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Technical Insight: Connecting IBM Storage to Multi-Cloud Environments

Published February 20th, 2018. In this Technical Insight report, Steve Scully, Sr. Analyst, discusses how IBM Spectrum Connect simplifies cloud storage environments.

IBM Spectrum Connect Simplifies Cloud Storage Deployments

The digital transformation of the data center is underway and IT organizations are rapidly updating their operating models to keep pace.  Server virtualization and application refactoring have streamlined compute operations, leading to more flexible and scalable data centers that are transitioning quickly to take advantage of cloud resources.  The evolution of container technologies makes this transition simple and portable for applications and application services that require flexible compute and storage across multiple cloud environments.  Software defined storage adds a layer of flexible capabilities for storing and managing data throughout its lifecycle.  The cloud provides new infrastructure and economic options with multi-cloud support being the latest requirement as IT organizations look for resiliency and flexibility.  These dynamics lead to the transition to hybrid IT environments with on-premise, private cloud and public cloud infrastructure.

For their part, customers are aware that no single hybrid IT solution can provide all the capabilities they want with all the flexibility they require.  They know they need to use a combination of approaches, vendors and products to achieve their unique IT objectives.  Providing storage for hybrid IT environments can mean overcoming several downsides including uneven storage resource sharing; lack of a coherent connection between virtual machines, containers, and their datastores; various performance issues; and having single points of failure within the storage infrastructure with incomplete disaster recovery plans in place.

The use of multiple solutions implies that customers will need to use a variety of industry standard and vendor specific APIs to enable the various components to communicate and interoperate in their hybrid IT environment.  Individual Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can be powerful but having to deploy and manage a plethora of APIs to make everything work can become a challenge.  The combinations of these components may get more complex in the future.

In this Technical Insight, we look at IBM Spectrum Connect, a recent addition to the IBM Spectrum Storage software family.  Spectrum Connect provides value by helping customers integrate IBM’s enterprise storage features into their multi-cloud environments.  It does this by combining all the API dialogs for IBM storage systems into a common toolset with a single user interface for orchestrating between multiple kinds of cloud platforms and IBM storage devices.  IBM has been active and vocal about its multi-cloud initiatives and recently released a number of services and solutions to make multi-cloud deployments easier by leveraging open and container-based technologies to move workloads between private and public clouds.  IBM Spectrum Connect helps connect all these environments together whether on-premise or in the cloud.

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