Automated file management with IBM Active Cloud Engine

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1 Automated file management with IBM Active Cloud Engine Redefining what it means to deliver the right data to the right place at the right time Highlights Enable ubiquitous access to files from across the globe Reduce network costs and help improve application performance by distributing files closer to users Lower storage costs by moving files transparently to the most appropriate tier of storage Control storage growth by moving older files to tape and deleting unwanted or expired files Improve data protection by identifying candidates for backup or disaster recovery Create a more powerful and scalable storage environment Some of the greatest storage challenges organizations face today stem not just from how to manage the data they re generating, but also from how many people access that data and in how many places. It s not unusual for a large organization to have millions or even billions of files stored on disk, and to have employees and partners at locations all over the world who need fast, efficient and often shared access to that data. Almost all organizations are likely to have rapidly growing amounts of data and increasing demands for efficient data management and access. They face multiple challenges, from how to quickly locate files and provide them to people in multiple locations, to how to maintain consistent versions of data when far-flung users need to share and revise files. And, of course, they have to do it all without compromising data availability and security. Many organizations are looking at the cloud as a way to scale storage capabilities to manage more data for more users in more places. But it s important to keep in mind that cloud storage relies on having a highly efficient storage infrastructure in place to support large-scale operations. IBM has long had a foundation in place to deliver the efficient infrastructure that cloud storage requires. The IBM Scale Out Network Attached

2 Storage (SONAS) and IBM Storwize V7000 Unified offerings include IBM Active Cloud Engine, which is a powerful policy-driven engine that is tightly coupled with the file system and designed for managing massive amounts of data. Building on a strong foundation for storage efficiency SONAS and Storwize V7000 Unified are built on IBM Active Cloud Engine, a suite of capabilities specifically designed to manage files in an automated, scalable manner. IBM Active Cloud Engine creates the appearance of a single, very fast system despite geographic, media or other discrepancies that may exist in the physical reality. These capabilities enable users of SONAS systems to not only search huge amounts of data and very quickly find what they re looking for, but also to rapidly store, delete, distribute and share that data. IBM Active Cloud Engine gives users the ability to manage large numbers of files efficiently, locate the data of interest rapidly and get that data to where it is needed seamlessly. IBM Active Cloud Engine shifts the paradigm for storage management by enabling unprecedented speed and performance to search for data matching specified criteria and perform actions on the results. These actions can include: Moving files to the right tier of storage including tape Deleting expired or unwanted files Identifying files for backup or replication Distributing files, images and application updates to multiple locations Providing a single view of all files across all sites, regardless of physical location Prepopulating files to remote sites in advance of file requests Policy-based searches that once took weeks or months can instead be completed in minutes. Users around the globe can instantly access the data they need, no matter where they are or where the data is stored. And files can be revised by users in distant locations and be instantly synchronized centrally. Exploring new possibilities with IBM Active Cloud Engine The policy-driven IBM Active Cloud Engine integrates tightly and seamlessly with the file system, making it possible to quickly find and locally or globally distribute data based on specific criteria. IBM Active Cloud Engine allows users to create rules to determine how to manage a file throughout its life. With SONAS and Storwize V7000 Unified, users can leverage multiple internal and external storage pools transparently. To determine which file should be placed in which storage pool or when it needs to be migrated into another requires the scan of file metadata. IBM Active Cloud Engine can scan metadata files extremely fast and take action based on customerdefined policies. This capability can offer tremendous savings when administering large numbers of files. 2

3 What sets IBM Active Cloud Engine apart is the ability to do other things that were literally impossible before. IBM Active Cloud Engine enables consolidation by centralizing all files under a single file system view. The solution enables multiple SONAS systems across the globe to be connected and presented to the user as a single namespace. It provides ubiquitous access to files from across the globe quickly and efficiently. 1 Specifically, IBM Active Cloud Engine is about providing local access to centrally stored files from anywhere in the world, and allowing users in remote locations to interact with files without creating data inconsistencies. The following functions enable these advanced capabilities: Virtualizing files globally IBM Active Cloud Engine can selectively distribute file(s) to remote sites globally for file sharing, data protection, content distribution or other purposes. Files are federated or aggregated in the global namespace, meaning users at the remote sites see them as if they were local even though the files actually continue to be centrally maintained and retained. As a result, users are not limited to seeing only files that are physically present locally; they can see all the files they have permission to see, and they can access files as if the files were present locally. In addition, when users want to access a file, IBM Active Cloud Engine checks its current local cached copy against the central copy to ensure that the local copy is the latest version. Organizations can define policies to determine what files can be pushed to remote sites for viewing or for local access there, as well as what files from a central site can be seen by remote sites. IBM Active Cloud Engine Central office/branch office use case Periodic pre-fetch Edge site (reader) IBM SONAS Primary site (writer) On-demand pull Tape Edge site (reader) Using IBM Active Cloud Engine, data created, maintained, updated and changed at a central site can be viewed and used at a branch office with assurance that the most recent file versions will be available. Branch sites periodically prefetch files using established policies or pull files into cache on demand. Data is revalidated when accessed. 3

