IBM Systems
Data Sheet
IBM System Storage
IBM SAN Volume
Controller
Improving storage infrastructure flexibility and data
economics with IBM Spectrum Virtualize software
Highlights
●● ● ●
Enhance storage functions, economics
and flexibility with sophisticated
virtualization
Leverage hardware-accelerated data
compression for efficiency and
performance
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Use encryption to help improve security
for data on existing storage systems
Move data among virtualized storage
systems without disruptions
Optimize tiered storage—including
flash storage—automatically with
IBM® Easy Tier®
Data is the new currency of business, the most critical asset of the
modern organization. In fact, enterprises that can gain business insights
from their data are twice as likely to outperform their competitors; yet
72 percent of them have not started or are only planning big-data
activities.1 In addition, organizations often spend too much money and
time managing where their data is stored. The average firm purchases
24 percent more storage every year,2 but uses less than half of the capacity
it already has.3
The simple fact is that infrastructure matters. The right infrastructure
allows organizations to shift spending and invest in projects that improve
business results. The infrastructure must ensure the most value from data
at the least cost with the least effort and the greatest flexibility.
Organizations need:
●● ●
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Improve network utilization for remote
mirroring and help reduce costs
Implement multi-site configurations for
high availability and data mobility
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Increased performance to enable faster analytics and speed time to insights
Data reduction that helps lower energy costs and frees up capital expense
budgets
Reduced complexity to drive down operational expenses and allow
workers to focus on strategic priorities
High resiliency to help meet service level agreements with confidence
and secure data against threats
In the era of cloud, big data and analytics, mobile and social computing,
organizations need to meet ever-changing demands for storage while
also improving data economics. IT must deliver more services faster and
more efficiently, enable real-time insight and support more customer
interaction. The right infrastructure allows clients to share information,
secure transactions and drive real-time insights.
IBM Systems
Data Sheet
IBM System Storage
Built with IBM Spectrum Virtualize™ software—part of
the IBM Spectrum Storage™ family—IBM SAN Volume
Controller (SVC) helps organizations achieve better data
economics by supporting these new workloads that are critical
to their success. SVC systems can handle the massive volumes
of data from mobile and social applications, enable rapid
and f lexible cloud services deployments, and deliver the
performance and scalability needed to gain insights from the
latest analytics technologies.
Building an effective infrastructure starts with software-defined
storage, which frees data from the physical storage and provides
better access to applications. IBM Spectrum Storage software
helps make an infrastructure simple, cost-effective, easy to
manage, and more responsive to changing business needs.
Data virtualization
There are many ways to benefit from IBM Spectrum Storage.
One approach starts with data virtualization provided by
IBM Spectrum Virtualize, which provides a software layer
that helps simplify storage management. Among other benefits,
data virtualization simplifies deployment of new applications
and new storage tiers, eases movement of data among tiers,
and enables consistent, easy-to-use optimization technologies
across multiple storage tiers.
SVC includes IBM Spectrum Virtualize data virtualization
technology to help insulate applications from physical storage.
This enables applications to run without disruption, even when
changes are made to the storage infrastructure.
Virtualizing storage with SVC helps make new and existing
storage more effective. SVC includes many functions traditionally deployed separately in disk systems. By including these in
a virtualization system, SVC standardizes functions across
virtualized storage for greater flexibility and lower costs.
An industry-leading storage virtualization system, SVC has
been delivering availability, reliability, flexibility and efficiency
for more than 10 years. Its innovative data virtualization
capabilities built with IBM Spectrum Virtualize also provide
the foundation for the IBM Storwize® family and
IBM FlashSystem™ V9000.
IBM Spectrum Virtualize functions in SVC benefit all
virtualized storage. For example, Easy Tier and Real-time
Compression help improve performance and increase effective
capacity; encryption helps improve data security, while highperformance thin provisioning helps automate provisioning.
These benefits can help extend the useful life of existing storage
assets, reducing costs. And since these functions are integrated
into SVC, they can operate smoothly together, reducing
management effort.
IBM Spectrum Virtualize software in SVC provides the
latest storage technologies for unlocking the business value
of stored data, including virtualization and IBM Real-time
Compression™. SVC is designed to deliver unprecedented
levels of efficiency, ease of use and dependability for organizations of all sizes.
2
IBM Systems
Data Sheet
IBM System Storage
Real-time Compression
This function might be used when replacing older storage with
newer storage, as part of load-balancing work or when moving
data in a tiered storage infrastructure from disk drives to f lash.
