October 27, 2020
IBM storage for containers and hybrid cloud just got a boost with new capabilities and enhancements. A new portfolio of storage software targets Red Hat OpenShift (RHOS) and other environments. This continues a container storage journey that IBM began in 2017.
The new container-native offers address block, file, object, modern data protection and data discovery. Partners need to ride the wave of containers to optimize revenue margin and be more valuable to their customers.
IBM’s Eric Herzog
“All these things in the container world offer huge service opportunities in addition to selling software and systems,” said Eric Herzog, CMO, vice president worldwide storage channels at IBM. “Partners need to be all over this. It’s white-hot and a great way for partners to bolster revenue and margin.”
Challenges Expose Opportunity
Tuesday’s storage news addresses a handful of challenges posed by containers. They include cost, performance, storage across a hybrid cloud environment, availability, the ability to backup and protect, speed to provision, and the ability to scale up and down.
Of course, the new capabilities and enhancements that IBM will roll out address these challenges.
Here are highlights of IBM’s storage advancements.
IBM’s Spectrum Protect Plus product, available this quarter, will protect Red Hat OpenShift. The product no longer requires a virtual engine and a container. A Spectrum Protect Plus server can be deployed as a container using a certified Red Hat OpenShift operator.
For partners, this saves time and simplifies support, the company said.
The enhanced offering provides the ability to protect metadata, which allows you to recover applications, namespaces and clusters to a different location. It also expands container-native and container-ready storage support. IBM also announced the availability of a beta of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus on Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
Herzog notes that IBM Spectrum Virtualize CSI snapshot supports IBM FlashSystem and more than 500 storage systems.
“What that means is if I have an old EMC VNX2 and a customer wants to work with containers, we can take the VNX2 and give it snapshots as long as they’re using our Spectrum Virtualize software,” he said. “This means better ways for the partner to deploy, save money and offer value.”
DR, Data Protection and More
IBM Spectrum Protect Plus will soon help with disaster recovery and data protection for businesses putting containers in production. IBM adds complete recovery, meaning disaster recovery and data protection. It will offer protection for metadata and offer data mobility and recovery.
IBM Spectrum Scale introduces container-native storage access for Red Hat OpenShift. This product features high-performance data access with enterprise data services for the RHOS platform. The Scale product, which creates large data lakes, allows container access and eliminates silos of data. This is especially useful for AI and big data running in production environments.
IBM’s existing container-native Spectrum Discover product gains new sources. They are Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and IBM Cloud Digest Storage File Access.
“Assuming that many big shops are heterogeneous, which they are, we support IBM, Dell EMC Isilon and PowerScale, NetApp FAS and AWS S3,” said Herzog.
IBM is adding support for end-to-end NVMe with VMware 7. This support gives VMs faster read and write access to external stored data to increase performance. Additionally, Flashsystem 7200 and 9200 gain 3x storage class memory capacity. And IBM will provide support for “redirect-on-write” snapshots.
The IBM Storage Suite for Cloud Paks is designed to expand support for container-native data access on OpenShift and CoreOS. Today, IBM packages Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage, Red Hat CEPH and IBM Spectrum Storage software under a common license. In the fourth-quarter release, IBM Spectrum Scale adds a fully containerized client and runtime operators to provide access to a leading file system for HPC, AI, and scalable data lakes on any OpenShift cluster. Additionally, IBM Cloud Object Storage adds support for the open source s3fs file to object storage interface bundled with Red Hat OpenShift.
The Next Big Thing
The company also announced future plans for adding integrated storage management in a fully container-native software defined solution. No target data is available.
As the latest hot and relevant technology, analysts at Enterprise Strategy Group expect the application container market to reach $7 billion by 2024. Nearly three in four (74%) of organizations have containers in production now or will within the next 12 months.
Herzog warns partners not to fall behind.
“Just the way people started doing clouds — some partners got left behind because they tried to fight it. In this case, containers are here and it’s a growing market.”
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