IBM Plans to Add ‘Container-Native’ Spectrum Fusion to Its Storage Line

By Staff Report

April 27, 2021

IBM plans to launch a new container-native software defined storage (SDS) solution, IBM Spectrum Fusion, in the second half of 2021, the company said today. It also announced updates to its IBM Elastic Storage line. Both moves reinforce IBM’s emphasis on serving the hybrid cloud compute environment.

The first incarnation of IBM Spectrum Fusion, says IBM, will come in the form of a container-native hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) system. “When it is released in the second half of 2021, it will integrate compute, storage and networking into a single solution. It is being designed to come equipped with Red Hat OpenShift to enable organizations to support environments for both virtual machines and containers and provide software defined storage for cloud, edge and containerized data centers,” reported IBM.

In early 2022, IBM plans to release an SDS-only version of IBM Spectrum Fusion.

Spectrum Fusion’s integration of a fully-containerized version of IBM’s general parallel file system and data protection software is intended to streamline data search and access across the enterprise. “In addition, customers can expect to leverage the software to virtualize and accelerate existing data sets more easily by leveraging the most pertinent storage tier,” said IBM.

With the IBM Spectrum Fusion solutions, “organizations will be able to manage only a single copy of data. No longer will they be required to create duplicate data when moving application workloads across the enterprise, easing management functions while streamlining analytics and AI. In addition, data compliance activities (e.g. GDPR) can be strengthened by a single copy of data, while security exposure from the presence of multiple copies is reduced,” according to the announcement.

The Spectrum Fusion product is being engineered to integrate with IBM Cloud Satellite to help enable businesses to fully manage cloud services at the edge, data center or in the public cloud with a single management pane.

The updates to its IBM Elastic Storage System (ESS) family of high-performance solutions include a revamped ESS 5000, now delivering 10 percent greater storage capacity (previously 13.5 petabytes) and the new ESS 3200 which offers double the read performance of its predecessor.

Denis Kennelly, General Manager, IBM Storage Systems, is quoted in the release, “It’s clear that to build, deploy and manage applications requires advanced capabilities that help provide rapid availability to data across the entire enterprise – from the edge to the data center to the cloud,” said. “It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it starts with building a foundational data layer, a containerized information architecture and the right storage infrastructure.”

A central idea, contends IBM, is that as hybrid cloud adoption grows, so too does the need to manage the edge of the network. “Often geographically dispersed and disconnected from the data center, edge computing can strand vast amounts of data that could be otherwise brought to bear on analytics and AI. Like the digital universe, the edge continues to expand, creating ever more disassociated data sources and silos,” said IBM.

Big Blue pointed to a recent report from IDC indicating the number of new operational processes deployed on edge infrastructure will grow from less than 20 percent today to over 90 percent in 2024 as digital engineering accelerates IT/OT convergence. By 2022, IDC estimates that 80 percent of organizations that shift to a hybrid business by design will boost spend on AI-enabled and secure edge infrastructure by 4x to deliver business agility and insights in near real time.

Addison Snell, CEO, Intersect360 Research noted, “IBM storage solutions are still popular in high-performance markets, where IBM Spectrum Scale is one of the leading solutions, installed at over one-third of HPC sites in our most recent survey.”

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