Adding an IBM LTFS EE Tape Tier to an IBM SCSA Managed Storage Cloud


Abstract

IBM® SmartCloud® Storage Access (SCSA) is an IBM storage cloud management software product that enables cloud service with virtualization and automation. IBM Linear Tape File System™ Enterprise Edition (LTFS EE) can use LTFS for the policy management of tape as a storage tier in an IBM General Parallel File System based (IBM GPFS™) environment, and helps encourage the usage of tape as a critical tier in storage solutions. Now, an LTFS EE tape tier can be integrated in to the SCSA managed storage cloud with IBM STG Lab Services. This IBM Web Doc describes how to add the value of tape to your storage cloud.

Contents


IBM® SmartCloud® Storage Access (SCSA) is a cloud storage software that features a web-based, self-service portal for storage provisioning, monitoring, and reporting. SCSA helps users rapidly provision storage capacity on demand (CoD) and to collaborate with other users. IBM Linear Tape File System™ Enterprise Edition (LTFS EE) gives organizations an easy way to use cost-effective IBM tape drives and libraries within a tiered storage infrastructure. By using tape libraries instead of disks for Tier 2 and Tier 3 data storage, data that is stored for long-term retention, organizations can improve efficiency and reduce costs. The following figure shows the addition of a tape tier to the cloud storage service. This Web Doc describes how SCSA and LTFS EE can now work together to add the value of tape to your SCSA managed storage cloud.

Expand capacity with a tape tier that is managed by the storage service
Figure 1. Expand capacity with a tape tier that is managed by the storage service


Did you know?

IBM Systems and Technologies Group (STG) Lab Services developed a customized adapter for SCSA that can support other storage, such as General Parallel File System (IBM GPFS™). LTFS EE is based on GPFS and provides hierarchical storage management, so the adapter facilitates SCSA and LTFS EE working together, with SCSA focusing on storage provisioning and LTFS EE focusing on data migration to tapes for long-term retention. Combining SCSA for storage cloud management with the seamless integration of LTFS with GPFS for a low-cost, scalable storage tier, increases the storage cloud value by adding a tape tier to address business requirements for data archiving.


IBM SmartCloud Storage Access overview

IBM SmartCloud® Storage Access V1.2 enables enterprises to implement a private cloud storage service where users can request and receive storage capacity, upload and download files into the company's private cloud, and administrators can monitor and report usage with just a few mouse clicks. In addition to the storage cloud file access that is provided by IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage and IBM Storwize® V7000 Unified (V7000U), SCSA V1.2 includes self-service storage provisioning for IBM Storwize V7000, IBM SAN Volume Controller, and IBM XIV® storage systems for SAN (block) access. SCSA can also support federated authentication for collaboration among multiple enterprises and allow cloud administrators to export consumption data for chargeback purposes. SCSA can be used to perform common private cloud operations, including the following ones:
  • Provisioning and de-provisioning file storage and block storage space
  • Creating environments to give team-specific access to file space, and block storage that is attached to hosts
  • Providing request and approval work flow support
  • Providing access to a file space through file protocols, such as Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Network File System (NFS), and access to block space through the Fibre Channel (FC) protocol
  • Setting automatic email notification for a usage warning policy
  • Automatic expiration policy
  • Monitoring and reporting capability
  • Service level customization
  • REST API for third-party integration
  • Globalization support

The following figure shows what a storage cloud looks like with the IBM SmartCloud Storage Access solution.

High-level view of the SCSA solution
Figure 2. High-level view of the SCSA solution


Linear Tape File System Enterprise Edition overview

LTFS EE for the IBM System Storage® TS3500 Tape Library provides seamless integration of LTFS with GPFS by creating an LTFS tape tier. You can run any application that is designed for disk files on tape by using LTFS EE. LTFS EE can play a major role in reducing the cost of storage for data that does not need the access performance of primary disk. With LTFS EE, you can enable the usage of LTFS for the policy management of tape as a storage tier in a GPFS environment and use tape as a critical tier in the storage environment. LTFS EE supports IBM Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Ultrium 6 and 5 tape drives, and IBM System Storage TS1140 Tape Drives that are installed in TS3500 Tape Libraries. Using LTFS EE to replace disks with tape in Tier 2 and Tier 3 storage can improve data access over other storage solutions because improves efficiency and streamlines management for files on tape.

