IBM expands Spectrum storage into the cloud

The company has cloud-enabled two key storage products by uncoupling the management software from the hardware.

In line with its strategy to cloud-enable its storage management software and hardware products, IBM has announced that its customers will now be able to manage Spectrum Accelerate and Spectrum Protect products in a hybrid storage environment.

The announcement comes in the wake of IBM's February launch of the Spectrum line of storage systems and software - part of a $1bn investment by the company into software-defined storage.

The move highlights what IBM calls the "new reality that datacenters are becoming software defined" and will mean more licences and less hardware sold. IBM said on Wednesday that in the six months since it launched the initiative, "more than 1,000 new clients had chosen products from the IBM Spectrum Storage portfolio".

Cloud Services: IBM knows its future now lies on owning the cloud, if it can. Graphic: IBM

The first product, IBM Spectrum Accelerate on Cloud, gives users the application as a service for IBM Cloud via the IBM SoftLayer infrastructure. According to the company it will help "companies to deploy block storage on SoftLayer without having to buy new storage hardware or manage a large appliance farm".

Juha Kukka, services design manager of cloud service provider Enfo, said that Spectrum Accelerate on Cloud allows his company to do off-site copies, snapshots, and asynchronous replication of data from its datacenters to IBM Cloud from a unified management dashboard.

IBM also hopes to reduce costs for customers by consolidating storage and compute resources on the same servers. IBM Spectrum Accelerate is now available with portable licensing across XIV systems, on-premises servers, and cloud environments "to offer greater operational flexibility and help support clients as they transform their IT infrastructures to software defined storage", IBM said.

IBM says that its Spectrum Storage portfolio can centrally manage "more than 300 different storage devices and yottabytes [a trillion terabytes] of data". It's interoperable with both IBM and non-IBM hardware and tape systems.

Also, sometime in the fourth quarter of 2015, IBM Spectrum Protect will be offered as an option on VersaStack, which has been jointly developed by IBM and Cisco.

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