At our recent “Rock Your Storage” event, our speakers discussed Software Defined Storage (SDS) strategy and evolving solution set, and shared the stage with clients who already have first-hand operational experience of latest storage innovations. One thing worth mentioning: some of our insurance clients are already tapping into leading edge developments to radically improve the economics and agility of storage in the big data era of cloud, analytics, mobile and social media.
In an industry that is highly-data centric Ageas Insurance and Ping An Insurance are among the leaders who have turned to IBM’s storage solutions to improve not only for their key daily business processes, but also to support activities such as market trend monitoring, customer management and fraud detection.
Turbo Performance in a Flash
Flash, the memory technology used in everything from mobile phones and tablet PCs to thumb drives, is taking the enterprise by storm, helping businesses large and small improve the performance of applications as well as analytics in the era of Big Data. According to a new research report from Gartner, IBM is the worldwide market leader in flash storage solid-state arrays (SSAs) based on revenue for 2013. (*Source 1)
Ageas Insurance, one of the largest players in Hong Kong’s life insurance market, has been using the IBM FlashSystem together with a Storwize V7000 disk array, to help improve its business operations, achieving a 464% increase in database response time compared to pure disk solutions.
“Using IBM FlashSystem Enterprise solutions, we have drastically boosted the performance of our core insurance application, freeing up resources for new strategic workload and potential opportunities,” said Andy Wong, Head of Information Technology at Ageas Insurance Company (Asia) Limited.
In its Market Share Analysis: SSDs and Solid-State Arrays, Worldwide report for 2013, by Joseph Unsworth, published June 10, 2014, Gartner identified IBM as the leader with 25 percent of the SSA market share revenue. (*Source 1)
Conceptually similar to software-defined networking, a software-defined environment provides a layer of abstraction that enables computer systems and applications to operate without having to interact directly with the underlying storage infrastructure. SDS also allows disparate storage systems to be consolidated into unified storage pools and enables policy-based storage management supported by features such as data deduplication, replication, thin provisioning, snapshots and backup.
In its latest Worldwide Storage Software QView report International Data Corp (IDC) ranked IBM as the top supplier of Software Defined Storage Platforms, based on software revenue during the second quarter 2014. This reflects the increasingly widespread adoption of IBM’s SDS technologies by clients looking to gain faster, more reliable access to their growing data volumes. (*Source 2)
An IBM SDS solution has been implemented by Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China Ltd, the country’s largest private insurer, to help reduce its data collection cycle from one month to one hour, dramatically improving its ability to meet new regulatory requirements such as the annual audit and industrial data analysis. Using IBM SAN Volume Controller software, Ping An was able to virtually integrate more than a petabyte of data from a variety of storage systems including the IBM XIV Gen3, as well as systems from EMC and Hitachi.
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention and with around 90% of the world’s data having been created in just the last two years and 70% of organizations having no means of organizing and analyzing their data, innovation is more than ever needed. Storage innovations such as Software-defined storage and Flash have the potential to redefine the economics of data management while making it much easier for companies to extract maximum value from their data.