Managing the information explosion without complexity
Are your storage requirements growing too fast? Are the costs of managing this growth taking more and more of your IT budget? Would you like to make a better use of existing storage without adding more complexity to the infrastructure? IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) can help solve these problems and get you on the road towards a more flexible, responsive and efficient storage environment. SVC is designed to deliver the benefits of storage virtualisation in environments from large enterprises (LEs) to small businesses and midmarket companies.
Easy to implement
IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) software is delivered preinstalled on SVC Storage Engines so it is quickly ready for implementation once the engines are attached to your storage area network (SAN). SVC Storage Engines are based on proven IBM System x server technology and are always deployed in redundant pairs, which are designed to deliver very HA.
SVC is designed to take control of existing storage, retaining all your existing information. This ability helps speed and simplify implementation while helping to minimise the need for additional storage. Once SVC is implemented, you can make changes to the configuration quickly and easily as needed.
SVC uses a completely new graphical user interface (GUI) modelled on the IBM XIV Storage System, which has been very well received by customers. The user interface is designed to be very easy to use and includes many built-in IBM recommendations to help simplify storage provisioning and enable new users to get started quickly.
Plug-ins to support Microsoft® System Centre Operations Manager (SCOM) and VMware vCentre help enable more efficient consolidated management in these environments.
iSCSI server attachment
SVC supports attachment to servers using iSCSI protocols over IP networks at 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps speeds, which can help reduce costs and simplify server configuration. iSCSI attachment avoids the cost of Fibre Channel (FC) host bus adapters (HBAs) in servers and reduces the need for FC switch ports. This new capability may be particularly attractive for IBM BladeCenter server configurations.
Complement server virtualisation
Server virtualisation helps speed provisioning of new server images because provisioning becomes a software operation rather than requiring hardware changes. Similarly, provisioning with SVC is achieved with software and thin provisioning and is designed to become an almost entirely automated function. Without SVC, server provisioning could be slowed by the need to provision storage.
Support for VMware vStorage application program interfaces (APIs) enables SVC to take on some storage-related tasks that were previously performed by VMware, which helps improve efficiency and frees up server resources for other more mission-critical tasks (VAAI).
Functions such as vMotion support application mobility between physical servers. Similarly, SVC is designed to support non-disruptive data migration between storage systems. In addition, SVC helps make storage potentially available to all attached servers, greatly increasingly the flexibility for using vMotion. Without SVC, use of vMotion could be limited by storage being dedicated to specific servers.
Because SVC appears to servers as a single type of storage, virtual server provisioning is also simplified because only a single driver type is needed in server images, which also simplifies administration of those server images. Similarly, SVC eases replacing storage or moving data from one storage type to another because these changes do not require changes to server images. Without SVC, changes of storage type could require disruptive changes to server images.
Server virtualisation helps increase flexibility and reduce costs for disaster recovery (DR) by enabling the use of different physical configurations at production and recovery sites. Common virtual server configurations are used on these different physical infrastructures. Similarly, SVC supports the use of different physical storage configurations at production and recovery sites yet helps create the same virtual configuration at each site. Without SVC, production and recovery site physical storage configurations would need to be similar, potentially increasing costs.
The IBM FlashCopy snapshot replication function can be used to help reduce storage requirements when cloning boot drives for multiple virtual servers. When using this function, additional storage is used only for differences among servers instead of needing storage for each boot drive.
Many customers run mixed environments with a variety of virtualised and non-virtualised servers and expect to do so for years to come. SVC provides an external storage virtualisation function that operates in a consistent manner and provides consistent services for all attached servers, regardless of whether or not those servers are virtualised. In contrast, server-based storage virtualisation techniques differ from server to server which makes mixed environments more complex, rather than less.
Reduce storage used for copies
The SVC FlashCopy snapshot replication function is designed to dramatically reduce storage requirements when copying data by using additional physical storage only for the differences between source and target and not for the entire target volume capacity.
