Hey Storage, Are you Getting Soft on Us?

Over the last 18 months, Software Defined Storage (SDS) has evolved from buzzword status to a technology deployed in production environments. How did SDS take this significant leap in such a short time? Industry insiders and analysts alike point to the confluence of three discrete forces:

  • The relatively rapid move to cloud models for deploying IT services
  • The continued explosion of data – growing daily to the tune of 2.5 billion GB – and the need to extract business value from this data via analytics
  • The unleashing of mobile and social workloads

The bottom line is that new IT models, data growth, and workloads have pushed traditional storage paradigms to their limits.


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SDS


The IBM SDS Journey – a brief overview

The IBM point of view on SDS has been clear for some time. Portfolio Manager, Software Defined Environments, Ron Riffe covered SDS back in May 2013, discussing the waves of SDS and the role that IBM has played in each wave. Earlier this year, IBM announced Elastic Storage, based on technology developed to power IBM Watson.

In her recent keynote address at Enterprise 2014 (video below), Jamie Thomas, General Manager, Storage and Software Defined Systems at IBM, outlined the IBM approach to SDS. She emphasized that IBM provides SDS options that optimize the value of data and lead to enhanced business outcomes. She also spoke of IBM SDS offerings delivering value to customers in two fundamental ways:

  • Optimizing traditional workloads (AKA Systems of Record) through virtualization, particularly in heterogeneous storage environments
  • Maximizing the benefits from new-era workloads (AKA Systems of Engagement), characterized by their massive scale and need to rapidly mine value from copious data

IBM focus and resolve are well recognized in the market. Customers such as Citi, Caris Life Sciences, and EVRY , among many others, have deployed Elastic Storage to scale and analyze tremendous volumes of data in a rapid manner. Analysts have taken note as well, IDC recently naming IBM the market leader in SDS Platforms – a market that grew by 15.7% in 2Q ’14 alone.

At this point, you may be asking yourself: how can I tap into the power and benefits of SDS today? IBM offers some flexible routes:

  • Storage as software: IBM Elastic Storage, SAN Volume Controller (SVC), and Virtual Storage Center (VSC)
  • Integrated software and hardware storage: IBM Elastic Storage Server
  • Storage via the cloud: IBM Elastic Storage on SoftLayer

These are compelling, intriguing options, given that they can be deployed on- or off-premise, as software or as an integrated hardware/software offering.

So, back to the title of this blog: is storage “getting soft” (by being software-based)? The answer is a resounding yes. To learn more about IBM SDS offerings, click here.

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A Blog is Born

World, meet Datascopes.  Datascopes, meet the world.

Right. Introductions and social niceties out of the way, you are no doubt asking yourself three questions:

  • Just what is Datascopes?
  • Why will I find it interesting?
  • Which you will most probably follow with why do I need another blog in my life?

I’ll be curt: Datascopes is a blog devoted to discussing technology news and issues du jour, with a special focus on data storage and storage products brought to market by IBM.

Why will you find this blog of interest? My goal is to provide information and stimulate discussions that will be of value to those of you who – like me – spend most waking hours immersed in the worlds of technology and storage.

As for justifying the need for yet another blog… yes, I fully identify with the “I really don’t have time to read another blog.” I’ve therefore set out to write relatively short blogs. In fact, similar to Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule, I’ve devised a 4-8-8 rule for my blogs: at most there will be – four screen scrolls; eight hyperlinks; and no more than eight minutes of reading.

Finally, a disclaimer: I am employed by IBM, and so naturally, I will be inclined to discuss IBM storage products and technologies. This is a good thing for a few reasons, two of which I’ll mention:

  • We have a great roster of storage offerings which offer unique value to our customers
  • I’m a marketer focused on how technology brings business value to customers

The bottom line is you’ll hear about how technology can result in positive impact on business and much less on things like speeds and feeds.

So 4-8-8, right? Off we go! I’m hopeful that you find my blog useful and look forward to engaging with you soon.