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IBM stretches storage service via the cloud

15 Jul 2014  | R. Colin Johnson

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IBM is taking storage to the cloud. Apart from its $1.2 billion commitment to establish for-rent datacenters in every country that needs them, the tech giant unveiled its software-defined storage-as-a-service that delivers added storage capacity or scalability in the cloud—at a claimed 90 per cent savings.

Dubbed "Elastic Storage on Cloud," the platform allows organisations an access to a fully-supported storage environment running on SoftLayer—a firm IBM acquired last year—infrastructure. This is an outgrowth of the Watson data management system, which beat the world champion humans at TV game show Jeopardy.

"With Elastic Storage on Cloud, we are addressing a new generation of workloads—cloud analytics and mobile social [trending]—which are heavily reliant on unstructured data, files, and objects," Bernie Spang, VP of strategy for software-defined environment told EE Times. "You can have data that needs to be high performance in a flash cache on the server for high performance while moving seldom-used data that does not need low-latency access off to tape—and it's not archived, it's active. It's just policy-based transparent movement of data to tape for up to 90 per cent cost savings."

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IBM's new software-defined storage-as-a-service—Elastic Storage on Cloud—allows its SoftLayer subsidiary to provide organisations with data management and storage in the cloud as well as seamless integration with their on-premises infrastructures. Source: IBM

Many of the modern datasets used today, according to IBM, deal with file sizes that exceed the limit of standard file formats, giving IBM's elastic storage concept—running on bare metal with no virtualisation (to provide maximum security)—an advantage in capability as well as cost.

Louise Westoby, product manager for Elastic Storage on Cloud, told EE Times:

Clients today need scalable storage solutions—NSF's 100 terabyte limit was really limiting cloud usage for these types of workloads—particularly in scientific and technical computing, which is dealing with petabytes of data. They also needed a better way to manage data that was [both] on-premises and in the cloud.

Our solution is to offer elastic storage as a service on the software cloud for our clients—which is taking the cloud one step further than just making the software available, but instead offers a complete package including the software infrastructure as well as full support to help the client get their data up and running in the cloud.

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