IBM is making a bid for for the hybrid cloud with the introduction of storage software and a substantial investment pledge.
Spectrum Storage will form part of IBM’s high-end storage appliance, XIV, which is aimed at companies with large amounts of big data which requires storage. The system will allow customers to use a single dashboard to manage information across existing storage infrastructure.
Combined with the software, IBM has also pledged to spend $1bn over the next five years in order to develop further storage offerings.
IBM said: "IBM’s Spectrum Storage portfolio can centrally manage more than 300 different storage devices and yottabytes [a trillion terabytes] of data.
"This device interoperability is the broadest in the industry – incorporating both IBM and non-IBM hardware and tape systems. IBM Spectrum Storage can help reduce storage costs up to 90% in certain environments by automatically moving data onto the most economical storage device – either from IBM or non-IBM flash, disk and tape systems."
The software-driven storage move appears to fall in line with a wider industry trend, with Gartner stating that 70% of existing storage array solution will be available as "software only" by 2019.
Part of the IBM package, IBM Spectrum Accelerate is already being used on 100,000 servers around the world and the software is currently being tested by streaming platform Netflix, which has replaced 16 existing storage systems with three XIV systems, which has reduced datacentre floor use by 80%.
IBM will also be open-sourcing Spectrum Accelerate software, which may help boost interest in XIV from other sources.