Research Library

IBM Spectrum Accelerate – Product Brief

Last updated December 28th, 2018 for annual review and updates. 6-page review of Software Defined Storage product IBM Spectrum Accelerate. Covers highlights, potential, usage, and commentary on strengths/weaknesses.

IBM Spectrum Accelerate was developed as the underlying software for IBM’s XIV enterprise storage system designed for open system environments. XIV uses a scale-out topology, a grid of standard server hardware filled with storage devices, to create a scalable, high-performance storage system. A Software-Based Storage component of the Open Storage Platform, Spectrum Accelerate is designed to create a similar system using industry standard server hardware.

Running as a VM in an ESX environment, Spectrum Accelerate creates a virtual pool of storage by combining physical capacity from multiple clustered storage nodes, each comprised of x86-based servers with internal HDDs and SSDs. As a scale-out virtual SAN architecture, the system reduces the need for performance tuning, capacity planning and other administration tasks typically associated with enterprise storage systems. Spectrum Accelerate supports non-disruptive capacity expansion with automatic data redistribution when nodes are added or removed from the cluster and as a result of component failure.

Clusters are configured with a minimum of three and a maximum of fifteen nodes with data transferred between nodes via iSCSI. Each node can contain up to twelve NL-SAS disk drives for a total of 48TB of disk capacity and one 800GB SSD. Up to 144 clusters can be managed from a single HyperScale Manager for a maximum of 2,160 nodes and over 100PB total capacity.

Spectrum Accelerate parses host data into 1MB partitions and distributes them pseudo- randomly across all disks in the cluster, producing a balanced load on all resources and more consistent performance. In the process, a second copy is made for data redundancy at the partition level.

By leveraging low-cost, industry standard hardware and storage media, and the product’s simple architecture, companies can build high-performance, highly scalable storage systems at a reasonable cost.

Product Brief Includes:

  • Highlights
  • Usage and Deployment
  • Eval(u)Scale Table
  • Evaluator Group Comments

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