Lowering risk and reducing costs are as critical today to your company as they have ever been.

A key approach for reducing storage costs is leveraging data reduction technology, which enables storing more data in the same amount of physical storage capacity. IBM Storwize systems, SAN Volume Controller (SVC), FlashSystem V9000 and VersaStack can also apply data reduction to existing storage from over 440 different systems from IBM and others. This approach can help extend the life of existing assets and may avoid the need to purchase more storage, both of which can potentially help reduce your CAPEX and OPEX expenditures.

To help drive data reduction capability even further, IBM is introducing data deduplication for IBM Storwize, SVC, FlashSystem V9000, and VersaStack. Data deduplication joins IBM’s already extensive set of data reduction technologies: compression, thin provisioning, compaction, SCSI unmap. While delivering new technologies is important, it is just as essential that clients have the confidence to deploy these new technologies in their production data driven, multi-cloud environments.

That is why IBM has developed three programs anchored to all-flash IBM storage offerings designed to help lower your organization’s risks and also help reduce your costs, while helping gain competitive advantage through leading-edge storage systems solutions.

This trio of programs demonstrates the confidence that IBM has in its storage products and technologies:

1. A data reduction program designed to help reduce planning risks and help lower storage costs by meeting baseline levels of data reduction effectiveness in IBM storage systems.
2. A controller upgrade program designed to help enable users of designated all-flash IBM storage systems to reduce costs, while maintaining leading-edge controller technology for essentially the cost of ongoing system maintenance.
3. A high-availability program designed to help enterprises avoid the costs and risks related to business downtime by offering the availability of business-critical data and storage systems for your company.

Data reduction reduces the physical capacity required to store data, but the actual reduction varies among workloads. This variability can lead to uncertainty about the proper amount of physical capacity to acquire.

“IBM Storwize systems now have an impressive range of data efficiency capabilities such as deduplication and compression,” said Konrad Trojok, Head of Competence Center IBM Storage, SVA. “But when it comes to real deployments, our clients want assurance they’ll be able to store and access the data they need, when they need it. That’s where IBM’s peace of mind initiative provides the confidence to deploy new Storwize systems using the latest efficiency technology for the lowest cost, even with entirely new workloads.”

Deploying the all-flash IBM Storwize, FlashSystem, SVC, and VersaStack systems covered under the Data Reduction Guarantee gives organizations two options for how to leverage the program’s advantages. The IBM Flexible Data Reduction Guarantee option provides capacity savings of up to 5:1 based on analyzing the data to be stored to determine the data reduction rates that are possible. If that analysis is not feasible, the IBM Estimate Free Data Reduction Guarantee option provides an effortless 2:1 capacity savings without collecting data and generating reports. Users can select the option that works best for them.[1]

Upgrading to deploy new technology often means making additional capital investments. But now it doesn’t have to. Imagine making the capital investment in a solution only once. Imagine gaining all the ongoing advantages of innovation—but with potentially less ongoing capital investment.

This is the idea behind the Controller Upgrade Program. Under this program, IBM clients make a one-time investment in designated IBM all-flash Storwize, IBM FlashSystem, and VersaStack solutions, then after three years IBM upgrades the controllers in these arrays to equivalent next-generation technology at the time of upgrade, including NVMe support, if appropriate, for only the cost of ongoing hardware and software maintenance.

As a result, flash storage array upgrade costs can be reduced. IBM helps clients move some of their precious business investments away from basic IT infrastructure and, instead, toward creating new business opportunities or capturing and keeping competitive advantage.

Ninety days before the warranty for the original equipment purchase expires, the organization simply alerts its IBM representative if it wants to participate. The choice is the client’s—as it should be.[2]

Over 160,000 Storwize systems have been deployed in business-critical environments around the planet. This gives IBM first-hand experience solving the problems associated with scheduled and unscheduled IT systems downtime. IBM has taken the quest to reduce downtime a step further by offering an all-flash array High-Availability Guarantee, designed to essentially eliminate IBM storage system downtime worries for enterprises deploying designated all-flash Storwize, IBM FlashSystem, and VersaStack solutions.

Under this program, when deploying a high-availability configuration utilizing IBM HyperSwap, IBM offers zero interruption to data availability protection during the guarantee period[3]. The HyperSwap implementation must be performed by IBM Lab Services[4], and the guarantee is valid only for eligible, newly purchased IBM storage systems.

The implications for IBM clients are significant. IBM Storwize, FlashSystem, and VersaStack systems designated for the zero-downtime program offer a wide range of capabilities and price points. This is not a program limited to only a few organizations that can afford complex and expensive storage solutions. Instead, thanks to the cost-efficiency inherent in these solutions, enterprises with many different storage requirements and budget constraints can participate.

Perhaps most important, with this new high-availability program, IBM offers zero storage system downtime protection for high-availability program participants. For IBM clients who adhere to the program guidelines, business risks can be reduced, and costs associated with traditional high-availability architectures can be lowered by streamlining system redundancies.

“In the digital era organizations worldwide are grappling with insurmountable data growth. As per our research, managing infrastructure costs and ensuring application and data availability are consistent top priorities for infrastructure professionals,” said Ritu Jyoti, Research Director for IDC’s Enterprise Storage, Server and Infrastructure software team. “Data reduction technologies such as compression and deduplication are important tools to help reduce cost, but their effectiveness is subject to the workload/s deployed. IBM’s capacity guarantee can help customers eliminate the guesswork and risk of buying storage with assumed data reduction. Similarly, IBM’s data availability guarantee with IBM implementation services can help customers ensure that their deployments are configured right for mission-critical workloads.”

Separately, the Data Reduction Guarantee, Controller Upgrade Program and High-Availability Guarantee each offer many potential benefits. But when combined as part of an IBM all-flash storage solution, the power of all three to help lower costs, reduce business risk and maintain the most current technologies can be even more significant: Confidence, trust, and peace of mind. IBM understands that real solutions include more than simply great engineering.

To learn more about these programs, click here.

For complete information about the IBM Storage announcements on May 10, see our blog.

[1] The Data Reduction Guarantee requires a contract specifying the terms and limitations of the guarantee. Savings rates greater than 50% or including already compressed or encrypted data require workload analysis using IBM tools. In the unlikely event that you don’t get the guaranteed compression savings, IBM will provide the hardware and authorizations subject to contract terms to match the savings and performance at no charge. Contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner for complete details.
[2] The option to initiate this upgrade guarantee must occur within the final 90 days of the initial 3-year warranty, and expires at the end of the 3-year warranty. IBM will replace (with trade-in) controllers on eligible all-flash arrays purchased between 3/31/2017 and 3/31/2019 with equivalent next-generation controllers including NVMe if available. The price will not exceed the published list price of 3 years hardware maintenance and 3 years software maintenance on the associated hardware control enclosure at that time. See program agreement for complete details.
[3] Interruption to data availability does not include any interruptions due to a temporary I/O hold during a planned or unplanned HyperSwap. In the event a customer doesn’t achieve zero interruption to data availability and subject to the terms of the associated guarantee agreement, IBM provides up to 40 hours of IBM Systems Lab Services consultation and support at no charge. The guarantee period ends upon the sooner of the following two occurrences: (i) customer submits a claim and obtains the above-mentioned 40 hours of consultation and support; or (ii) the expiration of the initial three (3) year hardware warranty on the eligible machine.
[4] Customer will execute a contract for the IBM Systems Lab Services implementation of IBM HyperSwap; terms and conditions (including pricing) set forth therein.

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