Virtualization Technology News and Information
IBM and Catalogic Software Unveil New Set of Solutions for Hybrid Cloud and DevOps
IBM and Catalogic Software, the market's only provider of in-place copy data management, today announced the availability of a new set of validated solutions, which combine Catalogic's flagship product, ECX, with one of several storage offerings within the IBM portfolio. These solutions are aimed at IT clients looking to make their existing infrastructure environments more efficient, agile and responsive to the demands of their customers. These new joint solutions deliver essential functionality that allows the IT team to modernize its infrastructure, including automation of storage and data management, self-service capabilities, and complete RESTful API management. This functionality creates a more agile and efficient environment that allows the IT team to deliver superior results in its core operations while delivering remarkable OPEX savings. Additionally, the degree of agility that ECX delivers allows IBM clients to accelerate their successful implementation of new use cases and workloads, including DevOps and Hybrid Cloud initiatives. 

Catalogic ECX is a software platform that installs into a client's existing infrastructure as a virtual appliance, and leverages the public APIs of storage controllers, storage software systems, and hypervisors in order to deliver a holistic and automated approach to the creation and use of data in support of a company's mission critical operations. Following several months of rigorous testing with IBM, Catalogic ECX has now been validated with several of the leading enterprise and mid-range storage offerings within the IBM portfolio. The full set of IBM-Catalogic solutions is described in detail in the newly published IBM Redbook, IT Modernization using Catalogic ECX Copy Data Management and IBM Spectrum Storage.

In support of today's announcement, IBM and Catalogic will hold a live online event tomorrow, Tuesday, February 2nd at 11 AM EST, to present the details of the joint solutions, including product demonstrations that exemplify Hybrid Cloud and DevOps use cases. The event is open to the public, and available by registering at the following link:

"Today is a very significant milestone for Catalogic," commented Ed Walsh, CEO of Catalogic Software. "IBM's selection of Catalogic as a key partner for copy data management demonstrates not only that our product is robust and enterprise-ready, but also reflects the fact that it is synergistic with IBM storage and non-disruptive to clients during deployment and ongoing use. Both IBM and Catalogic see the need to improve the operations of the core data center, while equipping the IT team with the tools needed to support new workload environments and use cases." 

These joint solutions directly address an acute challenge that IT organizations face today. In recent years, a wide range of new IT use cases has emerged, driven primarily by the adoption of Cloud computing. These new use cases bring increased demands for IT infrastructure to be flexible, responsive and agile. However, the core data center architecture and associated processes -- which traditionally have been designed for reliability and security -- are commonly seen as inadequate to meet the new requirements. IT teams are pressured to either radically re-architecture their core environments, or resign to managing two separate environments at great cost and complexity. Catalogic ECX is the first solution that allows IT organizations to bridge the gap, allowing them to achieve this sought-after infrastructure responsiveness and agility without disruption, by integrating into the storage infrastructure that they already have. 

New Use Cases for IBM Storage Solutions
Because the joint IBM-Catalogic solutions deliver advanced levels of agility and flexibility, they now allow IBM clients to use tried and true IBM storage platforms as the core infrastructure for a range of use-cases, most notably Hybrid Cloud and DevOps.

Hybrid Cloud
Powered by Catalogic ECX, the joint IBM-Catalogic solutions provide the most efficient way for clients to leverage the public cloud, allowing them to simplify their operations and achieve dramatic cost savings. ECX allows the IT team to define and automate the process of creating live application environments in the cloud. These live environments can support key IT functions that rely on copies of production data and that benefit from the elasticity of cloud resources, including DR, Test and Development, analytics, and more. Based on the lower operating costs of cloud resources, the lower manual efforts through ECX's cloud automation, and the ability to avoid paying for idle resources, ECX users can achieve ROIs of 300+% when leveraging the cloud for certain use cases.

Of particular interest to IBM clients is ECX's ability to enable IBM storage to become the platform of choice for a DevOps environment. Organizations are increasingly moving toward DevOps methods in order to increase speed and agility, with the goal of faster delivery of new applications to market. However, to date, the core data center infrastructure has been largely unavailable to development teams given a general lack of automation and self-service capabilities. ECX solves this by giving the IT team a management layer that delivers automation and self-service capabilities, along with full RESTful API management that the development team can access. In so doing, ECX enables "infrastructure as code" for the development team, while allowing the data center IT team to stay in control of the infrastructure and maintain compliance with the organization's SLAs and governance policies. 

