IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - June 2018 - 47
FOCUS ON STORAGE
Storage technology shifts to accommodate cloud and cognitive demands
he IT industry is celebrated for its embrace of rapid change and disruptive
breakthroughs, but storage is the outlier. If all of the disciplines of large-scale
computing were invited to a party, storage would be the designated driver.
After all, it's the custodian of the handfuls of electrons and the tiny, fragile magnetic
fields that represent people's net wealth, tell surgeons what to fix, distribute works
of art and predict the weather. The discipline does this with amazing precision,
at immense scale and without a safety net; if digital data is lost or corrupted, the
recovery must be from other digital data.
Barrera is a
and the chief
Rock-solid reliability at
scale isn't easy to achieve, and
users are appropriately wary of
risk, so major shifts in storage
technology don't happen often.
Revolutions in storage require a
confluence of new technology;
new business requirements; and
the conviction by component
vendors, systems vendors and
end users that the needed
investment is sound.
By my own count of
revolutions, we had the disk
drive introduced by IBM in 1956
with the 350-disk storage unit,
storage networking in the late
1990s with the introduction of
Fibre Channel SAN, and small
incremental steps in between. We
now find ourselves in the midst of
another revolution, driven by the
combined forces of cloud services,
cognitive computing and a new
set of storage technologies
that have come of age.
The Cloud Effect
Cloud computing presents a
new deployment model, in
which storage is abstracted
and presented to end users
and applications as a service.
There can be a variety in terms
of service levels, speed, cost,
available and disaster tolerant,
etc., but users of applications
only see the service attributes,
not the physical storage itself.
Some of the physical properties
of storage do show through,
including the number and
geographic locations of copies,
and the underlying speed and
cost of the infrastructure. But
ibmsystemsmag.com JUNE 2018 // 47