IBM i Disk Storage Statistics

March 15, 2016 Disaster Recovery Blog, Disaster Recovery News Blog, Legacy System Blog Articles
Is external storage (SAN) use falling into or out of favor? While companies situated in the U.S. continue to covet internal data storage, European companies have been persistently adopting external disks and Virtual I/O Servers (VIOS). Even more interesting is where exactly IBM i users are choosing to store their critical data – with or without an IBM i external disk. Here is the latest data from the IBM i Marketplace Survey by HelpSystems, showing companies the present and future of their IBM i data storage.

External Disk Usage

While a large majority of IBM i users are not using external disks (68.5%), this number has decreased since 2015, and is expected to continue decreasing. However, HelpSystems speculates that this decrease is truly due to the increased presence of European users in the survey: while 78% of users in the U.S. use only internal disks, the same is true for only 56% of European users. For those who do use external disks, the most popular selection was SAN-IBM V7000 Series (11.8%), followed by SAN-IBM (7.2%), a SAN other than IBM (6.7%), and the SAN-IBM DS8000 series (5.9%). These external data storage users gain increased protection, advanced functionality, and flexibility that internal storage simply cannot provide. This includes effective and simplified high availability (HA), disaster recovery (DR), virtualization, and more. These users can also easily update or upgrade their system hardware (and can upgrade hardware independently), without requiring a shut down or an in-place upgrade.

RECOMMENDATION: Looking to keep your systems up to date and optimized? Consider switching to SAN. This external storage helps users with HA, DR, costs, speed, efficiency, and scalability, effectively making it the future of default storage.

Virtual I/O Server Usage

Similar to SAN, Virtual I/O Servers (VIOS) are used more frequently with IBM i shops in Europe than in the U.S. When asked if they use VIOS on their Power servers, 25.2% of users said yes, 15.5% said they were not sure, and 59.5% said no. This data confirms that there is a link between SAN and VIOS, and in the years to come, it is expected that both external storage and VIOS usage will continue to increase concurrently.

VIOS allows users to optimize their Power systems, unlocking numerous features like live partition mobility, partition suspend, and partition resume. Working at a lower cost and with higher performance, VIOS simplifies server maintenance and management, enabling more I/O connections in less physical space. With VIOS, users have a single interconnect linking servers to both the network and storage, with fewer wires and less hardware. This allows companies to use a single physical adaptor card as if it were multiple virtual network interface cards (NICs) and virtual host bus adapters (HBAs).

RECOMMENDATION: SAN and VIOS are solutions that work hand in hand. By implementing VIOS in addition to SAN, this maximizes the potential of your PowerVM. If you are adopting one solution, consider adopting both.


For more information on IBM i data storage, contact us today.


Source: HelpSystems Survey

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