Next Generation IBM XIV Storage System Improves Efficiency for Demanding Application Workloads

IBM has shipped more than 4,500 XIV systems to clients around the world and over 1,100 new IBM storage customers have selected XIV

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IBM today announced a new version of its successful XIV® Storage System that can help clients make use of their valuable data faster and easier while reducing storage costs. IBM XIV Storage System Gen3 can provide improved performance for clients' most demanding application workloads, such as virtualization, analytics and cloud computing.

XIV is a versatile, high-end disk storage solution with an innovative grid architecture that can provide clients excellent performance and scalability while significantly reducing costs and complexity. XIV includes automated data placement that needs no tuning as application workloads change. Inherent virtualization and advanced thin provisioning can increase system utilization without impacting performance.

XIV Gen3 can deliver up to 69 percent lower total cost of ownership than the comparable offering from EMC, according to International Technology Group (1).

IBM has found that the XIV Storage System Gen3 is up to four times faster than previous models and features improved management software that makes it even easier to use, allowing XIV to support even more workloads for a broader set of enterprises (2).

XIV Gen3 can optimize the storage performance of a diverse range of applications including database, email, online transaction processing and ERP applications. With its fully virtualized grid architecture, XIV is an ideal storage solution for virtualized server environments. In fact, VMware -- a common server virtualization and cloud computing platform -- is well supported by XIV with more than 70% of XIV systems host VMware workloads (3). In addition, XIV Gen3 is adept at handling growing volumes of information known as "Big Data."

XIV Lowers Costs and Complexity for Clients

IBM acquired the XIV storage system in 2008. Since then, IBM has shipped more than 4,500 XIV systems to clients around the world and over 1,100 new IBM storage customers have selected XIV.

IBM clients consistently report that XIV storage has transformed their data storage and information management operations by dramatically streamlining the way they store and manage valuable data -- saving considerable time and money in the process.

Parkview Health is northeast Indiana's largest healthcare provider, serving the area's population of more than 800,000 people. Parkview Health turned to IBM to help construct a completely new datacenter that could handle the demands created by its sophisticated diagnostic and systems technology while correcting performance problems.

"Our new XIV solution boosted storage performance and eliminated past performance problems," said Rick Miller, data center manager, Parkview Health. "With IBM, the organization dramatically improved response times on Microsoft Exchange applications from an average of 23 milliseconds down to 4 milliseconds, greatly enhancing employee productivity."

Investment in XIV

IBM XIV Gen3 provides faster performance than its predecessor and is easier to use through such improvements as:

- New, state of the art components including InfiniBand interconnect and 8Gbps Fibre Channel ports as well as more memory;

- Enhanced, centralized administration of multiple XIV systems;

- XIV Plugin v2.5 for VMware vCenter (TM) Server, a no cost download that can help provision and provide information about XIV as well as the IBM Storwize V7000 and IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC); and

- An optional feature that IBM plans to make available early next year that is designed to allow clients to non-disruptively add a solid-state drive (SSD) caching layer to XIV Gen3, which can provide as much as 7.5TB of additional memory for the most performance intensive workloads.

"Driven by strong client and Business Partner acceptance, XIV has become a significant and foundational part of IBM's storage portfolio," said Brian Truskowski, General Manager, IBM System Storage and Networking. "We have seen strong growth and broad adoption of the solution across all geographies and industries. Over one thousand new customers have moved to IBM storage and adopted XIV at the expense of the competition."

IBM XIV has been well integrated into the IBM product portfolio. For example, XIV supports:

- IBM products including IBM SVC, IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center and FlashCopy Manager, ProtecTIER deduplication technology and IBM Scale-out Network Attached Storage (SONAS);

- The IBM SmartCloud; and

- IBM Global Technology Services Strategic Outsourcing, which has successfully deployed over 27 petabytes of usable XIV capacity to clients and plans to offer XIV Gen3 when it becomes available in September.

IBM Business Partners have been key to the success of XIV, driving over 70 percent of XIV sales. IBM is currently investing in helping Business Partners drive storage sales overall, working to increase Business Partner skills -- including the introduction of a new IBM Storage Specialty -- simplifying such programs as certifications and product loans and ensuring that IBM storage sellers are consistently engaging with IBM Business Partners. As a result, IBM Business Partners have seen double digit increases in margins with storage sales.
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