IBM Continues to Advance Its Strategic Storage Investments

In 2015, IBM announced that it would spend $1 billion on software-defined storage (SDS) R&D over the coming five years. Recent enhancements in its SDS portfolio — namely the IBM Spectrum Storage family — reflect how that ongoing investment is benefiting storage users and IBM customers. IBM Spectrum Storage family: Responding to changing times Regarding IBM’s Spectrum Storage family, recall what SDS is and why just one product won’t do. SDS decouples the software that manages storage from the underlying physical storage hardware. That increases the flexibility of deployment. So customers can choose to use software-only with virtually any heterogeneous storage systems, i.e., not necessarily IBM storage, although all or part of the mix could include IBM equipment. A second SDS deployment model is with an appliance. In the case of selected IBM Spectrum Storage products, the software can be sold with specific IBM hardware making it a more traditional approach, but it also means that the software can take fuller advantage of the underlying physical hardware. An example is the tight coupling of the IBM DeepFlash 150 with IBM Spectrum Scale that results in a high-capacity, all-flash (meaning high performance) system (called DeepFlash Elastic Storage Server) with the scale-out file management capabilities. A third SDS deployment model is as the foundation of a cloud service. Since the “cloud” in its many permutations and manifestations continues to proliferate applications and data, SDS can provide the support needed for accompanying storage systems. But why the need for multiple products? The answer is that the variety of applications and data types continues to explode in numerous dimensions, all of them additive with none taken away. Traditional block-based, structured data online transaction processing systems and file-based systems, such as for semi-structured data as document management, are still critically important. But now, big data, Internet of Things, Web-based applications, and mobile applications are taking center stage, as well. NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT Review. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Dropbox Seeks New Growth/Opportunities in the Enterprise

It’s no surprise that vendors are systematically targeting workers who leverage their own personal technologies for company projects and functions. That practice has been commonplace since the 1980s when employees first began sneaking home PCs into their offices to run spreadsheet and word processing programs. On the plus side, those efforts can increase flexibility and efficiency but they also circumvent established IT and, increasingly, traditional IT vendors. More recently, vendors, like Amazon with its AWS solutions, recognized that proactively engaging individuals and work groups, and thus entering their workplaces through the “side door” constituted a highly effective business model. Many others have followed or tried to follow Amazon’s lead, especially software as a service (SaaS) vendors and others leveraging cloud computing infrastructures. Those that succeed eventually reach an interesting position where pursuing or achieving upward growth requires them to prove their solutions are worthy of broader adoption within the enterprises they initially entered informally. This can result in a fascinating dance, technologically and rhetorically as proved by this week’s Dropbox announcement of new cloud, workspace and collaboration services and solutions. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM and AA – An Innovative Partnership Heads to the Cloud

In an IT industry that is both dynamic and frangible, an organization like IBM stands out. That’s partly due to its remarkable longevity which at a century and counting is more than two of its senior-most major competitors, HPE and Oracle, combined. But the company’s durability and its approach to computing innovation is also reflected in its relationships with customers and partners. Last week’s announcement concerning one of those customers – American Airlines (AA) – marked a notable strategic partnership and significant milestone for both organizations. Why notable? Because the agreement means that AA, the world’s largest airline (currently offering about 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries), has chosen IBM to be its cloud computing provider “for greater enterprise flexibility, scalability and reliability.” Why significant? Because the new deal is just the latest development in a partnership that dates back over six decades to the 1950s when AA and IBM developed the airline industry’s first electronic reservation and ticketing system. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Time to Stop Buying IT Hardware for Your Data Center

I recently attended AWS re:Invent, and while I have seen some pretty impressive business use cases that have bent their strategies toward the cloud, I walked away truly wondering why businesses would ever purchase a piece of IT infrastructure again. Let’s face it, managing IT infrastructure has been one of the most difficult and specialized jobs of IT, and most IT organizations do an amazing job at managing complex architectures, but why continue to do so? To read the complete article, CLICK...

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AWS re:Invent Preview… Cloud-Delivered Security

The seminal cloud computing event, AWS re:Invent is coming up and cybersecurity is likely to once again be front and center with Amazon, vendors, and customers all discussing best practices for securing cloud and hybrid cloud environments. At the same time, some cybersecurity vendors will be sharing how they leverage the agility and ubiquity of the cloud as a delivery platform to offer security-as-a-service. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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