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IBM's Storwize V7000 Aims To Tame the Flood of Data

By Jennifer LeClaire
October 13, 2010 2:06PM

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An increasing flood of digital data could be tamed by IBM's new Storwize V7000, which is optimized for workloads like transaction processing and real-time analytics. With storage demand soaring, IBM says the Storwize V7000 can categorize data in new ways and simplify administration. The Storwize V7000 can be optimized for virtualization.

IBM is taking its storage systems to a new level. Indeed, Big Blue's $6 billion annual research and development investment, along with recent acquisitions, are bearing fruit with the IBM Storwize V7000.

The Storwize 7000 is optimized for workloads like transaction processing and real-time analytics. This midrange disk-storage system is designed to manage the flood of data so it can be delivered for tasks such as processing transactions from web, mobile and embedded devices.

"Organizations are struggling with the volume and evolving nature of the data they're already collecting," said Brian Truskowski, general manager of IBM storage. "The IBM Storwize V7000 will deliver clients a new level of storage efficiency that can help them better store and secure their data."

Increasing Storage Demands

Big Blue pointed to IDC research that reveals the demand for storage capacity worldwide will continue to grow at a compound annual rate of 49.8 percent from 2009-2014. Social-networking sites, digital multimedia, and e-commerce are key data drivers.

IBM promises its solutions help companies categorize data in new ways. The Storwize V7000, for example, could be used to deliver electronic medical records to patients within minutes instead of days.

The Storwize V7000 system also works to simplify administrative tasks such as setup and management. IBM said its system can reduce storage rack space by up to 67 percent when compared with competitive offerings. The new solution, which relies on technology acquired from the July 2010 acquisition of Storwize, also comes packed with software for storage.

With Storwize, IBM acquired storage technology that can compress primary data, or data that clients are actively using, of multiple types -- from files to virtualization images to databases -- in real time, while still maintaining high levels of performance.

Storage Strategy Shift

The Storwize V7000 is a shift in IBM's strategy. For many years, IBM largely depended on LSI for its midrange storage products. At the same time, Big Blue was investing in storage R&D at the higher end, both in the DS8000 enterprise systems and in highly targeted solutions like the XIV systems, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

"The V7000 is priced at the midrange for midrange organizations, but it's also extremely scalable. The systems can scale up to 240 terabytes," King said. "So it's got scalability, and it has built-in virtualization. IBM has taken very robust hardware and rolled in a lot of systems-management and data-management tools with an all-inclusive price, which is a different approach than competing systems where you buy the box and then add on the software and features you want."

Virtualized Storage Support

In addition to the Storwize V7000, IBM also introduced several other storage products, including System Storage DS8800, an updated SAN Volume Controller, Systems Director Storage Control software, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center v4.2, and implementation services for disk systems.

"Storage has the ability to support increasingly virtualized server systems. A product like Storwize can be optimized for virtualization," King said. "So virtualization is really moving across data centers in companies of virtually every size, and the V7000 should put IBM in good stead for selling these systems along with the System X server solutions that they are pushing out the door."

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