A to Z Guide to IBM Server and Storage Solutions
Infrastructure built for data driven business

Today’s business operations revolve around data and data applications.

IT and business leaders who can extract maximum value from their data, in real-time, are the ones who will prosper the most in the next decade. Recognizing this need, IBM has developed server and storage solutions that provide industry-leading processing and un-matched reliability.

There is no single, one-size-fits-all solution for smooth technical operations in business. Pinpointing which of the numerous IBM product options is the right fit for your company can be overwhelming.

To help with that choice, we have put together this guide to help clarify which products can address your organization’s needs.


IBM Servers

IBM Servers

IBM focuses on creating high-performance servers that are highly reliable.

That is why the company sold their commodity, x86 server line to Lenovo and held onto the more capable Power Systems and z Systems.

The solution providers in the IBM BP Network primarily concentrate on Power Systems, therefore the system definitions below will center around that line. Information on z Systems can be found here.

IBM Power Systems

IBM has earned a reputation for building dependable performance systems designed for mission-critical application. The Power System line of servers continues this tradition. The line was built around the POWER8 processor that was developed from the ground-up for data-intensive applications.

POWER8 outperforms competing Intel x86 processors, containing 4x the threads per core, 3x on-chip cache, and 25% more main memory capacity. Other features include dual memory controllers, hardware accelerated I/O, and capabilities to address flash storage as RAM for larger in-memory data sets.

More information on IBM Power Systems can be found here. 

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IBM Power Systems Running Linux

IBM has fully embraced open architecture. Each Power System can run Linux distributions from Red Hat, SUSE, and Ubuntu. These systems support big and little endian so all of your Linux applications can easily port over to Power Systems running Linux.

One particular advantage of the POWER8 processor is that you can replace several x86 servers running Linux with a single IBM Power System. That processing power can also allow your application developers to add functionality that would bog down a commodity system, like real-time data analytics.

You can learn more about IBM Power Systems running Linux here.

IBM i on Power Systems

The IBM i operating environment (formerly AS/400 and System i) has been performing reliably for more than 25 years. IBM i is still relied upon by thousands of organizations due to its exceptional security and operational resiliency. IBM i servers have been known to run for years without rebooting.

That level of dependability can allow you to focus on innovation and adding value to your business instead of wasting time maintaining and managing the server.

Learn how leading organizations are taking advantage of the many benefits of IBM i here.

UNIX on IBM Power Systems: AIX

AIX is an enterprise-class UNIX operating system developed specifically to take advantage of the POWER processor. Large organizations demand systems that are secure, highly available, and provide the ability to adapt quickly to new business practices.

IBM Power Systems running AIX deliver that level of security, reliability, and high performance required for today’s data-intensive business-critical applications.

Learn more about AIX on IBM Power Systems here.

Converged Infrastructure: IBM PurePower

Over the last several years, there has been a shift toward converged infrastructure (CI). CI takes the complexity out of hardware configurations by combining server, storage, and network into a single node. New systems can be delivered, fully configured, and ready to be installed in your data center quickly and efficiently.

Unique to the PurePower Systems CI solution is that multiple operating systems can be run on a single server (for example, Linux, AIX, and IBM I workloads). Systems are built on the technology of PowerVM virtualization, the only hypervisor with zero documented vulnerabilities. PurePower is ideal for private or hybrid cloud deployments that support mobile, social, and big data analytics.

See if IBM PurePower’s converged infrastructure solutions are right for your organization.

IBM Data Engine for Analytics

Organizations of all sizes are exploring innovative ways to extract value out of their data. The challenge that these organizations face is that their current infrastructure was not designed to handle these data-intensive workloads.

IBM built the Data Engine for Analytics on Power Systems to provide you with a data analytics solution that is easy to deploy and manage, while being flexible enough to adapt to your ever-changing needs. Data Engine for Analytics are pre-configured Power Systems with Hadoop and Spark, SAP HANA, or NoSQL databases pre-installed and optimized for POWER8.

See how your organization can do more with the IBM Data Engine for Analytics.

