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IBM brings Elastic Storage to Power8, z servers

IBM bundles Elastic Storage -- based on GPFS and Watson -- on its Power8 server and supports System z mainframes.

IBM this week expanded its Elastic Storage platform, launching IBM Elastic Storage Server, which includes the software on scale-out Power8 and System z mainframe servers.

IBM first launched Elastic Storage software in May to run on–premises or on its SoftLayer cloud along with support for object storage via OpenStack Swift.

"We now have three, full configuration models that go together in the IBM cloud," said Bernie Spang, director of strategy and marketing at IBM’s software group. "You can deploy it on existing systems. We also make it available on SoftLayer and we have clients that want it as an integrated system."

IBM Elastic Storage is based on IBM’s General Parallel File System (GPFS) and it uses Watson supercomputer technology to handle workloads generated from the cloud, analytics, mobile and social media.

The Elastic Storage for Power Systems can stream up to 15 GB per second from one system, and scales from 40 TB to 1 PB. Up to 512 servers can support a single file system, so a file system can scale up to 512 PB. The software uses one copy of the data for snapshots and replication of snapshots, reducing the amount of storage consumed.

Randy Kerns, senior strategist at Evaluator Group, said the latest Power8 servers are a new architecture that is fast and has the ability to add PCIe cards attached to solid-state drives, while support on System z means customers can create virtual machines in a virtualization environment.

"It’s really a logical step for them," Kerns said. "It seems logical to make it available and to let it run on different environments rather than access it one way."

Jane Clabby, research analyst at Clabby Analytics, said this gives IBM another software-defined storage option. She said IBM has been selling software-defined storage since its SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization product.

"They were doing it before we were talking software-defined storage," said Clabby. "Now this gives more options."

The products will be available in December.

Next Steps

IBM's Elastic Storage expands into the cloud

Watson's potential use in the workplace

Dig Deeper on NAS devices

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