4 Pushing changes incrementally In addition to allowing remote sites to see and read files maintained centrally, IBM Active Cloud Engine has a single-writer caching capability. This feature means that while multiple remote sites can access a file in the global namespace, only one site at a time can modify the file. When it does, IBM Active Cloud Engine automatically pushes back the changes and only the changes, rather than the entire file to the central site. This is a fast and efficient process that offers network cost savings, because sending only the incremental changes requires less network bandwidth than sending an entire large file. If a user is accessing a file, IBM Active Cloud Engine automatically checks the current local copy with the copy on the central copy to see if it is indeed the latest version a process known as a staleness check. If there is a newer version on the home site, that file is pulled instantly for viewing. Reaping the benefits of IBM Active Cloud Engine IBM Active Cloud Engine can deliver significant benefits with a wide range of capabilities. Fast, cost-effective, policy-based file search By using IBM Active Cloud Engine to cache aggregated files, rather than performing an individual action on each separate file, organizations can save a significant amount of time and money. Identifying which files have changed since the last backup, for example, can take only minutes even for organizations that have billions of files. Quick, efficient file sharing and distribution With IBM Active Cloud Engine, everything from operating system images to financial data and analytics can be easily shared with multiple locations. Data also can be disseminated in both directions, enabling the central site to prepopulate files to remote sites in advance of file requests. A financial institution, for example, can automatically send new interest rate information to branches, so users have the data locally when they need it. Improved file access at remote sites IBM Active Cloud Engine enables access to files locally without regard to network connectivity eliminating the delays that can come from relying on the network to access files stored at a distant central location. Instead, files are readily available locally, as if they were stored on local systems. The ability of IBM Active Cloud Engine to shield applications from fluctuating WAN latencies offers users high performance file serving. Reduced network costs IBM Active Cloud Engine allows for file sharing and content distribution while it eliminates unnecessary replication of files to remote sites. By doing so, it can help significantly lower network and storage costs. When a remote site makes changes to a file, IBM Active Cloud Engine understands what changes are being made and sends only those incremental changes. The result is not only fast but also cost-efficient due to the reduced amount of bandwidth used. Scalability for growing organizations Access to the immense power and scalability of IBM Active Cloud Engine is not limited to large enterprises with billions of files. The advantages of IBM Active Cloud Engine are valuable 4

5 to rapidly growing organizations of any size. Scalable to meet companies needs as they grow, IBM Active Cloud Engine is not only the core technology in SONAS but also in IBM Storwize V7000 Unified, the unified block and file solution. Why IBM? What sets IBM Active Cloud Engine apart? The ability to do other things that were impossible before. IBM Active Cloud Engine enables consolidation by centralizing all files under a single file system view, enables multiple SONAS systems across the globe to be connected and presented to the user as a single namespace. It enables ubiquitous access to files from across the globe quickly and efficiently. IBM Active Cloud Engine is about providing local access to centrally stored files from anywhere in the world, and allowing users collaborate and share information instantly in global clouds. No other vendor offers the advanced capabilities of IBM Active Cloud Engine to help organizations better manage files numbering in the millions or even billions. Nor does any other vendor offer a solution that scales out in both capacity and performance for companies whose file storage needs are growing fast. IBM unites the file management picture, with multiple point entries in cloud caching, namespace virtualization, data distribution and replication into a comprehensive single view. With IBM Active Cloud Engine enabled in both SONAS and the Storwize V7000 Unified, 1 IBM provides integrated hardware and software collaboration solutions, along with global financing options, including lease and purchase. For companies who see cloud computing as a way to efficiently and effectively scale storage, IBM is a natural choice for the journey to the cloud. IBM is both a cloud user and a cloud vendor. Its Blue Insight cloud computing environment the world s largest private cloud for business analytics is designed to enable IBM sales teams to obtain customized regional sales reports to improve revenue projections, and to allow product development and marketing teams to analyze sales information, industry trends and customer perceptions. IBM also operates the IBM Smart Business Cloud, one of the largest compute clouds in the world, with more than five petabytes of SONAS system storage across six global sites. There are nearly 20 million IBM public cloud users, and a million virtual machines are hosted on the company s cloud services. IBM has created the industry s most thorough cloud reference architecture, and is positioned to help companies as they move toward cloud storage. For more information To learn more about how SONAS and IBM Active Cloud Engine can provide the fastest possible access to data, while lowering network costs, contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibm.com/systems/storage/network/sonas Additionally, IBM Global Financing can help you acquire the IT solutions that your business needs in the most cost-effective and strategic way possible. We ll partner with credit qualified clients to customize an IT financing solution to suit your business goals, enable effective cash management, and improve your total cost of ownership. IBM Global Financing is your smartest choice to fund critical IT investments and propel your business forward. For more information, visit: ibm.com/financing 5

6 Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Corporation Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America October 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Active Cloud Engine and Storwize are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol ( or ), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at Copyright and trademark information at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. The information in this document regarding enhancements to Storwize V7000 Unified is intended to outline IBM s general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information on the new products is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into any contract. The information on the new products is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for IBM products remains at IBM s sole discretion. All statements regarding IBM s plans, directions and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice. References in this publication to IBM products and services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. 1 Multisite IBM Active Cloud Engine capabilities are not presently available on Storwize V7000 Unified. IBM intends to enhance IBM Active Cloud Engine on Storwize V7000 Unified with the remote caching capabilities which are available starting with IBM Active Cloud Engine in SONAS V1.3.0, which will provide multi-site remote caching capability to Storwize V7000 Unified and between SONAS and Storwize V7000 Unified. Please Recycle TSS03081-USEN-00

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