After a somewhat reluctant foray
into Cloud Computing, IBM is trying to put its act together on the
cloud front. After their workload based offerings, they have turned
their attention to Cloud Storage business. Yesterday, at their
Information Infrastructure Analyst Summit, IBM launched the following
two storage related services along with a bunch of their cloud
the second one is not a cloud based solution but a solution based on a
new technology that uses a mix of both disk and tape. However, the
Smart Business Storage Cloud is a private cloud offering and IBM has
plans for a public offering sometime in the future.
Business Storage Cloud is built on top of reliable General Parallel
File System (GPFS) with an ability to scale up and down seamlessly.
This storage virtualization solution provides
- Virtualized storage enabling storage consolidation
- A management platform that helps minimize outages, manage labor demands, costs, etc.
- An advanced data replication technology for business continuity and DR
is neither a record based storage like databases nor a block based
storage like the offerings of some of the other cloud storage players.
Rather, it is a file based storage system that can be used to store
files like digital media, medical imaging, web content, analytics,
modeling data, etc.. It offers support for multiple petabytes of
capacity, billions of files, and scale-out performance previously
limited to the largest ‘high performance computing’ systems. It is also
designed to make use of a client’s existing security and authentication
infrastructure. This highly scalable and secure storage service is well
suited for modern day enterprises which generate data at a pace never
witnessed anytime in the past.
This can be deployed either
on-premise or with one of the managed datacenter service providers.
Such a private cloud storage can alleviate enterprise concerns about
security, vendor lock-in concerns and, also, the huge migration costs
involved with any move to public cloud storage.
offering, IBM Information Archive, is also part of their Smart Business
System offerings. This is a hardware software combination that could
help enterprises address their complete information retention needs,
including business, legal and regulatory, and enables organizations to
leverage different tiers of storage, including disk and tape, with
policy-based management that automatically moves less active
information to more cost-effective storage systems. This could scale up
to 304 TB of raw capacity with a low TCO.
They have also added
three new cloud consulting services to their already existing portfolio
of consulting services. These include
- Strategy and Change
Services for Cloud Adoption – IBM consultants can help firms determine
how to get started with cloud adoption by quickly identifying priority
business areas; acknowledging key gaps in processes, technology,
organization and governance; and evaluating the range of new
cloud-based delivery models in order to develop a roadmap for piloting
- IBM Strategy and Change Services for Cloud Providers –
For firms looking to enter the cloud provider market, IBM can help
define an in-depth roadmap that treats cloud as a new operating model
rather than just a method of IT delivery — an essential step in
business model evolution.
- IBM Testing Services for Cloud – IBM
can also help companies build a business case that quantifies the cost,
schedule and quality improvements associated with pursing a cloud
application test environment. This can help reduce capital expenses by
provisioning test servers on demand, decreasing the cost of test setup
and tear-down and associated defects, while shortening overall cycle
To be frank, these are just a potpourri of consulting
services designed to keep their existing business intact. I am more
excited about their foray into Cloud Storage business. Even though the
current offering is not very attractive in terms of the cost, I am very
keen to know about their public cloud storage offerings. In fact, the
public storage solutions has more disruptive potential than the above
mentioned private cloud solutions. As I have mentioned in one of my
past posts, it is important for the cloud ecosystem to have IBM to be
part of the marketplace. The legitimacy offered by IBM in the
enterprise cloud play will be important to lure more and more
enterprises to jump into cloud based services.