IBM Storage Solutions

IBM Storage Solutions

As data capabilities grew and secure storage became a must for companies and organizations, IBM shifted focus to the creation of hardware and software that provide competence and perseverance.

The result? Intelligent storage management solutions.

IBM Storwize

The Storwize product family is IBM’s flagship storage line. Storwize is built using IBM Spectrum Virtualization software as a baseline for all of their products. This allows you to virtualize all of your storage — IBM and non-IBM — into a single pool and manage everything from one main focal point.

IBM provides all flash and hybrid (flash/HDD) configurations. They also include Real-Time Compression in many of their storage systems. IBM actually guarantees, by using this compression technology, you will reduce your storage footprint by 80% with little to no performance degradation.

IBM Flash Storage

Flash powers most of your laptops and all of your smart devices. This wide-spread adoption has caused the price of flash to lower drastically in recent years. That price reduction has extended to IBM’s ultra-latency, enterprise-class flash with mission-critical reliability.

IBM Flash Storage comes with Spectrum Virtualize. IBM claims that adding just 5%flash to your storage environment can improve overall performance by 300%!

See the benefits of IBM Flash Storage here.

IBM Hybrid Storage

IBM Spectrum Virtualize is the secret ingredient in their software-defined storage strategy. It allows multiple storage media to operate in a single, intelligent system. Flash, disk, cloud, and tape can all coexist and data is intelligently tiered to the appropriate storage technology.

See how this enables IBM to offer hybrid storage solutions that provide outstanding performance at an affordable price.

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IBM VersaStack Converged Infrastructure

Converged infrastructure (CI) takes the guesswork out of systems operations. Pre-validated configurations allow you to procure and deploy with confidence that the server, storage, and network will work together. That is why IBM partnered with Cisco to deliver VersaStack.

VersaStack combines Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure and IBM storage solutions to build IBM Spectrum Virtualize software. These configurations are backed by Cisco Validated Designs and IBM Redbooks application guides.

Learn how VersaStack can enable you to deploy infrastructure faster and adapt it to your business operations.

IBM Spectrum Virtualize

IBM Spectrum Virtualize is at the heart of all of IBM’s storage solutions. It allows all of the storage to be managed as a single volume, regardless of the vendor. Multiple storage media including flash, disk, archive (such as tape), and cloud can be virtualized.

Data tiering can be automated to move data to the media that makes the most business sense. Data accessed frequently is stored in high-speed flash. While less accessed data is moved off to slower, cheaper disk systems then, ultimately, to archive.

Learn how the power of IBM Spectrum Virtualize can simplify your storage management while maximizing the investment you have already made in storage systems.

IBM Spectrum Accelerate

IBM Spectrum Accelerate is a software-defined block storage platform that allows you to rapidly deploy across hardware and cloud storage. It is ultra-flexible, simple to manage, and can scale to almost 70 petabytes (PB). Spectrum Accelerate runs on any x86 server and is pre-installed on IBM’s cloud environment which simplifies hybrid cloud storage deployment.

See how IBM Spectrum Accelerate can help you simplify deployment and management of your storage.

IBM Spectrum Control

IBM Spectrum Control is an intelligent data and storage management solution. It consolidates management of multiple storage systems from both IBM and non-IBM storage vendors. Spectrum Control monitors the storage environment that includes ports, SAN fabric, and storage systems. It also adds storage automation such as automated provisioning. Ultimately, Spectrum Control adds advanced analytics for storage tiering and load balancing.

See how you can take control of your storage environment with IBM Spectrum Control.

IBM Spectrum Scale

IBM Spectrum Scale was developed for large-scale content repositories used for data analytics. It is intended to scale performance and capacity as repositories of structured and unstructured data grows, all while eliminating bottlenecks.

See how today’s data intensive applications such as analytics, cloud, and mobile can all benefit from IBM Spectrum Scale.

IBM Tape Storage

Tape remains a popular choice for archiving data. Media is cheap with large storage capacities. However, tape has changed. New advancements have dramatically increased speed and usability. IBM is the global leader in tape storage offering a full range of drives, autoloaders, libraries, and virtual tape systems. Tape management is simplified further with the aid of IBM Spectrum Archive.