Joint IBM-Catalogic Solutions Details
This section provides details on the specific IBM-Catalogic joint-solutions that are included in today's announcement. 

ECX with Storwize and SAN Volume Controller: Advanced Data Management for Core Data Center Infrastructure Operations
IBM's Storwize family of hybrid flash/HDD systems serve as the primary storage platform for core data center operations across a wide range of environments. Similarly, IBM's SAN Volume Controller (SVC) is commonly used for core application environments. Combining ECX with one or several of these systems delivers advanced data management capabilities to the production computing environment, and allows the IT team to dramatically improve core services including automated DR, enhanced test & development, business analytics, rapid data recovery, and more. 

ECX with IBM FlashSystem V9000
IBM's FlashSystem V9000 is the market's leading all flash storage array, based upon its combination of scalability, performance, and overall economics. Given that V9000 often serves as the primary production array for Tier 1 mission critical applications, adding ECX delivers crucial capabilities for those looking to improve upon their local data recovery and remote disaster recovery operations. With ECX, data recovery capabilities can be validated daily, using ECX's ability to automate the instantiation of a full application environment that leverages the V9000's native capability to deliver rapid application consistent snapshots and data replicas. The V9000 with ECX is also an ideal solution in DevOps operations, given the solution's ability to provision environments rapidly, with significant automation and self-service capabilities for the development teams that can be easily invoked via other DevOps tools, leveraging ECX's REST APIs.

ECX for Hybrid Cloud Operations with IBM SoftLayer
IBM's SoftLayer is the public cloud of choice for enterprise clients, given its wide range of options for infrastructure as a service and it's positioning as a natural extension of a client's core data center operations. ECX serves as an accelerator for a customer's ability to take advantage of the elastic compute infrastructure that SoftLayer provides. Hybrid Cloud operations begin with data movement -- a key success factor is the ability to move data to and from the cloud environment in a predictable way, guided by policies for scheduling and automation, all of which ECX makes easy. More importantly, data in the cloud is intended to be used to achieve a business outcome. ECX adds tremendous value in allowing the client to define automated data usage policies which orchestrate all layers of the stack required to instantiate a fully functional, application consistent working environment, thereby radically reducing the operating costs of creating and maintaining application environments within the cloud

ECX with IBM Spectrum Protect (Flash Copy Manager)
IBM's Spectrum Protect is a software offering that leverages the native snapshots of IBM storage to provide data protection with rapid data recovery. ECX integrated with Spectrum Protect allows the client to catalog and leverage existing snapshots for critical use cases beyond data protection including disaster recovery, development and test, and business analytics. 

Bina Hallman, Vice President, IBM Storage and Software Defined Systems, commented on the synergy between IBM storage and Catalogic ECX: "End users see in-place copy data management as an opportunity for significant improvements to overall data access and data availability, in addition to remarkable cost savings", she said. "With Catalogic ECX, IBM storage clients can use their existing storage environment to help improve overall data access and data availability."

"We see significant opportunity for the solution set that IBM and Catalogic are introducing today," commented Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst of Enterprise Strategy Group. "The vast majority of our IT clients are trying to make their IT infrastructure more agile and dynamic in response to the demand from their internal business unit and application development customers. By delivering solutions that add these capabilities in a non-disruptive way, Catalogic and IBM are directly addressing a key area of need." 

The joint IBM-Catalogic solutions are currently available through IBM and Catalogic's network of resellers and distributors. IBM distributor Avnet, one of the world's largest distributors of technology products with operations in 115 countries, recently became a Catalogic partner based on the significant differentiated value that Catalogic ECX delivers. "Catalogic Software is an ideal fit for the Avnet portfolio," said Mark Martin, vice president of Avnet's IBM business unit in the Americas. "We actively market to a large network of VARs and solution providers in North America, all of whom are looking for ways to enhance the solutions they bring to their clients. ECX gives them a high-profit, non-disruptive way of delivering significant value within a client's existing environment, enabling improved management and significant OPEX reductions."

For more information on the joint IBM-Catalogic solutions for data management, visit Catalogic's dedicated IBM page:

Published Monday, February 01, 2016 1:41 PM by David Marshall
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