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Making the Most of Multicloud Storage

By Jacklyn Allgayer posted Mon August 13, 2018 11:00 PM

According to multiple surveys, the vast majority of enterprises have a multicloud strategy. However, for all its potential benefits, a multicloud strategy can result in a complex and diverse environment that spans multiple on-premises locations, as well as multiple public clouds, potentially spread around the world. A key factor in maximizing the advantages of a multicloud system is choosing the best solution for managing the storage.

Among the many motivations for an organization to build out a multicloud infrastructure are:

• Multiple clouds can provide redundancy to avoid loss of time or data in the event of a systems failure.
• Different clouds offer different features or pricing models that are better suited to the variety of workloads that the business needs to support.
• It may be necessary to use different cloud providers to comply with differing laws and regulations in multiple countries where the organization conducts business.
• Compute and storage resources can be placed around the globe close to end users in order to minimize latency and optimize performance.
• Cloud storage can be brought online and then turned off again to handle shorter-term data storage requirements that are seasonal or related to a particular event.

Storage management considerations

It is important to evaluate very carefully the options for managing data in such an environment. There are multiple solutions from IBM to facilitate multicloud data management depending upon the business need.

For those who need to connect and use the data across multiple clouds for applications like Big Data Analytics or AI, IBM Spectrum Scale is ideal. It a software defined storage solution with features to support multicloud availability, visibility and compute, or to drive down the cost of storage for these workloads. IBM Spectrum Scale features include:
• Global name space
• Transparent Cloud Tiering
• Cloud Data Sharing
• Advanced File Management

IBM Spectrum Scale presents a single, unified global name space for a file system that spans all of an organization’s storage locations, eliminating data access complexity for users and applications. This creates a single “data ocean” that can optimize the ability of an organization to take full advantage of the value of its data assets, for example by means of data analytics or deep learning applications.

To make most efficient use of a range of storage options, including SSDs, hard drives, tape and cloud, Transparent Cloud Tiering automatically manages the migration of data across different storage layers. It moves data between hotter and colder tiers and places it on appropriate storage media on or off premises. This is managed by policies that can be defined in a very granular fashion, determining actions based on a variety of factors such as the size of the file and recency of access.

Cloud Data Sharing provides the transfer of data to and from cloud storage, using the full lifecycle management capabilities of the IBM Spectrum Scale information lifecycle management policy engine to control the movement of data. This allows data to be transferred or replicated to or from storage in the cloud.

Active File Management ties together multiple clusters to allow users to collaborate across the globe. It caches local copies of data distributed to one or more IBM Spectrum Scale clusters and provides low-latency local read and write performance: as data is written or modified at one location, all other locations see that same data. It also provides for disaster recovery with failover and seamless file-system restoration.

A proven track record, continuing innovation

Spectrum Scale has a proven track record of more than twenty years in some of the world’s most demanding environments and continues to improve, adapting to the needs of next generation workloads including big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning.

IBM Spectrum Scale is expanding its cloud presence with availability on Amazon AWS cloud service utilizing a “bring your own license” model. The latest version of IBM Spectrum Scale, version 5.0.2, includes watch folder functionality, NVMeF optimizations, and federation support with HDFS. Continuing its industry-leading support for big data analytics and other modern data applications, IBM Spectrum Scale has extended its partnership with Hortonworks with certification for Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) version 3.0.

Across the entire portfolio, IBM is focused on providing industry-leading storage innovation to enable more efficient and agile multicloud solutions for our worldwide customer and partner base. Learn more about how your IT team can leverage the new multicloud capabilities to reduce costs, improve agility, and accelerate the success of your enterprise at our announcement webinar or at VMworld, booth 1312.
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