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IBM to invest big in software-defined storage

February 17, 2015  

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IBM Corp. today unveiled IBM Spectrum Storage, a new storage software portfolio it said is designed to address data storage inefficiencies by changing the economics of storage with a layer of intelligent software. IBM’s new storage software creates an efficient “data footprint” that dynamically stores every bit of data at the optimal cost, helping maximize performance and security.

“The rise of cloud technologies is causing a seismic shift in the way companies store, move and use data,” the company said. “With the exponential growth in consumer data growing at nearly 50% 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.  Traditional approaches to addressing storage are not sustainable — clients need to be “unboxed” from traditional storage hardware.”

IBM Spectrum Storage incorporates 700+ patents and is designed to help “clients transform to a hybrid cloud business model by managing massive amounts of data where they want it, how they want it, in a fast and easy manner from a single dashboard.”

IBM also announced plans to invest more than $1 billion in its storage software portfolio over the next five years.  The investment will focus on R&D of new cloud storage software, object storage and open standard technologies including OpenStack.

“A new approach is needed to help clients address the cost and complexity driven by tremendous data growth,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems.

“Traditional storage is inefficient in today’s world where the value of each piece of data is changing all the time.

According to IBM, as new applications require cloud delivery or deployment, the demand for storing data in the cloud is increasing. This requires a new approach to managing data with a layer of software on top of existing storage hardware to drive innovation.

Industry analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2019, 70% of existing storage array products will also be available as “software only” versions. And, by 2020, between 70-80% of unstructured data will be held on lower-cost storage managed by software defined storage environments.

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