IBM to boost object storage capability with Cleversafe acquisition

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IBM today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Chicago-based object storage solution provider Cleversafe, Inc. The move further solidifies IBM’s commitment to providing a comprehensive set of hybrid cloud deployment options and storage innovation.

Cleversafe provides a software-defined object storage solution that enables performance-optimized storage at petabytes of scale. Cleversafe helps clients manage their storage costs while providing high availability, reliability and storage-at-scale for their data content.

Thoughts on Cloud spoke with Riz Amanuddin, IBM Offering Manager for Cloud Object Storage Services:

What can you tell us about Cleversafe’s current customer base?

Cleversafe serves a number of industry verticals, including media/entertainment, financial, government and retail/commerce. The Cleversafe solution provides cross-industry flexibility, and they have traction across several key industries. In these segments, Cleversafe’s track record of implementations and best practices brings value to vertical markets.

Cleversafe’s customer base today includes enterprises, service providers and governments. Their solutions help customers retain, access, and manage large amounts of data.

 Where does IBM see Cleversafe fitting in with its cloud strategy?

Once the acquisition closes, IBM sees Cleversafe as an integral part of the hybrid cloud and object storage offering strategy. Cleversafe adds leading-edge object storage innovation to IBM Object Storage offerings, extending and enhancing object storage capabilities. Once closed, the Cleversafe acquisition will allow IBM to provide flexible deployment support for on-premises, hybrid, private and public cloud deployments to help meet our clients’ business data needs.

As an example, a hybrid implementation would support a multi-site model with on-premises and off-premises storage capabilities, facilitating off-premises storage scalability in response to data demand.

Cleversafe provides a core technology that can be leveraged by IBM’s cloud and systems storage portfolio, helping to evolve IBM’s object storage offerings to a broad range of capabilities, including high capacity and data at scale.

What prompted IBM’s move to acquire an object storage company? Are you seeing an increasing demand in this area?

Because data storage is a lynchpin for applications and services, Cleversafe’s object storage capabilities can help enable IBM to embrace growth in data content in a cost-effective manner. This is especially relevant given the amount of data for mobile, social, cloud, analytics and data storage for archive, business continuity and retention.

Why Cleversafe?

Cleversafe has a strong technology platform and experience with large scale deployments.  Cleversafe’s flagship product, Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet)®, provides a highly scalable Object Store platform for large production deployment and can address PBs of storage at scale. The technology provides the ability to manage massive amounts of objects with durability and cost efficiency, helping to complement IBM products and storage offerings.

Cleversafe’s key technology features address storage management and integration that IBM clients demand. Cleversafe supports compatibility with a common set of object storage industry standard APIs. These include OpenStack Swift with Cleversafe object layer architecture. Cleversafe also supports integration with identity management, including LDAP and OpenStack Keystone. The dsNET platform supports a global name space and offers configurable erasure coding capability.

So, would you say Cleversafe is readymade for IBM’s existing clients?

Yes.  Once the acquisition closes, Cleversafe and IBM can help to provide consistent and scalable deployment options, making it easier for clients to respond to their business data needs.

The enhanced value to our clients may include on-premises storage deployment options, complementing IBM’s software-defined Spectrum Storage portfolio and offering a more robust object storage-as-a-service for private, public and hybrid cloud implementations.

Object-based storage solutions are ideal for digital content, archive and large sets of unstructured data, all highly demanded by IBM clients.  Once the acquisition closes, IBM and Cleversafe can provide cost-effective, on-premises object-based storage and cloud hybrid solutions, allowing choice and control of where and how data is managed.

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