When it comes to storage in or out of the cloud, the issue is no longer so much where data is located as much as how easy it is to manage. Data is often still going to wind up in both places. The challenge is figuring out what data belongs where at any given moment in time.
To address that issue, IBM has been steadily building out a portfolio of software-defined storage offerings that make it simpler to blur the line between on premise and cloud storage. To that end, IBM — via enhancements to the IBM Spectrum Storage Suite of software — is now making it possible to extend block storage running on premise into a variety of public clouds. In addition, IBM Spectrum Scale software makes it possible to share file and object storage across a hybrid cloud as well.
At the same time, IBM is adding 7 TB and 15 TB Flash options to its on-premise storage, which means IBM can now deliver as much as 32 PB of Flash storage across four racks.
Chris Saul, portfolio marketing manager for IBM, says that, in general, IBM sees a day soon when the management of storage is all automated. Instead of managing individual storage systems, Saul says, IT administrators will focus more on defining how specific classes of data are managed. As both the volume of data continues to increase alongside the number of places it can be stored, IT organizations will be forced to rethink data storage altogether, says Saul.
“It will be less about data management and more about setting the polices,” says Saul.
Regardless of where and how and IT organizations wind up storing data, the one thing that is for certain is that the more active that data is, the closer it needs to be to the application invoking it.