IBM's software-defined storage rides Watson's coattails

The company is announcing storage virtualization that helped Watson win on Jeopardy

Storage is now marching down the same path as computing, approaching a future when all of an organization's storage systems can be mixed and managed as virtual pools.

On Monday, IBM will take the wraps off a portfolio of products for so-called software-defined storage, an area where established vendors and startups alike are already claiming the future has arrived. IBM is using TV star power to push its entries, saying the products are based partly on technology the company used with its high-powered Watson system on the TV game show Jeopardy.

That technology, called "Elastic Storage," aims at some of the same goals as EMC's ViPR 2.0 software, which launched last week. The general idea is to be able to access any type of data across all of an enterprise's storage systems in multiple locations. Just as it did with servers, virtualization treats storage arrays as a collective resource that can be split into virtual systems to suit application requirements.

A key benefit of Elastic Storage is that it can automatically move less-used data from across that whole pool of capacity into less expensive commodity storage, leaving faster and more expensive resources such as flash for more urgently needed bits. That automatic reshuffling, guided by policies and real-time analytics, can cut storage costs by as much as 90 percent, IBM claims.

The technology also eases administration, speeds access to data, and lets enterprises expand their capacity quickly, the company says.

Like ViPR, Elastic Storage is designed to work with storage gear from third-party vendors. IBM says it will work with any company's products. It supports the OpenStack protocol, allowing users to access and manage data across private and public clouds, and can work with Hadoop and other open APIs (application programming interfaces), IBM said.

During Watson's Jeopardy appearance in 2011, in which the system defeated two human contestants, Elastic Storage was able to load 200 million pages (5TB) of data into Watson's memory within minutes, IBM said. The architecture of Elastic Storage allows it to work with thousands of yottabytes, each of which is equal to 1 billion petabytes.

In addition to being offered as software by itself, Elastic Storage will be available later this year as a cloud service through IBM's SoftLayer IaaS (infrastructure as a service) offering.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IBMstoragecloud computinginternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?