IBM Enhances Spectrum Storage…

IBM’s February 7, 2017 software-defined storage announcement was so chock full of new capabilities for the company’s Spectrum Storage and Cloud Object Storage, it’s tough to sum it up in one sentence or even a paragraph. But a look at the history of IBM Spectrum Storage will provide some context and illustrate IBM’s prime objectives: consistency, integration and flexibility. The Spectrum Family of software- defined storage was first announced in February 2015 — a rebranding of existing IBM storage solutions with names more indicative of their functions. In early 2016, IBM announced the IBM Spectrum Storage Suite, a single capacity-based license that includes all the IBM Spectrum Storage offerings. Over time, the suite has become more of a “family”, with a consistent user experience across products by using IBM Storage Design Language (based on IBM design language) and improved integration between members of the product family. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Cloudistics Launches Ignite 3.0 On-Prem Cloud Platform

IT industry trends seldom follow a straight line. Instead, they can be and are blown hither and yon by many factors, including the strength of the underlying technologies, vendors’ investment and commitment and market enthusiasm. But perhaps most important of all are the dynamic feelings and changing needs of IT customers. That’s why the form and functions of solutions often change radically after they initially appear. Cloud computing provides an excellent example of how this has worked. While the term came into common use over a decade ago, after Amazon introduced its publicly-available Elastic Compute Cloud in 2006, cloud-based services and solutions have gone through numerous permutations since then. However, organizations that wanted to gain the benefits of cloud in their own private data centers were in a quandary, since implementing systems from the ground up required substantial resources and technical expertise. IT vendors, including Cisco, Dell EMC and IBM responded first with converged systems and then hyperconverged appliances designed to simplify on-premises cloud deployments, and their solutions gained significant market traction. But is there another, better way for supporting on-prem cloud? Cloudistics, which launched last year, would argue there is—an approach the company calls Superconverged delivered via its Ignite cloud software platform and Model-S hardware components. The launch this week of Cloudistics’ new Ignite 3.0 software offers a chance to take a closer look at the company and its offerings. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM OpenPOWER Moves on Deep Learning with a Vengeance

IBM’s OpenPOWER organization has clearly stepped up its game this week with a massive move towards making deep learning and AI efforts far more affordable. The latest announcement was to expand both its Open Source efforts to include TensorFlow—a Google-developed numerical platform designed for AI and deep learning—and significant enhancements to its NVIDIA-enhanced POWER8 platform—the S822LC (as these things get smarter I’m starting to wonder when we’ll stop using letters and numbers for names and just call them “Bruce”). You can read the announcement here yourself. Let’s chat a bit about what it means. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM’s DS8880: Sharpening the Focus on Mainframe Storage Needs

It’s been an odd half decade or so for the data storage industry. Despite the central roles that storage plays in IT products of every sort, storage vendors have been under pressure as traditional markets and opportunities continue to erode. Why so? For two reasons. First, because of the ongoing commoditization of storage components and hardware. Second, cloud players are using what are essentially loss-leading storage services to lure consumers and businesses, alike. What are storage vendors to do in such circumstances? There’s no single or simple fix, but one approach is to willingly embrace leading edge storage technologies, like NAND-based flash drives. Another involves closely tracking and developing solutions that address clients’ core business needs. IBM’s new DS8880 all-flash storage family highlights how the company is pursuing both these paths to its customers’ and its own benefit. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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The Mainframe Is Dead, Dying… or DT/DevOps-ing?
Jan19

The Mainframe Is Dead, Dying… or DT/DevOps-ing?

For decades pundits and competitors have been writing off the mainframe, AKA Big Iron, and while its market share has been eroded by newer platforms — as befits an industry where ‘what have you done for me lately’ is right up there with ‘Moore’s Law’ as Revealed Truth — it’s still alive and kicking: 55% of enterprise apps need the mainframe; 70% of enterprise transactions touch a mainframe; and, 70-80% of the world’s corporate data resides on a mainframe. However at least some are arguing that despite its age — now in its ‘50s — the venerable platform that IBM powered to success is finding new life with a couple of the current industry darlings, Digital Transformation and DevOps. First, some industry factoids: the latest quarterly server data (3Q16) showed a drop in shipments (-2.6%) and revenues (-5.8%) year over year, with IBM plummeting -33% (to $889 million). However the datacenter systems market is expected to grow 2.6% this year, to $176 billion, which should benefit mainframe sales. According to many, the future does look brighter for the mainframe. When not pointing out HPE’s perceived faults, analyst Rob Enderle (and former IBMer) has covered Big Blue extensively and recently (October) noted that developments like cloud, analytics, Linux and Blockchain are offering new optimism for the embattled platform. ‘Suddenly, mainframes are not only not obsolete, they are cutting edge, go figure. Yep the mainframe is back, with a vengeance.’ Reporting on IBM’s annual year-end recap for the Systems group, analyst Joe Clabby, Clabby Analytics, noted that the mainframe’s future is positive. Big Blue was emphasizing Blockchain and HSBN (the company’s “high security business network”). ‘Blockchain serves as the basis for creating a new way to perform transaction processing, one that features a secure “open ledger” that is shared amongst all concerned parties during the transaction. This new approach streamlines transaction and business processes and enables significantly greater security that traditional approaches.’ IBM claims that it is making solid headway with this offering in the securities, trade, finance, syndicated loans, supply chain, retail banking, public records and digital property management industries. ‘For over 20 years, ever since industry pundits in the mid-1990s forecast the demise of the IBM mainframe, Clabby Analytics has taken the position that there is no other architecture better suited for processing secure transactions (and now in-transaction analytics workloads) than IBM’s z System. ‘Given this position, we see IBM’s new LinuxONE mainframe servers as ideally positioned to support a projected major market move toward Hyperledger and Blockchain transaction processing over the coming years. This movement should greatly escalate the sale of mainframe servers. Long live the mainframe!’ Released...

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