IBM has also combined flash, tape, and storage virtualization to provide a balance between performance and cost. Flash + Tape = FLAPE.

IBM Solutions

Industry Leading Solutions for Today’s Applications

You need your infrastructure to perform specific functions and run applications at a level that will ultimately drive your business forward.

Right now, data analytics and cloud are two such business drivers. Analytics allows you to extract value from your data. And cloud provides flexibility and elasticity to your business.

IBM has spent the last decade focused on these solutions.

Big Data and Analytics

Big data analytics is the use of advanced techniques in conjunction with very large, diverse data sets.

Those sets can include various types such as structured/unstructured and streaming/batch, and different sizes from terabytes to zettabytes.

Big data describes data sets that are not able to be captured, managed, and processed with low-latency by traditional databases because of their size or type.

IBM Power Systems for Big Data and Analytics

There are multiple data tools that organizations use for analytics. IBM has constructed Power Systems containing several of these tools that analyze and process large volumes of data efficiently. IBM’s Data Engine for Analytics, Hadoop and Spark, and NoSQL are customized, pre-configured solutions that can accompany the data tools of your choice.

Learn more about the line of IBM’s Power Systems for Big Data and Analytics.

IBM Storage for Big Data and Analytics

Data is the most valuable asset that organizations possess. And that data has evolved over recent years. It is now unstructured and comes from many sources, including mobile and social platforms. The storage infrastructure used to store and process that data must evolve to keep up with our ever-changing technical world.

Data must be accessible and expand out of the silos that currently contain it. Access to that data needs to be fast so that information can be put to adequate use in real-time.

See the storage solutions that IBM is bringing to market to enable your big data and analytics projects.

IBM Business Continuity Solutions

Unplanned downtime and outages can result in significant financial loss within an organization. The best way to avoid downtime is to create a comprehensive business continuity plan. IBM brings together their server and storage systems, hosted cloud, and storage software solutions for your customizable business continuity plan.

Don’t allow unexpected downtime to cost you and your organization. Learn more about IBM Business Continuity solutions.

IBM Cloud

Private and Hybrid Cloud

You do not have to be Uber or Amazon for cloud technologies to change how your business operates and provisions technology.

IBM has created several solutions to make it easy for you to deploy your own private cloud or move to a hybrid cloud environment.

IBM Power Systems for Cloud

Like many organizations, you may desire to deploy a private cloud. Doing so can simplify provisioning and delivering IT as a service. Cloud requires infrastructure that is reliable, scalable, flexible, secure, and performs at the highest level. That is IBM Power Systems.

Cloud also requires orchestration. IBM includes Cloud PowerVC Manager which is built on OpenStack cloud management. They also add flexible trade-in offers and additional programs to maximize capacity.

As you investigate next-generation cloud infrastructure, check out Cloud on Power Systems.

IBM System Storage for Cloud

IBM storage systems are built on Spectrum Virtualize. This allows you to virtualize all of your storage systems –including your own infrastructure – in your data and cloud storage destinations. This is a simple way to implement a hybrid cloud storage system while maintaining full management control.

See how you can implement a hybrid cloud storage environment with IBM.

IBM Bluemix Cloud Platform

IBM Bluemix is a robust, enterprise-class cloud platform. It is built on OpenStack and can enable private, public, and hybrid cloud deployments. You can choose bare metal or virtual servers in your facility or in one of IBM’s global data centers.

All of the tools that you would expect are available, including the major programming languages, database tools, storage options, and security settings. IBM also adds access to Watson cognitive abilities to add to your apps and application containers for developing Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

You can explore IBM Bluemix to learn how you can make enterprise cloud a reality.

IBM Watson

IBM Watson

The first step to extracting value from your data is implementing advanced analytics. That is where Watson begins, but goes much further. Watson is a cognitive learning solution that not only analyzes data but makes intelligent decisions based on all of the information at its disposal.

Watson is being used to improve healthcare, accelerate research, re-think cities, and more. Explore innovative ways that you can incorporate Watson into your organization with Watson APIs.

IBM Business Partners

Find a Solution Provider

Take the next step in your research and connect with an IBM Business Partner in your region today.


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