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IBM Spectrum Storage Suite Offers a New Way of Licensing Storage Software

IBM Spectrum Storage Suite
Illustration by Mark Allen Miller

According to IDC, by 2018, storage-rich servers are expected to account for half of new capacity purchased1. After 18 months of working in the software-defined infrastructure (SDI) landscape, early adopters have developed a strong preference for single-vendor solutions. With the breadth of the IBM Spectrum Storage* portfolio, a logical next step for IBM was to enhance its SDI portfolio with the creation of IBM Spectrum Storage Suite. Its design is based on IBM’s Virtual Storage Center (VSC) offering, which combines IBM Spectrum Control* and IBM Spectrum Virtualize* solutions running on the SAN Volume Controller appliance.

IBM Spectrum Storage Suite is not just a simplification of contracts, policies and procurement that comes with a bundle. It’s a far more disruptive series of use cases that includes appliance software, data reduction technology, software management and transition vehicles that can be applied to the traditional storage landscape or storage for new workloads, where the actual physical storage location can be in private, public or hybrid clouds.

The capability to deploy different components of the IBM Spectrum Storage family with ease means the development and operations teams can look forward to simplified testing and fluid deployment of storage for new business solutions.

A year after the announcement of the IBM Spectrum Storage family, the interest in SDI is high. In fact, IBM is seeing 60 percent of clients involved in early adoption committed to investing in this new technology. According to an ESG Research report, if we add clients expressing interest, we can grow the potential SDI community to over 80 percent2.

This increased SDI desire is fueled by the rapid adoption of big data, analytics, mobile and cognitive workloads by many enterprises as they look to expand their knowledge and business advantage. Clients are building data gathering and transformation environments, and seeing a change in the form of storage. As they start to outgrow traditional storage silos in the IT landscape, storage-rich servers are being defined by the new SDI workloads as the data target of choice.

The Suite Life

The software suite experience is not new to IT landscapes. Back in 1988, Microsoft* launched its first bundled application suite, Microsoft Office, which contained Word, Excel and PowerPoint. By doing so, it effectively created a software-defined desktop. Many have since copied this idea in various areas of the IT environment. Packaging applications in a suite doesn’t prevent a la carte selections; it just delivers consistency across users and simplifies the operation and maintenance. Just like the rest of IT, this bundle of Microsoft Office applications is available in the cloud or as a hybrid environment.

The IBM Spectrum Storage family includes six software-defined storage products that can now be brought together as a suite of software:

• IBM Spectrum Accelerate*
• IBM Spectrum Archive*
• IBM Spectrum Control
• IBM Spectrum Protect*
• IBM Spectrum Scale*
• IBM Spectrum Virtualize

IBM Spectrum Storage Suite licenses are available as either a perpetual or monthly pricing model. The two models can also be combined to form what is called a utility licensing model (see Figure 1).

Nick Harris is the Storage Lead in the IBM Competitive Project Office.

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