IBM Real-time Compression is designed to enable storing up
to five times as much data in the same physical disk space by
compressing data as much as 80 percent.4 Unlike other
approaches to compression, Real-time Compression is designed
to be used with active primary data such as production databases and email systems, which dramatically expands the range
of candidate data that can benefit from compression. Real-time
Compression operates immediately as data is written to disk,
meaning that no space is wasted storing uncompressed data
awaiting post-processing.
Innovative flash storage support
SVC supports up to 48 flash drives per pair of SVC Data
Engines for up to 76.8 TB of raw flash storage capacity per
input/output (I/O) group or 307.2 TB of raw flash capacity
per system. SVC also supports virtualized IBM FlashSystem
devices, other dedicated flash storage, and flash drives within
storage systems. In addition, the Distributed RAID technology
in SVC helps improve performance with flash drives by using
all drives for data and spare capacity rather than reserving some
drives as spares.
What’s more, Real-time Compression with hardware acceleration transforms the economics of data storage. When applied to
new or existing virtualized storage, it can significantly increase
the usable capacity while maintaining application performance.
This can help eliminate or drastically reduce costs for storage
acquisition, rack space, power, and cooling, and can extend the
useful life of existing storage assets.
Tiered storage
Deploying tiered storage is an important strategy for controlling storage costs. Using this strategy, organizations consider
the performance and cost-effectiveness of different types of
storage to right-size the storage to meet business needs. Until
now, however, management and functional differences among
different types of storage—even from the same vendor—have
made implementing tiered storage operationally complex,
limiting deployments.
Extraordinary efficiency
IBM Spectrum Virtualize software in SVC combines a
variety of IBM technologies including high-performance thin
provisioning, automated tiering, data virtualization, Real-time
Compression, clustering, replication, multi-protocol support
and a next-generation graphical user interface (GUI). It also
includes leading third-party technologies, such as Bridgeworks
SANrockIT network optimization. Together, these technologies
are designed to deliver extraordinary levels of storage efficiency.
Automated storage tiering with Easy Tier can help improve
performance at a lower cost by enabling more efficient use of
flash storage or multiple tiers of disk drives. Easy Tier automatically identifies more active data and moves that data to faster
storage such as flash. This helps organizations use flash storage
for the data that will benefit the most—helping deliver the maximum benefit, even from small amounts of flash storage capacity. In fact, Easy Tier can deliver up to three times performance
improvement with only five percent flash storage capacity.5
Improved application availability
Moving data is one of the most common causes of planned
downtime. IBM Spectrum Virtualize data virtualization with
SVC enables moving data from one storage system to another
or between arrays, while maintaining access to the data.
3
IBM Systems
Data Sheet
IBM System Storage
SVC also supports remote mirroring to enable organizations
to create copies of data at remote locations for disaster recovery.
Replication can occur between any systems built with
IBM Spectrum Virtualize and can include any supported virtualized storage. Remote mirroring works with Fibre Channel,
Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), and IP (Ethernet) networking between sites, and supports VMware vCenter Site
Recovery Manager to help speed disaster recovery.
Easy Tier can use any supported flash storage to benefit any
virtualized storage. This approach delivers greater benefits from
f lash storage than tiering systems that are limited to just a single disk system. Because Easy Tier is so tightly integrated, functions such as data movement, replication, encryption, Real-time
Compression and management may all be used with flash in the
same way as for other storage.
IBM Spectrum Virtualize software in SVC integrates virtualization, management and storage functions into a single system
designed to make it much easier to implement tiered storage.
The solution helps deliver consistent management and control
across all tiers of storage, and helps move critical data between
tiers—including flash storage—without disrupting applications.
With IP networking, IBM Spectrum Virtualize in SVC uses
innovative Bridgeworks SANrockIT technology to optimize use
of network bandwidth. As a result, the networking infrastructure may require lower speeds (and thus, lower costs), or users
may be able to improve the accuracy of remote data through
shorter replication cycles.
Flexible replication
Enhanced data mobility for high
availability
With many conventional disk systems, replication operations
are limited to in-box or like-box-to-like-box circumstances.
Functions from different vendors can operate in different ways,
which makes operations in mixed environments more complex
and increases the cost of changing storage types. But
IBM Spectrum Virtualize software in SVC is designed to
enable administrators to apply a single set of advanced networkbased replication services that operate in a consistent manner,
regardless of the type of storage being used.
Clients are increasingly deploying virtualized servers using
IBM PowerVM®, VMware and other technologies in
high-availability configurations, including multi-site clustered
implementations. Such configurations provide attractive options
for high availability and load balancing.
