Here at IBM Edge 2013

by Administrator on June 10, 2013

Greetings from Las Vegas, where I arrived on Sunday AM.  It is now Monday morning and I have just sat through the first 90 minutes of opening remarks and keynotes by IBM luminaries and their customers.  Needed a bio break, some coffee and a rant.

I guess the big news of the morning were remarks regarding “”the new primacy of Flash storage – “the tipping point” having been reached, you see, and “the time having arrived” to rip and replace the expensive spinning rust you bought last year with the uber-costly Flash storage that is being announced this year.

This commentary on stage this AM reinforced a view that had been coalescing since Mr. Goyal, the new General Manager for IBM Storage, gave an interview to El Reg indicating that Flash was the new game in town in IBM Storage.

I’ll bet the disk systems folks, the tape system folks, and all of their support staff, sales personnel, marketing personnel, etc. were delighted to hear this.

How do you sell more XIV platforms or SVCs or Storwize 7000s or LTFS Tape if the boss is telling everyone who will listen that that stuff is all yesterday’s news, that the new thing in storage is Flash?

That may not be as nuanced as what Mr. Goyal actually said (he did throw a few bones out at some of the non-Flash storage folks and mentioned some of the advances made this year in disk and tape) but “Flash replacing disk” is most certainly what the press heard and what IDC and other analysts (who Goyal says he consulted) will be reinforcing in their press commentary for the rest of the week.  Even the Wikibon guys were tweeting complete agreement with the view.

Next we come to clouds.  Still not sure what a cloud actually is, but IBM was proud to announce that theirs is based on OpenStack and Linux — hence open and good — versus competitors who are proprietary, closed and bad.  We are expected, according to the IBM Luminaries on stage, to believe that clouds are ready for primetime, despite the fact that cloud wars are now a certainty between purveyors with different proprietary APIs.

I learned that we don’t manage data or storage well.  That was a news flash — not.  But at least this time, the vendor did a survey to see how many folks were actually tiering, were actually virtualizing storage, were actually doing the things that would sort out the junk drawer and drive down cost, capacity demand growth, etc.  Turns out customers of IBM are in many cases as short sighted and ineffective in managing data and infrastructure as everybody else’s customers.

I like what IBM is trying to do with analytics applied to managing data across storage infrastructure, even though they don’t want to use the term storage anymore.  (Too passive, tweeted one audience member, we need a more active term to describe the functions we currently ascribe to storage. Hmm.)

The opening act was good.  A lot of drums while a pretty girl wailed about godknowswhat, probably her losses at the gaming tables.  The venue is nice, the social media lounge is packed, including the stand where the organizers are supposed to be sitting.

That’s it for now.  Need to prepare for my presentations this afternoon on Data Protection in a Time of Infrastruggle.  I figure while IBM promotes Flash and Cloud “storage” — or whatever word they will eventually replace storage with — things are still going to happen, and data will still need to be recovered to a usable state.

As you were.

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