtualized to a virtualized world. IBM, as well as its partners, can help migrate customers to a virtualized environment without a long outage and maintain application and customer production.

#9 TCO / ROI

IBM offers great solutions that reduce the risk, cost, and complexity of the virtualized world. IBM focuses on the real-world customer challenges. Customers have been hit hard these last few years when it comes to budgets in order to manage their IT environments. We keep helping our customers do more with less by enabling a more efficient storage platform than any other vendor. IBM XIV, V7000, N-Series, SVC and ProtecTIER solutions are great fit for solving difficult VMware challenges and we have real-world references to prove it.

#10 100 Years of Innovation

The bottom line: there is always more to do, IT changes at a rapid pace and it is the vendors job to keep up with the needs of its customers. IBM has been doing this for 100 years and we will continue to do so.

For more on IBM and Storage Efficiency at VMworld, see us on live this week at 3:30 PT.


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