IBM FlashSystem Storage Appliances Launch With $1 Billion Investment

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-04-11 Print this article Print

One agency was using Oracle technology and was having problems, so it moved to the TMS flash technology and saw improvement immediately, Bruce said. “When you’re chasing somebody and you’re looking at two- to three-minute response times, they’re gone,” he said. “Flash cuts the response time down to two to three seconds.”

However, Bruce added that he would like to see IBM deliver tighter integration of its flash technology and its data analytics technology. “Most of the use cases we see for flash products are in data analytics,” he said. “Our customers are taking a number of data points and looking at where somebody might be. That’s a large disk problem, and it’s a performance problem of getting a response as quickly as you can.”

Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel Corp., an early adopter of flash, recently completed a deal with IBM to install nine flash storage systems in its data center, for a total of 150TB of additional flash storage. The company was looking for a way to improve the performance and efficiency of its phone activation application. When performance rose and energy consumption dropped, the company began to expand the technology to other parts of the data center. According to Sprint officials, this latest installation is part of the company’s new strategy to move its most active data to all-flash storage systems.

The new IBM FlashSystem joins the company’s growing stable of all-flash and hybrid (disk/flash) solutions, which include IBM Storwize V7000, IBM System Storage DS8870 and the IBM XIV Storage System.

“If this was all just about flash, that’s not interesting,” IBM’s Goyal told eWEEK. “But once it becomes about systems and it becomes about how systems are designed and built, then it becomes core to IBM. The tipping point is about how data centers and systems are designed, and that’s right in our wheelhouse. We are accelerating this tipping point.”

“I think the broad move to flash storage is a big, future trend, which will blur the distinction between storage and memory,” Jonathan Yarmis, an analyst with Yarmis Group, told eWEEK. “In an increasingly real-time world, that's a powerful unification. From a marketing perspective, this was a good announcement from several perspectives. One billion is real money, even by IBM standards.

“I think the timing is good. IBM can clearly seize some thought leadership to accompany a good product story. And I thought their choice of customer stories was masterful. You had Kroger in a razor-thin margin business, talking about how this saves them money. And then you had Reuters talking about all the business transformation value they see.  I think this speaks to how important this will be over time. Flash changes economics and enables new kinds of applications. Depending on who you are, IBM has a story to tell you: save money; be disruptive safely.”


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