IBM Edge "Is Breadth Manifest" (Includes Video)

The 2015 edition of IBM’s Edge conference recently took place in Las Vegas. While it lacked some of the showbiz sheen of other big industry events, the feeling of being at a cult reunion was just as strong; and any lack of hype was more than balanced by the focus on links to real world business/societal outcomes that permeated everything. There’s a telling irony in that comment: while many vendors declare lofty goals in their conference descriptors that are sometimes based on spurious - or at best strained – links to eventual value, and then actually talk about products, IBM (as so often) treads a different path: It actually declares that the conference is indeed about infrastructure, but then wraps that iron fist of infrastructure in a beguiling and compelling velvet glove of end-user achievement and proven value. 

Topics: IBM Storage IT Infrastructure IBM Edge storage virtualization

Data Analytics for Everyone at IBM Edge

We live in an unsettling time for enterprise storage technology. It may not be too much of a stretch to say that the future of storage technology is more uncertain now than it has been in the past 10 or 15 years. Emerging technology trends such as the cloud and big data analytics, along with the storage innovations of software-defined storage (SDS) and solid-state are transforming the information technology landscape as we speak.

While multiple, if not all, technology providers have identified this transition, execution strategies differ. Some providers focus on the infrastructure, designing the best storage technology and features to prepare for the pending onslaught of data. Other providers focus on the expanded ecosystem, understanding that organizations may need technology in multiple locations, on- and off-premises. IBM takes these ideas one step further, not just focusing on bridging the old world of IT to the new, but striving to help businesses do more by layering advanced data analytics in an effort to achieve new and valuable insight.

Topics: Data Analytics IBM Edge

IBM "Edge"s In A Better Storage Direction?

Just recently IBM held its latest "Edge" event - its systems- and storage-focused user conference. Now, those of you that read my blog regularly will know that I often like to have a little time to reflect after these big industry shindigs, before I put my thoughts let the hype fade and to see what's left. Irrespective of how many of these things you go to (and I do plenty!) it's all-too-easy to get caught up in the flurry of announcements (and there were plenty!) and the general razzmatazz and get carried along on the wave of news. I want to try to see the bigger picture, or at least what will be the lasting changes - not so much what gets immediately reported, but what will be impacting a vendor, the market, and users for years to come.

Topics: IBM Storage IT Infrastructure Mark Peters data storage IBM Edge

IBM Wants a Smarter Planet? Sure, But With an Edge

OK, so IBM isn’t actually asserting the world is flat, but it did hold its second ‘Edge’ event earlier this month (as I’ve said before, I like writing about these big industry events after the Kool Aid has had a chance to leave my system!). Edge started life as very much a storage event last year with somewhere around 2000 attendees, but this year had grown in both coverage (still with storage – rightly! - at the center of things) and also attendance, with close to 5000 end-users on hand at one end of the Vegas strip while HP’s Discover was a few stop-lights away at the other end.

The Edge event was very much focused on users and practical implementations, so much of the material (or at least the context and content) was familiar to those of us that get pre-briefed and kept up to date. Of course, there were still plenty of specific announcements, but it’s the big themes that interest me. So let’s get to it. After the [what is becoming requisite] loud start – in this case a rock group (don’t touch that dial: yes, this is IBM with its corporate tie loosened) – there were the [also requisite] mentions of a focus on data, the arrival of software-defined environments and the need for ‘smarter computing’ in general. But, the first specific technology to get a mention was…..flash. Yup, the world of IT and storage is ultimately all about economics, and since (as IBM – rightly IMHO - put forth in its Flash Ahead initiative this last April) flash is all about economics then ergo the world is all about flash! Or as Ambuj Goyal, the disarming and knowledgeable leader of IBM’s storage division, jokingly put it “The answer is flash…now, what’s the question?”! And flash did indeed get a lot of attention – one of the on-stage clients called it “the answer to the poorly written software we’ve had for ages.” While this won’t win that particular gentleman many friends in his software team it did strike a chord with some interesting research IBM showed; quoting from its regular CEO Study, IBM showed a chart that asked CEOs to rank the most strategic factors/components impacting organizations – this covered such things as people skills, macro-economics, market factors and so on. Back in 2004 “Technology Factors” was number 6, but it has climbed steadily over recent years to be #1 in 2012. I hear a sigh of relief from the software team, since I’m sure they count in this respect!? However the takeaway is that technology is absolutely crucial.

Topics: IBM Storage IT Infrastructure flash IBM Edge