Cloud Storage Announced by IBM

Posted on Oct 8 2009 - 7:44am by John Stevens

As reported October 8 on (an online storage-specific information resource for IT professionals), IBM has just launched 2 new data storage product packages intended to simplify deployments for customers interested in installing private storage clouds and consolidating data archiving infrastructures. This launch happened at the IBM Information Infrastructure Analyst Summit held yesterday.

During the meeting of industry analysts and press, IBM also laid out a new strategy for packaging stacks of products according to applications and use cases, making them easier to install and manage, according to Barry Rudolph, Vice President – IBM System Storage. As part of the plan to supply turnkey stacks for cloud computing and data archiving, IBM rolled out the IBM Smart Business Storage Cloud and the IBM Information Archive appliance.

IBM Smart Business Storage Cloud

The Smart Business Storage Cloud is based on IBM’s Scale-out File Services (SOFS); a variation on the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance package IBM launched in June of this year. Customers can run SOFS on either IBM System x or BladeCenter servers. SOFS is an all-encompassing management “wrapper” around IBM’s General Parallel File System (GPFS). On its own, GPFS is intended for specialized high-performance computing (HPC) environments and is administered using a command-line interface (CLI).

While competitors are rolling out object-based storage systems with management based on API integration between applications and storage repositories, IBM has opted to stick with standard network file protocols, including NFS, CIFS (through Samba), HTTP and FTP. Additionally, IBM is introduing another version of the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance as a public archiving option that includes customer self-service interfaces and chargeback options, although IBM officials declined to provide a timeframe for that release.

IBM Information Archive

The Information Archive appliance is not positioned as cloud storage, but rather fits in with the strategy of integrating products and removing variables. Information Archive is an SOFS cluster running on IBM System x for file archiving. The SOFS cluster offers a global namespace that abstracts the actual location of files in the underlying disk repository and optional attached tape library, recalling them when requested via the Information Archive element manager interface.

The Information Archive begins shipping in the 1

st quarter, 2010, while later iterations of the appliance will come pre-integrated with its content management applications for specific use cases.