IBM Drives Storage Innovation with Healthcare, Cosmology Projects

Survey: Majority of IT decision makers seeks new storage approaches; Need a new class of storage around solid-state drives
(PresseBox) (ARMONK, N.Y., ) IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced detailed plans for innovative new storage projects and research that the company is leading to support Big Data growth and drive business innovation. IBM also released the findings of its customer survey pointing to the need for new classes of storage.

Healthcare, financial services, media and entertainment, and scientific research among many industries face the challenge of storing and managing the proliferation of data to extract critical business value. As storage needs rise dramatically, storage budgets lag, requiring new innovation and approaches around storing Big Data, cloud data, virtualized data and more.

Today IBM is announcing new industry-specific storage projects, based on IBM storage expertise:

- Watson-inspired Storage Takes on the Cosmos: IBM is working on a project with the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) at Durham University in the U.K. and Business Partner OCF to build a storage system to better store and manipulate Big Data for its cosmology research on galaxies. ICC is adopting the same IBM General Parallel File System technology used in the IBM Watson system to store and manage more than one petabyte of data from two significant projects on galaxy formation and the fate of gas outside of galaxies. The enhanced storage system will enable up to 50 researchers, working collaboratively to access and review data simultaneously. It will also help ICC learn to manage data better, storing only essential data and storing it in the right place.

- New Storage Platform Delivers More Personalized, Visual Healthcare: A medical archiving solution from IBM Business Partners Avnet Technology Solutions and TeraMedica, Inc. powered by IBM systems, storage and software is being launched today to give patients and caregivers instant access to critical medical data at the point-of-care. Developed in collaboration with IBM, the medical information management offering can manage up to 10 million medical images, helping health care practitioners provide better patient care with greater efficiency and at jureduced costs. The integrated platform allows users to manage and view clinical images originating from different treatments and providers to bring secure, consistent image management and distribution at point-of-care.

- Virtualization Consolidates Storage Footprint for Medical Center: Kaweah Delta Health Care District (KDHCD), a general medical and surgical hospital in Visalia, Calif., needed to reduce its operational costs while increasing storage space. To meet these demands, KDHCD tapped IBM's storage systems to create a new storage platform that reallocates resources and saves a significant amount of data space with thin-provisioning technology. Virtualization creates a smaller hardware footprint so the hospital also saved on power and cooling costs. KDHCD now has a consolidated storage environment that provides the scalability, ease-of-management, and security to support critical healthcare data management for the hospital.

New Survey of IT Decision Makers Sheds Light on Need for a New Class of Storage

Today IBM is issuing survey results that shed light on the storage spending priorities and organizational needs for the near future. Conducted by Zogby International on behalf of IBM, the survey of 255 IT professionals in decision-making positions in August 2011 showed that the majority of respondents (57 percent) agree their organization needs to develop a new storage approach to manage future growth.

The survey underscores the need for a new class of storage that can expand the market for solid-state drives (SSDs) by combining their ability to speed the delivery of data with lower costs and other benefits. Nearly half (43 percent) of IT decision makers say they have plans to use SSD technology in the future or are already using it. Speeding delivery of data was the motivation behind 75 percent of respondents who plan to use or already use SSD technology. However, the major factor for not using SSD was cost, according to 71 percent of respondents.

To address this issue, IBM Research has been investigating a potential in solid-state breakthrough called "Racetrack memory" that could someday access data significantly faster than hard-disk drives-at the same low cost-and be a successor to flash in handheld devices. The Racetrack memory project is featured as one of IBM's top 100 achievements as the company celebrates its Centennial this year.

Today's survey also found that:

- Nearly half (43 percent) say they are concerned about managing Big Data.
- Nearly half (48 percent) say they plan on increasing storage investments in the area of virtualization, cloud (26 percent) and flash memory/solid state (24 percent) and analytics (22 percent).
- More than a third (38 percent) said their organization's storage needs are growing primarily to drive business value from data. Adhering to government compliance and regulations that require organizations to store more data for longer -- sometimes up to a decade -- was also a leading factor (29 percent).
- About a third of all respondents (32 percent) say they either plan to switch to more cloud storage in the future or currently use cloud storage.

"Organizations are faced with an increasing challenge of storing, analyzing, and protecting ever-expanding data sets that hold significant business value, driving the need for radical new approaches to storage fueled by innovation," said Steve Wojtowecz, vice president, Tivoli Storage Software Development, IBM. "Cloud computing, analytics and more advanced storage management technologies will be critical to tapping into that data and turning it into intelligence."

Focused on developing disruptive innovation and pushing the boundaries of data exploration and utilization, IBM Research drives new approaches to managing data, including storage for cloud systems that are geographically dispersed, adding autonomic behavior to storage systems, creating archival systems that prevent a "digital dark age," and optimizing storage for analytics.

In the last year, IBM Research has recorded a number of storage technology breakthroughs including a 29-gigabit per-square-inch tape demonstration; a world record of scanning 10 billion files in 43 minutes; and, more recently, the creation of a 120-petabyte data system that is roughly 30 times larger than the biggest single data repository on record.

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