IBM launches Spectrum Storage for hybrid cloud, invests $1bn in software defined storage


IBM has launched IBM Spectrum Storage, a new storage portfolio which adds a layer of intelligent software to store each piece of data at the optimal cost maximising performance and security.

The tech giant has also put more than $1bn of investments into its storage software portfolio over the next five years.

Software defined storage is an interesting area, where the programming that controls storage-related tasks is decoupled from the physical storage. It’s not to everyone’s taste, with the idea of software-concealed storage becoming more popular, according to TechTarget’s Rich Castagna; yet he complains the “laggards are – as usual – the big storage dudes.”

Yet according to Gartner, by 2019 70% of existing storage array products will be available as “software only” versions.

“A new approach is needed to help clients address the cost and complexity driven by tremendous data growth,” said IBM Systems SVP Tom Rosamilia. “Traditional storage is inefficient in today’s world where the value of each piece of data is changing all the time.

“IBM is revolutionising storage with our Spectrum Storage software that helps clients to more efficiently leverage their hardware investments to extract the full business value of data.”

The solution is described by Big Blue as a hybrid cloud offering, as it manages data wherever, whenever, from flash storage to tape and cloud.

Yet despite the huge investments in cloud from IBM over the past year – there was certainly a positive atmosphere at the media unveiling of the SoftLayer UK data centre in January – not every commentator is convinced. David Linthicum, writing for InfoWorld, argues that IBM “has a big problem to solve around the cloud.”

Linthicum cites the departure of SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby, as well as the decision to make IBM veteran Robert LeBlanc its new head of cloud, as a key problem. Similarly, with an 11th consecutive quarter of declining revenue for IBM, reports of more layoffs don’t help a company which is shifting its revenues to the cloud, Linthicum argues.

“In its current approach, IBM’s cloud efforts will suffer the death of a thousand cuts,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, the company has too much legacy baggage that its leadership doesn’t know how to manage.”

Do you agree with this view? You can find out more about IBM Spectrum Storage here.