Fast SSD Caching And App Monitor Added To IBM XIV Storage System Gen3

IBM has announced several enhancements to its XIV Storage System Gen3 including a solid state drive (SSD) caching option that can increase system performance by up to three times, and an Apple iPhone app that lets users monitor their XIV storage environment from virtually anywhere.

The IBM XIV SSD Caching option provides up to 6TB of fast-read SSD and is the latest in a series of advances that IBM has developed for the enterprise storage system over the last six months.

Faster access

In July, 2011, IBM introduced the XIV Storage System Gen3, a new generation of the storage family that dramatically lowered the total cost of ownership and improved system performance by four times over the previous model.

With XIV Gen3, IBM also replaced the system’s Ethernet-based backplane with a high-performance InfiniBand backplane that increased the system’s internal bandwidth between modules by 40 times. Then, in October, 2011, IBM added 3TB disk drives to the system increasing system capacity by 50 percent.

IBM officials explained that with SSD caching, the most frequently used data is stored on solid state memory placed between the system memory and hard drives, IBM said. Because SSDs use no spinning disks and robotic arms, the storing and retrieving of data is accomplished with virtually no latency, speeding data access by orders of magnitude. In addition to the superior performance, SSD cache requires no separate tier to manage.

“These latest updates to XIV Gen3 are a great example of IBM’s continued commitment to helping customers achieve business outcomes through smarter storage technologies,” said Doug Balog, vice president and business line executive for IBM Storage Systems, in a statement. “It comes down to saving customers time and money with extremely efficient, easily managed, virtualised, and high-performing storage systems like XIV Gen3.”

In addition to IBM XIV SSD Caching, IBM announced the ability to mirror data between previous versions of XIV and XIV Gen3 systems, which will ease data migration and help give customers the flexibility to repurpose their XIV models as disaster recovery backup systems, the company said.

Meanwhile, building on XIV Gen3’s remote monitoring capabilities, IBM also announced the XIV Mobile Dashboard for the Apple iPhone, which enables users to monitor XIV systems from virtually anywhere. The app will be available for download at no cost later this month from the Apple Online Store. In October 2011, IBM released the XIV Mobile Dashboard for the Apple iPad.

IBM also announced an update to its Linear Tape File System (LTFS) Library Edition. LTFS Library Edition Version 1.2.5 supports Mac OS X and lets users of the operating system create, manage, and optimise video workflows using LTO-5 based tape libraries.

In addition to increasing the performance of its storage systems, IBM is making them more affordable, IBM said. Credit qualified clients can acquire IBM’s new storage systems through monthly payments with financing from IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing arm of IBM. Low-rate leasing  programmes allow clients to preserve up-front cost and plan for mid-lease upgrades as requirements change.

Darryl K. Taft

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

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