The IBM HyperSwap® function enables a single SVC system
that supports storage and servers in two data centers. In this
configuration, the solution enables servers at both data centers
to access data concurrently. When combined with server data
mobility functions such as VMware vMotion or PowerVM Live
Partition Mobility, this configuration enables nondisruptive
storage and virtual machine mobility between the two data
centers, which can be up to 300 km (186 miles) apart.
The IBM FlashCopy® function is designed to create an
almost-instant copy (or “snapshot”) of active data that can be
used for backup purposes or for parallel processing activities.
Up to 256 copies of data may be created.
IBM Spectrum Protect™ Snapshot—part of IBM Spectrum
Control™ and IBM Spectrum Protect—is designed to perform
near-instant application-aware snapshot backups using SVC
FlashCopy local replication, but with minimal impact to
IBM DB2®, Oracle, SAP, VMware, Microsoft SQL Server
or Microsoft Exchange.
4
IBM Systems
Data Sheet
IBM System Storage
Simplified management
Support for VMware vStorage APIs (VAAI and VASA) enables
SVC to take on some storage-related tasks that were previously
performed by VMware, which helps improve efficiency and
frees up server resources for other, more mission-critical tasks.
IBM Spectrum Virtualize software also provides advanced
storage functions that make SVC ready for VMware vSphere
Virtual Volumes (VVOL) and supports the latest capabilities
in key operating environments including Microsoft ODX and
VMware vSphere v6.
IBM Spectrum Virtualize software provides an easy-to-use
graphical interface for centralized management. With this
single interface, administrators can perform configuration, management and service tasks in a consistent manner over multiple
storage systems—even from different vendors—vastly simplifying management and helping reduce the risk of errors. IT staff
can also use built-in monitoring capabilities to securely check
the health and performance of the system remotely from a
mobile device.
Many organizations run mixed environments with a variety of
virtualized and non-virtualized servers, and expect to do so for
years to come. SVC provides an external storage virtualization
function that operates in a consistent manner and provides consistent services for all attached servers, regardless of whether or
not those servers are virtualized.
In addition, plug-ins to support Microsoft System Center
Operations Manager and VMware vCenter help enable more
efficient, consolidated management in these environments.
Smooth server virtualization
IBM Spectrum Virtualize in SVC complements server virtualization with technologies such as PowerVM, Microsoft
Hyper-V and VMware vSphere.
Scalability and performance
SVC combines hardware and software into an integrated, modular solution that is highly scalable. The new SVC Data Engine
can have up to two 8-core Intel Xeon E5-2650v2 processors
running at 2.6 GHz with 32 GB or 64 GB of cache. One or two
compression accelerators based on Intel QuickAssist technology
are available. Flexible host interface options support up to sixteen 8 Gbps or 16 Gbps Fibre Channel ports, and four 10 Gbps
iSCSI/FCoE ports.
Server virtualization helps speed provisioning of new server
images because provisioning becomes a software operation
rather than one requiring hardware changes. Similarly, provisioning with SVC is achieved with software and with thin
provisioning, and is designed to become an almost entirely
automated function. Without SVC, server provisioning could
be slowed by the need to provision storage.
SVC Data Engines are always deployed in high-availability
pairs and up to four pairs may be clustered into a single system
with up to 128 cores, 512 GB of cache and 128 Fibre Channel
ports, which can support up to 32 PB of virtualized storage
capacity.
Functions such as VMware vMotion support application
mobility between physical servers. Similarly, SVC is designed to
support nondisruptive data migration between storage systems.
In addition, it helps make storage potentially available to all
attached servers, greatly increasingly the flexibility for using
vMotion. Without SVC, use of vMotion could be limited by
storage being dedicated to specific servers.
5
Virtualized foundation for cloud
deployments
Improving efficiency and delivering a flexible, responsive
IT infrastructure are essential requirements for any cloud
deployment. Technologies for delivering this infrastructure
include virtualization, consolidation and automation.
With its storage virtualization capabilities, high-availability
architecture, and tight affinity with PowerVM, Hyper-V,
VMware and OpenStack, SVC complements virtualized servers
that are at the heart of cloud deployments.
Why IBM?
IBM offers services to help speed implementation and improve
return on investment. IBM storage specialists are available to
conduct storage solution and infrastructure reviews that can
help prepare and speed installation. And IBM Global Services
can examine your infrastructure to help determine sizing and
performance needs. In addition, you can choose from a range
of service and subscription offerings designed to keep your
infrastructure up-to-date and running smoothly.
For more information
To learn more about IBM SAN Volume Controller, please
contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or
visit the following website: ibm.com/storage/svc
For the complete and latest support information, visit:
ibm.com/storage/support/2145
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