A current infrastructure delivers best value
In business today, the only constant is change. By deploying the latest, greatest IT solutions, organizations can take best advantage of new opportunities while simultaneously solving old problems.
Storage management is a great example. The more effectively storage is managed, the better will be the performance of all the applications and services that depend on storage—that is, virtually all of them.
And certainly storage has been characterized by impressive developments lately, such as the advent of solid-state drives that offer significantly superior performance and reliability. Taking full advantage of these developments will confer not just a technical, but also, more importantly, a business advantage of the kind organizations increasingly need in today's competitive world.
As new storage management solutions emerge, however, IT may be slow to deploy them. Perhaps IT managers aren't aware they've been released; perhaps they are aware, but find it difficult to get approval for purchasing, given the way IT budgets have typically either stayed flat or have actually shrunk in recent years.
IT managers in this all-too-common situation will be glad to discover there's a straightforward answer: an IBM Tivoli subscription . Once a solution subscription has been purchased, all new solution versions released during the next year are available free of charge—and "free" is a very attractive word these days.
Furthermore, because IBM is continually updating and enhancing Tivoli solutions, a subscription also conveys a very easy, accelerated way to keep the IT infrastructure current. That's a major win, especially in a rapidly changing area like storage where the danger of falling behind in capabilities is always an issue.
In short, Tivoli subscriptions are a can't-miss opportunity to get more business value from the IT infrastructure while also making operations costs both lower and more predictable.
IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center: Complete insight and control
To see how this might apply in a practical sense, consider the case of IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC). This is a complete storage management solution based on integrated tools that address different domains, all of which use a shared interface for easy administration.
TPC provides visibility and control over how storage is used (or could be used) in many different contexts including storage capacity, storage networks, discovery, systems, replication, and others.
Information from each domain can help improve all the others. If it turns out that a particular service consumes storage faster than expected, for instance, that might imply the need for new management policies, new virtualization, or possibly even more storage outright.
The intelligence TPC delivers comes in many different forms, including topology maps, analytics, reports, and trending data. Together, they make it easy for storage administrators to stay on top of how storage is utilized in even the most rapidly changing infrastructure. Storage waste is minimized; storage business value is maximized.
TPC 4.2.1 provides comprehensive support for the IBM Storwize V7000
Recently, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center was updated to version 4.2.1—a significant upgrade that confers powerful new capabilities in high demand by IT today.
One such, for instance, is the comprehensive support for IBM's Storwize V7000 —a powerful storage disk system aimed at the mid-market that delivers enterprise-class features and performance without an enterprise-class price tag. TPC now directly supports this offering as a native interface device.
That makes it even easier for organizations to get exceptional value from the Storwize V7000 and its impressive range of capabilities. This disk system, to begin with, supports thin provisioning, enabling organizations to buy only the storage they need, when they need it, instead of having to commit to a larger storage package that may exceed their actual requirements.
Furthermore, the Storwize V7000 also supports storage tiers comprised of both traditional and solid-state drives. This is handled via a feature called EasyTier™ that puts the benefits of solid-state under easy control for storage administrators.
Via EasyTier, SSD's extraordinary read/write performance and unmatched uptime can be assigned at will to the most demanding applications such as core databases, leaving traditional drives for less demanding purposes. This can even be done automatically, based on policies. If a given data pool is used more frequently, perhaps due to a service with higher than expected demand levels, the solution can detect that situation, then migrate the data pool transparently to an SSD system for higher performance.
Even if no internal drives are used in the system per se, the Storwize V7000 can still be used as a storage virtualization solution for external drives. That means any storage handled by it becomes a fluid resource that can be allocated whenever, and wherever, in the infrastructure it may be needed in real time.
That's a far smarter approach to storage management than simply buying more storage and allocating it to particular applications or services—the paradigm still most prevalent in IT today.
Keep high-end IBM disk systems firing on all cylinders
Of course, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center 4.2.1 has other compelling strengths as well—and given a Tivoli subscription to it, all of those strengths became available to IT managers the day it was released.
Most of these new features increase the performance or availability of IBM storage systems that have already been deployed in the infrastructure. TPC can now track these systems more comprehensively, detect a broader range of potential issues, and if they occur, empower managers to take rapid and effective action to eliminate those issues.
TPC's integrated Performance Manager component, for example, is now significantly more powerful, providing a broader range of metrics, counters, and thresholds that apply to IBM's enterprise-class DS8000 disk system and the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC). It is now possible to define thresholds pertaining to error rates, link failure rates, invalid CRC rates, and invalid transmission word rates for the DS8000—all of which can help identify and resolve storage performance problems before they can create a substantial business impact.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center 4.2.1 also now supports a special feature of IBM's high-end XIV storage solution : the option to define three administrative nodes, each of which has its own, unique IP address. Should an XIV system be configured in this way, TPC 4.2.1 will automatically detect that. And if the default management IP address should subsequently fail for whatever reason, TPC 4.2.1 will try the other two. The result? Superior uptime for all the services supported by the XIV, thanks to the fact that administrators now have two new channels of communication through which to oversee the system.
Finally, organizations that have already made the investment in the SVC will find that it, too, benefits from the new version of TPC. TPC 4.2.1 now supports single sign-on for the SVC, as well as launch-in-context functionality. Both of these new features make SVC administration faster and easier than ever before.
Add up these impressive enhancements and the business case for IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center 4.2.1 seems remarkably high. And given a Tivoli subscription, future upgrades of similar value can come to your infrastructure with a remarkably low price tag: $0.