IBM on Deploying Optimized Flash Array for End-Users: IBM Edge 2013

Here to offer some rather direct and valuable insight about flash at IBM Edge 2013 is Mike Kuhn, Vice President and Business Line Executive at IBM; and Jan Janick, CTO of Flash Systems at IBM.

Back in April, IBM made a bold move of announced that they are investing $1 billion in Flash technology. Mike said that since then, a lot of traction is building around the Flash marketplace, and IBM has done several huge client deployments. Many of these said clients were at Edge to talk about their use cases, deployments, and the benefits they see with Flash.

Dave moved on to Jan and asked him how Texas Memory Systems was such a good fit into the IBM profile of acquisition. Jan cited two reasons: 1) the Flash technology that TMS had was the best IBM could find. It has very deep focus on performance, latency, and getting the most out of Flash; 2) while TMS had a great technology and a great product, they didn’t have a large sales force. IBM has the powerful sales force to sell what TMS had.

When it comes to flash deployment, Mike Kuhn pointed out that they have two types of clients. “The first half are those who implement behind SVC because they can drop right into their infrastructure, they can migrate over to this new technology without having to rewrite the application or change any of the operating procedures around copy services, compressions and the like; the other half implements it as zero storage and it’s really an application accelerator so we go on there, spend some time with them with where they have latency in their applications. And really, it drives immediate business value to their business outcomes in terms of end-users.”

When it comes to deployment models, Jan said they want to give a particular device the best optimized flash array for its end users. They will then integrate the device behind SVC or into their DSKA Storage XIV, take that flash capability, and put it on top of the capability of the systems that IBM has.

Jan also said that IBM is doing very well in software-defined because flash is both in in-server flash play and external SAN-attached shared storage. They also plan to interface with OpenStack to allow other users to add their capabilities and their IP on top of IBM’s flash!

Check out the video below for Kuhn’s entire segment.