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IBM revamps storage line

IBM today launched its "largest ever" range of new storage products, in an attempt to meet a market demand for storage the technology giant said would grow over the next decade.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor and  Alex Serpo, Contributor on

update IBM today launched its "largest ever" range of new storage products, in an attempt to meet a market demand for storage the technology giant said would grow over the next decade.

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"The work we have done over the last four or five years indicates the most exponential growth in systems spending in the storage space," said Mark Latchford, vice president of Systems & Technology group for IBM Australia.

In 2008, analyst firm IDC estimated the size of the digital universe (all the data stored globally) at 281 billion gigabytes. The company estimated that this figure would grow by a factor of 10 by 2011.

Many factors were driving the growth, said Justin Hilderbrandt an IBM storage expert, such as the proliferation of rich media and the increasing use of high resolution medical images. Hilderbrandt estimated that high resolution medical images would account for 30 per cent of all storage by 2020.

"That's why the bulk of the [IBM] Systems Group acquisitions had been in the storage space," Latchford said, pointing to IBM's acquisition of Israeli storage company XVI. XVI's technology was designed to automatically optimise resource utilisation in storage systems, making them faster and more energy efficient.

"XVI is but one example of half a dozen recent acquisitions on the storage space to make sure we have the broadest portfolio possible in what is going to be not only a highly competitive, but also the fastest growth parts of the market," Latchford said.

IBM's new storage line included hardware, software and services, with the company dubbing the overall offering "Information Infrastructure". Latchford said the release included 30 different products, with IBM's website listing nine different hardware options.

These hardware offerings cover both physical disks and tape, ranging from single rack unit devices to large, stand-alone units. IBM has currently not released pricing on the new hardware. Along with IBM's new hardware offerings, Latchford said the company would be offering new software through its Tivoli business software range.

This range includes software designed to manage encryption keys, logs, events and backups. IBM will also be offering de-duplication, a process of removing redundant data from backups like email signatures, a technology it gained through its April acquisition of Diligent Technology.

De-duplication is also currently offered by several competitors such as Symantec.

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