How sweet is the suite? IBM Spectrum Suite, that is…

01 June, 2017
Deon George

Over the years, I’ve seen many customers identify a requirement (often on the back of a business problem or a new technology) and then invest in a new product to address the problem. Often the rationale for the investment is based on an ROI study that shows either business efficiencies or cost savings (or hopefully both), and that investment drives IT infrastructure. There is nothing unusual about this process.

Fast-forward a year or two or three later, and that initial investment becomes obsolete because a change in direction is needed for the infrastructure in order to address a new business requirement (or to take advantage of new technology or market trend). When you look at it, client IT infrastructures are continually evolving.

What’s challenging about the new infrastructure requirements is that your business service is probably defined by the existing technology (you know it, you have confidence in it, your team has skills on it). That creates an issue you might not have expected – you may also be controlled by it. Breaking out of this control leads to more risks, but staying within the exist infrastructure (and the vendor technology that it is based on) probably adds more costs and controls or governs you even further.

Take a look at this video by Art Fisk and you’ll see what I mean:

Looking at storage infrastructures specifically, investments are often following trends in the market. We went from “in server” storage to “network block” storage to “network file” storage; and now the two hot components of the moment are object storage and interestingly, “in server” storage once again (now known as storage-rich servers). We went from a file architecture to a block architecture, back to a file architecture and now to a cloud architecture with object. Investments were made along the way, but did those investments compliment or support the changing new requirements?

So as client IT requirements are evolving, how sweet would it be if the latest technology could be adopted, investments were made to address the new market demands, and the architecture supported it? All of that is possible, and that is what IBM Spectrum Suite is all about.

More importantly, as the architectures are changing, how sweet would it be if the cost of evolving that architecture was limited to the cost of its incremental increase in size year over year? And even sweeter – since data is growing a phenomenal rate – if the architecture reduced the data down to its true incremental difference by using modern data-reduction techniques so that costs associated with the evolving architecture were more in line with the true available budget year over year?

IBM has delivered the software and a single license model to make that possible, and we call it IBM Spectrum Suite. IBM Spectrum Suite is a simple licensing model to obtain IBM’s software-defined storage offerings. Under the Suite there are actually seven products which can provide services to cover block requirements, file requirements and object requirements, and also address storage infrastructure management, data protection and data reduction. It even monitors how an application uses the storage to make sure it is placed on the appropriate device, compared to the requirements of all of your applications.

What’s more, it makes no difference which storage devices you have. You have probably already made some significant investments in storage devices, so you can keep using them. You are probably looking at investing in other storage devices, so you can leverage them too – and the Suite can help in getting you the best value out of the investments you have made or about to make.

Imagine that the applications of the moment depend on block, and the applications of tomorrow are more file (or even object)-focused. How sweet would it be if those investments in block services could transition into providing file and/or object services – enabling you to scale down the old, implement the new and, if an investment in software is required, do it all only for the net additional capacity that you need.

IBM Spectrum Suite can provide all that. It even provides an exit strategy if you need it. If you need help with your exit strategy, or you would like more information on how IBM Spectrum Suite can provide you with a software-defined storage architecture that supports your current and future business requirements, then contact me and I’ll show you how. Visit our IBM Spectrum Suite site for more information.

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