This capability can be used to help reduce storage requirements for test environments that are copied from production data. For example, SAP users often maintain multiple copies of production data for testing. Using the FlashCopy snapshot replication function to maintain these test environments can help significantly reduce the amount of physical storage required.
Enhanced data mobility for HA
Clients are increasingly deploying virtualised servers using PowerVM, VMware and other technologies in HA configurations, including multisite clustered implementations. Such configurations provide attractive options for HA and load balancing.
To enhance this capability, an SVC cluster can also be installed in a stretched configuration where a single SVC cluster supports storage and servers in two data centres. In this configuration, SVC enables a highly-available stretched volume to be concurrently accessed by servers at both data centres. When combined with server data mobility functions such as VMware vMotion an SVC stretched cluster enables non-disruptive storage and virtual machine (VM) mobility between the two data centres. Depending on application performance requirements, SVC stretched clusters may be deployed between data centres up to 300km apart.
SVC stretched clusters may be combined with SVC Metro Mirror or Global Mirror to support a third data centre for applications that require both HA and DR in a single solution.
Improve energy efficiency
Many data centres today are focusing on reducing their energy usage to reduce costs and out of concern for the environment. SVC can be a key tool to help you improve the energy efficiency of your data centre. It does so in several significant ways:
- SVC is designed to migrate data from older to newer disk systems without disruption to applications, which helps make it easier and quicker for you to implement more energy efficient storage.
- SVC is designed to simplify implementation of a tiered storage infrastructure and improve performance of lower tier storage, which helps optimise the mix of storage you deploy and may enable greater use of lower tier storage.
- SVC can help increase the utilisation of storage and reduce requirements for additional storage in the future, which can help reduce the total amount of storage required and so helps reduce energy use. The thin provisioning and 'snapshot' functions are designed to extend this benefit even further.
- The IBM Easy Tier function automatically moves more active data to SSDs, which helps enable use of fewer, more energy efficient disk drives to reduce energy consumption.
Technology designed for a dynamic infrastructure
IBM offers a rich, diverse and integrated array of virtualisation solutions, spanning from x86 systems to IBM System z mainframes to storage virtualisation with SVC and beyond. Furthermore, IBM can work effectively with you to develop key business strategies and processes to capitalise on those solutions' benefits – all while guided by established best practices.
With IBM's help, businesses today can leverage the many engaging opportunities virtualisation technologies present in enhancing every aspect of how IT works in the overall organisation.
|SPOC for storage resources|
|Pools the storage capacity of multiple storage systems on a SAN|
|Clustered pairs of ‘storage engines’ based on IBM System x technology|
|Innovative and tightly integrated support for SSDs|
|Scalable to support 1024 host servers|
|Easy-to-use graphical management interface|
|Dynamic data migration|
|Manage tiered storage|
|Advanced network-based copy services|
|Enhanced stretched cluster configurations|
|Thin provisioning and ‘snapshot’ replication|
|iSCSI support for server attachment|
|IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager application-aware snapshots|
|Shared SMP processor configuration|
|Processor memory for cache|
|Host adapter interfaces|
|Number of internal drives|
|Maximum storage capacity|
|Internal SSD size|
|Redundant array of independent disk (RAID) levels for internal SSD|
|Dimensions (height x width x depth)|
|Wet bulb temperature||Operating 23° C
Powered off 27° C
Storage and shipping 29° C
|Relative humidity||Operating and powered off 8% to 80%
Storage 5% to 80%
Shipping 5% to 100%
|Power supply||2 PSUs standard|
|Electrical power||200 - 240 V ac, 3.8 A, 50/60 Hz|
|Warranty period||One year|
|IBM System Storage SVC supported environments at a glance|
|Storage systems support||Specific models of the following storage systems:|
|Host multipathing software|
|Operating system support|
|Support for storage area network (SAN) switches – selected models from the following suppliers|
|IBM Global Services storage services|
For the most current, and more detailed, SVC interoperability information, please visit: ibm.com/systems/storage/software/virtualization/svc/interop.html (US)