IBM gears up for storage market competition

IBM's Brian Truskowski discusses tackling the challenges of growing data volumes

Tags: IBM Middle EastStorage
  • E-Mail
IBM gears up for storage market competition
By  Mark Sutton Published  February 13, 2011

Brian J Truskowski general manager, System Storage and Networking, IBM, Systems and Technology Group, on tackling the challenges of growing data volumes and IBM’s strategy for storage.

Channel Middle East: What does IBM see as the big play for storage in the next 12 months?

Brian Truskowski: I think it starts with end-to-end solutions. More and more of our clients are really focused on thinking about their challenges from a solution perspective as opposed to just a technology ‘speeds and feeds’ discussion. So more and more, we’re focused on bringing together hardware and software, and to a larger extent services to allow our clients to really solve a problem end-to-end and think about it from the business aspect as opposed to getting down into the core of speeds and feeds.

Channel Middle East: Typically what are the messages that you’re hearing from customers?

Brian Truskowski: They are asking more for end-to-end solutions from one provider - they are tired of putting parts together and always having to select this piece or that piece, because the integration task has always been a challenge. The vendor or provider that can really do that end-to-end solution, you still have to be very competitive component by component, but your ability to integrate that well, and make it much more turnkey like we’ve done with our archiving solution and other products, really makes a difference.

One of the big themes that I hear repeatedly is the growth of data. Storage budgets, on a worldwide basis are growing maybe 1 to 5% annually, but the data growth is growing in double digits. Fifteen petabytes of data are created every day. It’s just a massive amount of data that people are trying to deal with and it’s a huge challenge just storing it, complying with government regulations around the world that continue to emerge.

Channel Middle East: How are companies going to manage that volume of data – does it mean constant investment in boxes, or a move to cloud?

Brian Truskowski: I don’t think there’s any one answer. If you think about cloud there will be other types of cloud implementations one size is not going to fit all. As a storage vendor those of us that will be most successful are those that can help customers drive efficiency into their environment. We’re making a lot of investments and improving the efficiency of the storage a client already has, IT optimization capability. Get better efficiency, better utilization out of the storage you already have on the floor - we’ve worked with customers where we’ve reduced their needs by as much as 50% in some cases.

We will make investments in clients who want to buy boxes in a fairly traditional way and drive efficiency in those; and then create new delivery models for clients who want to consume that storage in different ways. So we will be rolling out storage cloud as part of one of our IBM services offerings. We already have a compute cloud in the marketplace that has a storage component to it and more pay-as-you-go and pay-as-you-consume delivery models over time as the technology matures.

Channel Middle East: Did you think the CIOs understand that efficiency model?

Brian Truskowski: I do. Our investment stream around efficiency data protection and service management is really borne out of those conversations with CIOs. That’s the feedback we’re getting from our clients, from prospective clients about what they think we should be focusing on and where I should be investing in our portfolio.

Channel Middle East: Is there a risk that if you improve efficiency that it’s going to hit your own bottom line on sales?

Brian Truskowski: Overall, hopefully we can slow down the growth rate in the marketplace but it’s growing so fast now. I just don’t think it’s sustainable, so something’s going to have to go. I see it really as an upside for vendors who can really solve those problems. I don’t see it’s going to be an impact in that regard. If your focus is just trying to sell more capacity and more terabytes, yeah, you’re going to have a problem if you’re really not focused on the real source of the problem.

Channel Middle East: Storage is becoming a very competitive market, how do you plan to keep IBM in the game?

Brian Truskowski: IBM is taking the storage space very seriously. We’re making investments in this, we’re growing our investments year-on-year. We anticipate we can grow our market share around the world between now and 2015. We’ve either held or gained share the last six quarters across all sections of our portfolio, and we anticipate growing at an even faster rate in the future. We have the broadest portfolio in the industry, and that gives us, I think, a unique capability to take that portfolio and put it together in really value-add ways for our customers.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code