IBM to Invest $1 Billion in Enterprise-Level Flash R&D

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IBM is investing $1 billion in research and development to design, create and integrate new Flash solutions into its expanding portfolio of servers, storage systems and middleware. Flash, a highly efficient re-writable memory, can speed the response times of information gathering in servers and storage systems from milliseconds to microseconds, the company says. Because it contains no moving parts, the technology is also more reliable, durable and more energy efficient than spinning hard drives. 

“The economics and performance of Flash are at a point where the technology can have a revolutionary impact on enterprises, especially for transaction-intensive applications,” says Ambuj Goyal, general manager of systems storage for IBM's Systems and Technology Group. “The confluence of Big Data, social, mobile and cloud technologies is creating an environment in the enterprise that demands faster, more efficient, access to business insights, and Flash can provide that access quickly.” 

Such benefits have led Flash to pervade the consumer electronics industry and be built into everything from cell phones to tablets. Flash can be a tool for enterprises challenged by swelling data volumes, increasing demand for faster analytic insights, and rising data center energy costs. 

IBM also announced the availability of the IBM FlashSystem line of all-Flash storage appliances, which are based on technology acquired from Texas Memory Systems. The IBM FlashSystem is designed to provide organizations access to the benefits of Flash. The IBM FlashSystem 820, for example, is the size of a pizza box, is 20 times faster than spinning hard drives, and can store up to 24 terabytes of data. 

IBM says it will also open 12 Flash competency centers around the globe. These sites will enable clients to run proof-of-concept scenarios with real-world data to measure the projected performance gains that can be achieved with IBM Flash solutions.

The new IBM FlashSystem joins the company’s growing stable of all-Flash and hybrid (disk/Flash) solutions which include IBM Storwize V7000, IBM System Storage DS8870, and the IBM XIV Storage System. 

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