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IBM splits SoftLayer cloud storage into endurance, performance tiers

SoftLayer upgrades its IBM Cloud storage with services for granular performance management that calibrate IOPS to application needs.

IBM today added file and block services to its SoftLayer cloud, giving customers more control over calibrating...

storage volumes and IOPS for applications.

The new Block and File Storage service lets customers choose between endurance and performance storage, with the price based on the IOPS and GBs consumed. It provides block-level storage volumes and file-based shares.

"We are expanding our portfolio and adding new services with file and block," said Michael Fork, a storage product manager at SoftLayer. "These are completely integrated and they ensure a consistent performance baseline."

Fork said endurance storage is for use cases such as backup, archiving and read-heavy applications while performance storage is designed for I/O-intensive databases that require a consistent rate of disk read and writes above 4 IOPS per GB.

Both types are available in block and file, and customers can select volume sizes from 20 GB to 12 TB and provision them from the SoftLayer cloud center.

Endurance storage tiers are priced at 15 cents for .25 IOPS per GB, 35 cents for 2 IOPS per GB and 58 cents for 4 IOPS per GB of storage. Recovery time objectives can be met by replicating point-in-time snapshots to the SoftLayer cloud center.

"The size of the volume determines the performance," Fork said of endurance storage. "If you want to get a 100 GB volume on endurance storage, you can choose either two IOPs or four IOPS. The two IOPS choice handles general-purpose workloads such as virtual machines or Web applications. With four IOPS, you are getting into transactional databases and analytics."

Performance storage allows customers to select the volume size and the number of IOPS required for certain applications or use cases. The performance storage option gives IT more control over volume size and IOPS for applications that have set performance needs not covered with endurance storage tiers.

Performance storage options range from 100 IOPS to 6,000 IOPS. The starting price is 10 cents per GB and 12 cents per GB.

Philbert Shih, managing director at Structure Research, said SoftLayer's focus on tailored capacity and performance needs coincides with the trend in the cloud market of customizing technology based on different application requirements.

"People are matching their requirements with specific infrastructure and application workloads," Shih said. "Everybody has some kind of capability for this, but they are in various stages of maturity in the market right now."

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