Now, strictly speaking, for the title of this blog to be accurate, I should probably have said IBM might be the new kid on the file, object, and cloud as well as the block…but that would have made it a tad too long, and spoiled the pun! Nonetheless, odd as it seems, the fact is that IBM recently had what amounted to a ‘coming out party’ in terms of its involvement in the storage market. It seems odd of course to think in those terms because IBM has been in the storage game for ever….well ‘for ever’ being a pretty darned long time since IBM effectively started the storage market back in the mid 1950s with the first commercially successful tape and disk drives.
For a few decades after that, IBM dominated the storage space (with a few ‘plug compatible' manufacturers snapping around its heels), but in more recent decades a dynamic competitive storage sector has emerged and IBM has – frankly – been somewhat relegated to the [at least marketing] shadows. Some of the change was no doubt due to the sophisticated and capable competitors lined up against it (EMC, NetApp, HP, HDS, and so on)….but some of the change has also been due to what-appears-to-be an unwillingness by IBM to toot its own horn. Whether born of old style-courtesy or something else, what makes the change in ‘perception-fortunes’ doubly odd is that IBM has never stopped being highly innovative in storage, nor indeed has it stopped having a vibrant storage revenue stream. You just wouldn’t have known! And it has even seemed at times as if IBM was accepting of its ‘dowager’ role; or – more generously – was at least concentrating its efforts elsewhere.