The better AI infrastructure that customers crave

By | 4 minute read | July 8, 2020

There is no doubt that the AI marketplace is an attractive, fast-growing sector for IBM Business Partners to get engaged. IDC has forecasted the 2020 AI revenue opportunity at USD 49 billion, growing to USD 98 billion by 2023¹.

Customers tell us that infrastructure for AI is not getting better, it’s getting worse. In their struggle to help meet escalating demands, many vendors resort to cobbling disparate portfolios that are not tightly integrated. The result is a jigsaw puzzle of data silos, multiple data copies and independent components, which lead to growing complexity with increased cost of ownership and poor data insights. Data locked in silos is complex to manage—it can also increase operating expenses, which, in turn, drives up capital expenses. It is also hard for users to collect, organize and analyze to extract value. AI needs data to achieve the holistic view that is required for meaningful insights that fuels business growth.

How can Business Partners capitalize on the lucrative AI opportunity while ensuring that they satisfy customers? The answer is simple:  team with the vendor with the most market share and also the best storage solutions for your customers’ Data and AI journey. IBM was ranked #1 for 2018 market share in AI deployments with 9.2% of the global market according IDC ². And IBM Storage has a fully integrated solution that helps your customers all the way through the stages of the AI journey: infuse, analyze, organize and collect. Today, we are introducing new solutions with important enhancements to our Storage for Data and AI portfolio.

An example of an IBM ESS5000 configuration

First, we are introducing the new IBM Elastic Storage System 5000 (ESS5000) for data lakes delivering market-leading performance, density and scalability. Based on award-winning IBM Spectrum Scale, this new generation of ESS is easier to install, easier to configure and delivers 4.5X the speed of competition. Additionally, IBM Spectrum Scale features Acceleration for AI to enhance data movement from object storage to remove data silos and accelerate performance. Customers can benefit from up to 50% lower costs—thanks to the absence of silos.

Our Business Partners are excited about the opportunities the new ESS delivers. As Beacon Award winning Business Partner OCF notes:

“OCF has long been an advocate of IBM Spectrum Scale, the IBM ESS combines this file-system with modern storage redundancy techniques that exploit the full potential of the IBM POWER architecture. The ESS 5000 builds on previous versions with increased disk and enclosure capacities and the IBM POWER 9 architecture is designed to provide an increased I/O performance boost. All this combined with IBM’s management and deployment redesign can help OCF to deliver Spectrum Scale solutions that have been designed to meet the most complex storage challenges for our customers.”

Laurence Horrocks-Barlow
Technical Director
Business Partner OCF

 Another critical element in the storage family for Data and AI is industry-acclaimed IBM Cloud Object Storage, designed to provide economical object storage for both on-premises and hybrid cloud environments. Today’s modernized IBM Cloud Object Storage engine enables customers to store exabytes of data with up to 300% better performance for reads, and 150% for writes 3, which translates into faster access to data and potential for substantial cost savings for our mutual customers:

“IBM’s upcoming release of IBM Cloud Object Storage with the enhanced software engine is showing why IBM is clearly a leader of large data lakes and scalable object storage systems. Increasing performance should not only speed up many of our IBM COS customers workloads but according to one of our largest IBM COS customers, they believe they have the potential to save millions in CAPEX costs. These enhancements along with the AI Accelerator addition to IBM Spectrum Scale show IBM’s commitment to creating an entire ecosystem for HPC, AI/ML workloads.”

John Zawistowski
Global Systems Solutions Executive
Business Partner Sycomp

Organizations rely on IBM Spectrum Discover to manage data with comprehensive file and object metadata cataloging and indexing. We are announcing that IBM Spectrum Discover is designed to support Red Hat OpenShift environments enabling hybrid multicloud deployment across clouds and in any environment supported by OpenShift. Plus, the Spectrum Discover Policy engine, working with Spectrum Scale or third-party data movers, now moves data to lower cost storage tiers.

With these announcements, IBM is cementing its position as a critical part of your customers’ Data and AI strategy with the tightest knit solution in the market. Every customer journey to AI starts with the right information architecture IA. Together, let’s provide customers with the right technology.

Eric Herzog
CMO and Vice President Worldwide Storage Channels
IBM Storage




  1. IDC Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Forecast 2019-2023, Doc#US45332319, July 2019. Includes IBM Cloud Object Storage, IBM Spectrum Scale, IBM Spectrum Discover.
  2. IDC Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Market Shares, 2018, Doc #US45334719, July 2019). This includes IBM Cloud Object Storage, IBM Spectrum Scale and IBM Spectrum Discover
  3. Results achieved by IBM in controlled environment. Your results may be different.