IBM announced it is committing more than $1 billion over the next five years to deliver a new storage software portfolio designed to address data storage inefficiencies by changing the economics of storage with a layer of intelligent software.
To that end, Big Blue unveiled its new IBM Spectrum Storage software, which creates an efficient “data footprint” that dynamically stores every bit of data at the optimal cost, helping maximize performance and security.
The new IBM Spectrum Storage technology incorporates more than 700 patents and is designed to help clients transform to a hybrid cloud business model by managing massive amounts of data in a fast and easy manner from a single dashboard. The software helps users move data where they want it—from flash storage for fast access to tape and cloud for the lowest cost.
The increasing use of cloud technologies is causing a seismic shift in the way companies store, move and use data. With the exponential growth in consumer data growing at nearly 50 percent year over year, companies are demanding faster, more cost-effective solutions to make smarter business decisions. This shift is also giving rise to a new paradigm of storing data—called software defined storage—that enables companies to manage massive amounts of data from a single dashboard.
“A new approach is needed to help clients address the cost and complexity driven by tremendous data growth,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Systems, in a statement. “Traditional storage is inefficient in today’s world where the value of each piece of data is changing all the time. IBM is revolutionizing storage with our Spectrum Storage software that helps clients to more efficiently leverage their hardware investments to extract the full business value of data.”
Rosamilia said IBM’s $1 billion investment will focus on research and development of new cloud storage software, object storage and open standard technologies including OpenStack.
Moreover, IBM has accelerated its roadmap to extract intelligence from its traditional storage hardware products enabling clients to use it in any form—as-a-service, as an appliance, or, as software. The company’s new IBM Spectrum Accelerate is the first software product IBM has delivered has based on the software from its XIV high-end storage appliance.
IBM Spectrum Accelerate enables enterprises to layer their infrastructure with intelligent features derived from XIV. These features include unique architecture with zero-tuning that can help clients dynamically add storage capacity in minutes versus the months it takes today to add, install and run storage hardware systems. The software can help provide business continuity for all committed data.
In addition, the IBM Spectrum Accelerate software is open, based on industry standards and available to be used on commodity hardware. Enterprises can use Spectrum Accelerate to pool existing datacenter resources to build their own scalable, hyper-cloud environment. The system’s dashboard was created by the IBM Design Lab.
IBM Commits $1 Billion to New Storage Software
IBM’s XIV architecture has been proven in large cloud environments with customers like Netflix, which recently turned to IBM for help creating a more agile storage infrastructure. The company deployed IBM XIV Gen3 storage systems to manage its databases, development, testing and back-up operations. As a result, Netflix was able to replace 16 existing storage systems with only three XIV systems for an 80 percent reduction in actual data center floor space, and it also expects the systems will enable the company to significantly boost its database transactions per minute.
Moreover, other IBM customers such as NARI System and Integration Company, China State Grid’s IT division are looking to transform their business operations by using software defined storage and are testing IBM Spectrum Accelerate as they move toward a hybrid cloud environment.
China State Grid has prioritized software defined infrastructure as a strategic imperative to deal with increasing complexity and costs of information technology services. NARI System and Integration Company, under NARI Group, a wholly owned subsidiary under the governance of China State Grid’s IT division, is looking at IBM’s software defined storage technologies and is evaluating IBM Spectrum Accelerate.
“In our testing, we found IBM Spectrum Accelerate provides the full functionality of the field proven XIV hardware appliance, giving us the agility and ease of deployment to use across our existing hardware infrastructure without sacrificing any features,” said Xu Ji, chief architect of NARI System and Integration Company, in a statement. “IBM Spectrum Accelerate is one of the most important platforms in State Grid’s software defined strategy future.”
Meanwhile, building off an IBM Research invention, IBM later this year plans to introduce a multi-cloud connecter as a software feature in IBM Spectrum Storage. This feature will be designed to help organizations to dynamically migrate data across multiple clouds, while keeping it confidential. The feature will employ a “cloud-of-clouds” approach that invokes the resilience of separate clouds to offer stronger protection against service outages and data loss than any single cloud can deliver.
IBM Spectrum Accelerate includes an intuitive, easy-to-use GUI management dashboard called Hyper-Scale Manager that integrates with IBM Spectrum Control for consolidated management. The IBM Spectrum Accelerate GUI can be run on any browser enabled device, from desktops to iOS and Android mobile devices.
The IBM Spectrum Accelerate offering also delivers an array of cloud-ready features and technologies, including snapshot, synchronous and asynchronous replication, multi-tenancy, automation through RESTful API and OpenStack, VMware vCloud Suite integration and self-provisioning.