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Data growth on the rise: IBM jumps in with new cloud storage services

By Catherine Knowles
Wed 24 Feb 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

IBM has released new object-based cloud storage services to help customers tackle growing volumes of unstructured data with scalability for both on-premise and hybrid cloud environments.

The new IBM Cloud Object Storage will combine technology from the recently acquired leading object storage company, Cleversafe, with the IBM Cloud to provide enterprises with flexible hybrid cloud storage-as-a-service solutions, IBM says.

With the new services, IBM says it will provide enterprises a choice of multiple APIs and the option to store large amounts of data on-premise, on the IBM Cloud, or across the two in a hybrid environment.

IDC estimates that 80% of new cloud applications are predicted to be big-data intensive. Cleversafe object storage technology addresses this by enabling data-intensive clients to scale to exabytes of storage, or billions of gigabytes, IBM says.

"One of the biggest challenges enterprises face today is the massive growth of data, fuelled by cloud, mobile, IoT, analytics, social media, cognitive and other technologies organisations eagerly employ to transform their business and engage customers," says John Morris, IBM Cloud Object Storage general manager.

 "By bringing Cleversafe technology to the cloud with these services, we will empower clients with the choice and flexibility needed to better balance storage cost, location, and compliance control requirements across their data sets and essential applications,” he says.

Object storage delivered as-a-Service or a System

IBM plans to make the new IBM Cloud Object Storage services available in the second quarter in three configurations:

Nearline will provide a cloud infrastructure for infrequently accessed data at a lower cost. Nearline is ideal for archive, back-up, and other workloads delivered across select IBM Cloud data centers, the company says.

Standard will provide a higher performance public cloud offering based on proven Cleversafe technology with new S3 API interfaces. This service is ideal for a wide range of high performance applications written to use the S3 object storage API.

Dedicated will provide a single-tenant IBM Object Storage system running on dedicated servers in IBM Cloud data centers. Available as an IBM managed service or as a self-managed cloud solution, this approach will give clients access to object storage with no need for extra hardware or data center space.

Cleversafe systems deployed by IBM clients will be able to interact with these new services. New or existing on-premise systems can serve as a standalone storage solution or be combined with IBM Cloud Object Storage services to support hybrid cloud needs, IBM says. This on-premise technology supports clients with hundreds of petabytes of storage in production.

New flexible licencing

IBM Cloud Object Storage will be available in a variety of licencing models, including perpetual, subscription, or consumption. With a variety of  licencing options, customers will be able to buy storage capacity with the flexibility to move data between the enterprise and the cloud as business needs change, IBM says.

Further adding to the solution's flexibility, IBM Cloud Object Storage will support both file and object workloads, enabling enterprises to deploy a single data storage hub that supports storage needs for traditional and web-based applications.

Data can be read and written using the broadest range of object interfaces, Swift or S3, and other major interface, including NFS and SMB.

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