IBM storage- The big news in the technology world this past week was IBM Corporation’s purchase of Red Hat RHT +0.53% in one of the largest software company acquisitions in history. While that is a foundation-shaking move for both IBM and Red Hat, it will not impact the day-to-day lives of most working IT professionals.
IT professionals focus on delivering consistently reliable and quality service to their customers. While the Red Hat integration will take a while to yield updated product and technologies roadmaps for the new combined company, IBM’s recent plethora of storage announcements is much more critical when thinking about your IT organization’s needs.
I love covering IBM’s storage announcements. The storage group, while sitting within an unquestionable behemoth of a technology company, moves with the pace and agility of a much smaller organization. It is an organization that has palpable energy within it.
This agility and pace has allowed the IBM storage team to deliver a cadence of impressive new technology and product announcements. What I find fascinating about this team is its steadfast alignment towards a compelling vision of how enterprise data should be managed.
IBM’s storage story focuses on how data is generated, managed, and consumed within an enterprise. It is that understanding that generates a set of technologies that can be leveraged to deliver a cohesive solution to any IT organization.
Would you have guessed that IBM now has the broadest portfolio of NVMe and NVMe-over-fabric enabled products in the industry? It surprised me. I wasn’t surprised to learn that IBM is the world leader in tape archive solutions, given that I started in this industry by changing nine-track tapes for gas money. IBM and tape are permanently cemented in my mind. At the same time, a portfolio that reaches from arguably the fastest storage arrays in production to the lowliest tape drive is quite a span.
All about software
IBM has always been about delivering cohesive software-first solutions to IT, which it closely couples with well-engineered hardware. This has been true since IBM delivered its first mainframe seventy years ago, continuing today with its broad range of offerings in compute and storage that span on-premises and cloud architectures.
As IT organizations move from tape to cloud for data protection and archival storage, and as data comes alive with the rise of AI-driven analytics and edge-driven compute, managing that data becomes a logistical challenge. Knowing where data is, what it’s used for, and what the organization’s requirements are in protecting that data is what drives long-term technology choices.
Managing the flow of an organization’s data, while delivering insights on the characteristics of that data, is what IBM’s Spectrum Storage suite is all about. There are IBM Spectrum Storage products that manage data in virtualized environments, provision storage into hybrid-cloud deployments, manage the complexities of data-protection and backup, and that provide software-defined storage solutions for file, block, and objects.
IBM’s recent announcements included a flurry of new features across the Spectrum Storage line, including a new solution for SAP HANA installations that leverages IBM storage, IBM Spectrum Protect, and IBM Spectrum Copy. It’s a big list, but two software-related announcements dominated my attention.
IBM Storage Insights
IBM Storage Insights is a cloud-based management tool that leverages IBM AI technology to detect storage networking performance issues and proactively generate support cases to help IT before issues become problems. This class of capability is rolling out from vendors across the IT industry and is fast becoming table stakes for selling storage solutions into the enterprise.
I’m glad to see IBM release this product. Given IBM’s heritage in artificial intelligence, combined with its half-century-long institutional legacy in supporting datacenter technology, it could become something special.