As shown in the following figure, LTFS EE simplifies the usage of tape by making it transparent to the user and manageable by the administrator under a single infrastructure.

High-level architecture of LTFS EE showing a tape tier integrated into GPFS
Figure 3. High-level architecture of LTFS EE showing a tape tier that is integrated into GPFS


SCSA and LTFS EE integration with an STG Lab Services customized adapter

The software architecture of SCSA defines some common cloud operations and provides the mechanism to accept new types of storage. SCSA supports file storage devices, such as IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage and IBM Storwize V7000 Unified (V7000U). By embedding a customized adapter in SCSA, SCSA can support other storage environments, such as GPFS. STG Lab Services provide professional support to clients to build a highly scalable, cost-effective private storage cloud by combining SCSA and LTFS EE. The GPFS adapter for SCSA, which is developed by STG Lab Services, enables SCSAs integration with LTFS EE. LTFS EE is based on GPFS to provide hierarchical storage management, so the adapter facilitates SCSA and LTFS EE working together, with SCSA focusing on storage provision and LTFS EE focusing on data migration to tapes for long-term retention.

The following figure shows the overall architecture of SCSA and LTFS EE with the STG Lab Services customized adapter.

SCSA and LTFS EE architecture with the STG Lab Services customized adapter
Figure 4. SCSA and LTFS EE architecture with the STG Lab Services customized adapter

The solution of SCSA with LTFS EE adds the value of tape to the storage cloud solution. Enterprises can achieve end to end automation that can contribute to a reduction in the effort that is needed for resource provisioning, management, and tracking usage. By adding the LTFS EE tape tier to the SCSA managed storage cloud ease of use improves and the total cost of ownership (TCO) goes down. The following table describes the benefits of the four typical use cases within the storage cloud tape tier: archiving, backup, tiered storage, and data exchange.

Table 1. Use case benefits of adding LTFS EE to SCSA
Use caseRequirementsBenefits
Archiving
  • Large amount of data and larger files
  • Infrequently accessed
  • Longer retention periods
  • Easy data access
  • Simplicity with file system interface
  • Scalable
  • Low TCO
Backup
  • Backup to file systems
  • Simple backup solution
  • Easy data access for restore
  • Easy to use with standard copy tools
  • Scalable
  • Low TCO
Tiered and Scalable Storage
  • Tiered storage
  • Automated placement and migration
  • Easy data access
  • Easy to use through a file system interface
  • Powerful GPFS policies
  • Scalable
  • Low TCO
Data Exchange
  • Export entire directories to tape
  • Import files and directories with seamless data access
  • Leverage the global namespace
  • Export of tape cartridge copies
  • Efficient import without reading data
  • Import and export within global namespace


Contacting STG lab services

IBM Systems Lab Services and Training shows you how global information technology works. They help drive down costs by designing flexible infrastructures and help you better manage risk with advanced technical skills and our experience. The team introduce innovative technologies as they emerge from IBM product development labs, and deliver the training that is needed to best use these technologies. Collaboration with IBM service organizations, such as IBM Global Technology Services®, IBM Global Business Services®, Sales and Distribution, Software Group, and IBM Business Partners result in successful end to end managed solutions.

To learn more about the savings from using LTFS EE with SCSA, contact the Systems and Technology Group Lab Services at the following website:
http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/services/labservices/contact.html


Additional reference materials:

Special Notices

This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment. publib-b.boulder.ibm.com

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Publish Date
05 March 2014


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