Mark III Systems Blog

IBM InterConnect 2016: Solving Complex Cloud Challenges with IBM Spectrum Virtualize


Mark III attended the annual IBM InterConnect conference February 22-25 in Las Vegas and had the honor of sharing the experiences of a recent Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) client who solved their infrastructure and overall cloud challenges by moving to an IBM Spectrum Storage and IBM Storwize strategy to house their critical data and power their customer-facing analytics engine.





Here is a brief recap of what we covered during the session.

Before Mark III and IBM engaged, the client had been serving up nearly a petabyte of storage to end-users through their SaaS app using a combination of legacy non-IBM, on-premise disk storage and block/object storage in the public cloud (via one of the largest public cloud providers in the industry).  The storage environment had grown significantly over the last few years due to both organic growth and company acquisitions.

As they had grown, the storage environment serving their SaaS app had begun to experience the following issues:

  • Significant data availability issues: An average of one outage per month due to system/storage failures in the on-premise environment
  • Poor-to-average SaaS end-user performance: Regular end-user complaints on many queries/reports/tools
  • Skyrocketing and unpredictable costs from public cloud: Monthly costs grew out of control and were very difficult to forecast and budget for


In order to address these issues, Mark III recommended that the client consolidate their storage with IBM Spectrum Virtualize and IBM Storwize V5000.  Spectrum Virtualize enabled the client to virtualize their existing non-IBM storage and IBM Storwize V5000 systems behind one single management paradigm and utilize enterprise-wide, unique features like Easy Tier with Flash and Real-time Compression to optimize performance and capacity efficiency.  The client initially started with 300TB and have continued to add more gradually to the environment in a phased growth approach.

From an application connectivity standpoint, the client utilized Fibre Channel and iSCSI protocols in their VMware/Microsoft infrastructures (with VMware integrations), as well as OpenStack Cinder in their OpenStack Nova cloud-centric environment.  All of these interdependent pieces in aggregate made up their SaaS app.

As a result of the move to IBM Spectrum Virtualize, the client reaped enormous benefits including:

  • Elimination of SaaS service outages
  • SaaS analytics performance improvements of 100%+
  • OpenStack enabled a much quicker and more agile software dev cycle
  • Huge overall cost savings and more predictable budgeting (vs. the previous public cloud model)


As you can see, IBM's Spectrum Storage portfolio helped a client with a hybrid cloud environment solve their complex challenges.  If your enterprise is having similar issues or is trying to incorporate an on-premise or hybrid cloud strategy into your current environment and would like our thoughts, please feel free to reach out!