IBM Storage Fusion software is a container-native storage platform (CNS) designed for Kubernetes applications running on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OCP).
IBM originally launched the product as IBM Spectrum Fusion in 2022 as a software-defined version of its Spectrum Fusion HCI (now known as Storage Fusion HCI). The HCI product ships as part of a turnkey appliance that includes x86 server hardware.
The two IBM Storage Fusion products use different underlying storage platforms. Storage Fusion HCI includes IBM Storage Scale Erasure Coding Edition (ECE) scale-out file system for data services. Instead of Storage Scale, the Storage Fusion software-defined storage (SDS) version uses OpenShift Data Foundation (ODF) for data services. ODF provides container-native storage (CNS) and data orchestration for OpenShift. IBM acquired ODF with Red Hat’s other storage technology – including open-source Ceph – in 2022.
Both Storage Fusion versions include IBM Storage Protect Plus data protection and are designed for the Red Hat OpenShift container platform (OCP).
Storage Fusion SDS supports IBM Power servers or a range of x86 hardware appliances from IBM partners or IBM Power 9 servers. The software-defined storage version is a bare metal deployment of Red Hat OCP that runs on VMware.
There are a few other differences between Storage Fusion HCI and Storage Fusion software-defined storage besides the turnkey appliance and underlying data platform. Storage Fusion HCI requires a six-node minimum (three control and three compute nodes) while Storage Fusion SDS starts with three nodes. Storage Fusion SDS also supports IBM Discover metadata management software for unstructured data. Storage Fusion HCI does not support Discover.
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