Storage solutions for the edge

By and David Wohlford | 3 minute read | May 5, 2020

In a previous blog post we described some of the critical infrastructure requirements for edge computing. Here, we will discuss some practical solutions from IBM Storage.

IBM Storage has decades of experience offering a wide range of edge solutions. Interestingly, industry-leading technologies[1] from IBM Storage for data and AI solutions normally associated with central computing installations also offer advantageous edge computing solutions.

collecting data from the edge for expanding use cases

IBM Spectrum Scale has been an industry leader in file management for over 25 years. It is state-of-the-art software-defined storage (SDS) that offers a long list of leading-edge data management and security features. It has been deployed in some of the most demanding commercial and research environments.

IBM Cloud Object Storage is another industry leader from IBM Storage for data and AI solutions, including edge solutions.? IBM Cloud Object Storage is a highly scalable cost-efficient cloud storage solution with concurrent parallel access for edge solutions in the data center and in the public cloud. It enables enterprises to store and manage massive amounts of data more efficiently and securely, with extreme system reliability and accessibility from any location.

While IBM Spectrum Scale brings decades of successful production deployments in large, centralized installations, it also offers features and capabilities that make it exceptional for edge computing use cases. For example, the Active File Management (AFM) feature automatically shares and caches data across geographically distributed sites to gain performance similar to local data and innovative transparent cloud tiering allows non-disruptive, intelligent data migration between on-premises and cloud storage, enabling IBM Spectrum Scale to integrate edge locations and central data centers with simplified single-pane management.

A key requirement of edge computing solutions likely to be far from central IT resources is ease of management. Edge installations must also have the ability to start small and grow as needed.

IBM Storage offers a unique and powerful system implementation of IBM Spectrum Scale that addresses both these requirements. IBM Elastic Storage System 3000 (ESS 3000) is designed to deploy world-class data management technology simply and easily. It leverages the ultra-low latency and massive throughput advantages offered by NVMe-accelerated flash storage.

ESS 3000 utilizes containerized delivery of IBM Spectrum Scale software for simplified installation, management and upgrades. To address the requirement for agile scalability, you can start with a single 2U building block with world-class 40GB/sec performance and as little as 25TB of storage, then grow capacity, performance and resilience linearly as needed by adding more units.

IBM Cloud Object Storage has been bringing the edge to the data center or the core enterprise for many years. We partner with customers to bring mobile and connected devices where local processing can occur closer to their core data center using object storage.

IBM Cloud Object Storage is a highly scalable cost-efficient cloud storage solution with concurrent parallel access to bring data from the edge faster and more efficiently with our geo-dispersed data protection. It enables enterprises to store and manage massive amounts of data more efficiently and securely, with enhanced technology and extreme system reliability and accessibility from any location. In a report from IDC[2] that interviewed IBM Cloud Object Storage customers they found that customers in the report received a return on their investment of 255%, with organizations breaking even on their investment in IBM Cloud Object Storage in an average of eight months.

Customers can start with less than 100TB and grow to 100s of PB or even to EB+ configurations. There is a tremendous amount of data being created at the edge and much of that data needs to be stored securely in the core. IBM has multiple customers storing 100s of PB of data from edge devices simply and efficiently as data requirements continue to grow. IBM Cloud Object Storage is turning storage challenges into business value by simplifying and optimizing the infrastructure for edge data requirements.

IBM Spectrum Scale and IBM Cloud Object Storage are also available as key components of IBM Storage Suite for IBM Cloud Paks, a comprehensive container-ready solution. This Suite delivers pre-tested reference architectures with data resources for file, block and object requirements that can fast track your journey to private cloud with native cloud acceleration and help you to build agile, secure persistent storage resources for your containers.

For more information how IBM is helping customers with powerful edge storage solutions as well as solutions for data and AI, visit us here.? For more information about IBM Storage Suite for IBM Cloud Paks, click here.

[1] ?IBM Storage a “Leader” in 2019 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage – again

[2] Potnis, Amita and Marden Mathew : IDC White Paper “The Business Value of IBM Cloud Object Storage” February 2019

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