IBM Puts Its Money Where Its Mouth Is On Storwize Data Compression
September 17, 2012 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The Storwize V7000 disk arrays are at the heart of the new Flex System modular systems announced by IBM back in April, featuring converged Power and X86 server nodes, integrated versions of the V7000 arrays, and integrated switching. The arrays can also be attached to plain vanilla Power Systems boxes running IBM i, AIX, or Linux and are the important midrange of IBM’s storage lineup. So when IBM says Storwize arrays can compress files like crazy and thereby save IT shops money, customers want to believe it.
To demonstrate its commitment to its compression algorithms (or rather, the ones it inherited when it bought Storwize in August 2010), IBM has announced a real-time compression guarantee for the V7000 arrays.
In announcement letter 312-106i (I have never seen an “i” on an announcement letter designator before, but there you have it), you will see that IBM is saying that customers will get at least 50 percent compression on their data or IBM will come up with the extra storage in a Storwize V7000 box that would give customers the raw capacity they expected.
As you might expect, there are a lot of qualifies to this deal. It only applies to one Storwize V7000 array and one expansion chassis, and any pre-compressed volumes can’t be counted in the calculations. (That latter bit seems fair enough. As you know, you can’t compress data that is already compressed, and in most cases, trying to do so makes data sets get larger, not smaller.) The data to be compressed can be stored in DB2 databases as well as database from Oracle and Microsoft; VMware ESXi/vSphere server virtualization environments are also covered, and it seems to me that PowerVM hypervisor environments on Power Systems machines should be equally covered. You could argue that Hyper-V server virtualization environments on Windows Server 2008 and 2012 should be covered by this guarantee should be as well, but these are not mentioned in the real-time compression guarantee deal.