IBM: “Data Should be a First-Class Citizen”

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Data has always been looked upon as the bits and bytes that are stored somewhere in disk arrays. No more - it has an intelligence all its own. To this end, IBM announced that it is leading a joint research initiative of 15 European partners to develop a smarter cloud storage architecture that gives data more meaning. The 15.7-million-Euro, EU-funded initiative, called VISION Cloud - Virtualized Storage Services for the Future Internet - will develop a new approach, where data is represented by smart objects that include rich information describing the content of the data and how the object should be handled, replicated, or backed up.

The new architecture will use the knowledge of the content being stored to improve data mobility and enable more efficient and secure methods of computation. The solution will offer easier access and improved value from the different types of content - whether medical data, telco information, TV shows, enterprise storage, or personal data. "Users now require capabilities that are far richer than simple raw bits and basic storage," says Dr. Hillel Kolodner, IBM Haifa researcher and lead architect for VISION Cloud. "To satisfy this need, the focus must shift to the data - where the collections of bits are semantically meaningful and have associated metadata. Data should be a first-class citizen, where its importance is comparable to the computing power itself." The VISION cloud offers a range of applications, from video hosting to medical imaging.

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