So, it has been a while but I wanted to start sharing a lot of the great things going on in IBM storage. And now, with the recent promotion of Ed Walsh, former CEO of Storwize, acquired by IBM in August of 2010, to VP of Marketing and Strategy for Storage in STG at IBM, we will be sharing more and more of these great things.

I have to say after two years of being inside IBM I have learned a great deal. IBM has some of the greatest technology in the world. It is a good thing too that our customers understand this and they understand the amount of funding IBM puts into R&D. IBM may be a conservative company, but when it comes to inventions and patents, no one can stand taller.

Here is a good an example. With the dawn of solid state disk, and the expense of solid state disk, it is vitally important to be able to ensure that customers are spending the right amount of money on SSD to take advantage of it without breaking the bank. How would one do this? By taking advantage of storage tiering capabilities that allow you to maximize the SSD. By placing the “hottest” data on SSD such that it maximizes application performance, users can maximize performance without having to put all of their data on expensive SSD.

Many competitors talk about automated tiering but when you really investigate beyond the hype and hyperbole, their solutions really aren’t all that automated.

Let me start by telling you how EasyTier was created. By way of background, the mathematics and design logic required to develop and implement an intelligent, adaptive, learning algorithm for automated cross-tier data movement are again really hard.

However IBM happens to have the largest mathematics department of any commercial organization in the world, over 600 very gifted mathematicians. So when our storage R&D teams inevitably encountered the challenges associated with developing a bullet-proof, high performance, hyper-efficient automated data placement solution, they called upon the math whizzes for help.

The math whizzes at IBM devised a very elegant and powerful solution to the problem. One that could learn and adapt to ever-changing I/O access patterns, and automatically trigger data movement to optimize performance for a very broad range of workloads. Thus EasyTier was born,

EasyTier uses these advanced analytics combined with SSD to deliver up to 3x performance improvement with as little as 3% of your overall storage on SSD. EasyTier makes performance optimization available everywhere. Easy Tier is easy to configure and runs automatically. EasyTier supports enterprise mainframe workloads on DS8000, and external, non-IBM storage, with Storwize V7000 and SAN Volume Controller.

We are also just seeing the beginning of this self-optimizing storage capability. For example, EasyTier can enable cross domain automated data placement breaking through traditional storage system boundaries. EasyTier also supports flash memory in servers as well as the network improving performance an additional 5x. New server-based high density flash storage creates a new high performance option for transaction processing and analytics environments that demand very high IOPS or very low latency. (This is good since we just closed on the acquisition TMS, Texas Memory Systems and have the ability to provide SSD solutions throughout the server, network and storage stack.)

And it doesn’t stop there. EasyTier can also take hints from the application and know what data the application is going to need next and put it on the fastest storage in the infrastructure. When combined, SSD and EasyTier can make your environment run as much as 15x faster.

EasyTier does all of this while maintain cache coherency and data integrity.

As big data and analytics begin to play an even more important role in businesses being able to make decisions fast, having data as close to the CPU will enable faster decision making.

EasyTier is a fully automated solution that frees up administrators time allowing IT to become more innovative. Automation is going to be the key to unlocking a business’s competitive advantage. The ability to be agile and deploy new innovative ideas will help companies outpace their peers.

So, while EasyTier may not have been the first, so called “tiering”, capability on the market, it is by far the best, offering users superior performance with none of the hassle of having to manually tune the environment.


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