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IBM step up cloud presence with Actifio deal

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IBM has been taking further steps to beef up its cloud storage services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The massive ‘hardware manufacturer’ – currently the world’s 33rd largest corporation according to Forbes – is evolving its approach to business considerably in order to tessellate more snugly with a computing future which revolves around the cloud.

[pullquote]IBM are now investing heavily in the technology in order to establish themselves as a major player in the cloud.[/pullquote]In accordance with this desire, the company has invested $1.2 billion recently in improving its cloud storage services. Additionally, the computing powerhouse has also agreed a deal with a company based in Massachusetts named Actifio, a prominent and growing provider of copy data management technology, which enables SMEs to boost their data storage.

Cloud computing is offering SMEs the opportunity to save a great deal of money and time with regard to their data storage, and IBM is attempting to tap into element of the technology. Many companies make several copies of their data with the intention of using them for different purposes. Thus, the cost of maintaining servers particularly in a world in which the amount of data produced is escalating is obviously increasing rapidly. The cloud has obviously lent itself perfectly to remedying these issues, and IBM are now investing heavily in the technology in order to establish themselves as a major player in the cloud.

Actifio has been a particular innovator in this field, as they have developed a unique technology which enables enterprises to use one solitary ‘golden copy’ of data for a multitude of purposes. Naturally this greatly helps control the overheads associated with data storage, which is particularly welcome for SMEs in particular.

IBM and Actifio have been working together for some time ahead of the launch of a managed cloud storage service which will be called IBM SmartCloud Data Virtualization. This innovative technology will enable companies to “decouple application data from their physical infrastructure”. IBM strongly believes that this will enable companies to improve the resilience and agility of their business structures, and make moving into the cloud increasingly seamless for business of all sizes.

Major executives from IBM have spoken of their admiration for Actifio’s working practices and vision, in addition to the actual quality of their technological achievement. The word at IBM is that Actifio offers a fast and flexible solution to help businesses get into the cloud, and one which has made it very easy for IBM to meet its compliance and security protocols and targets.

With SmartCloud Data Virtualization, IBM will be able to deliver a managed service, and will actually charge customers on per gigabyte protected basis.

In accordance with this deal, IBM are purchasing Actifio hardware and software, and will utilise it in order to deliver SmartCloud Data Virtualization to an expectant public. IBM is hoping to make gains on some of the other big cloud providers, most notably Amazon, who continue to lead the field in the cloud with Amazon Web Services.

The IBM service particularly underlines the flexibility and scalability of cloud solutions, naturally a particularly important consideration for small businesses. With SmartCloud Data Virtualization, IBM will be able to deliver a managed service, and will actually charge customers on per gigabyte protected basis. Not only does this negate the need to pay for duplicate copies of data, but it also ensures that businesses can sign up for the service without needing to know their long-term requirements.

The Actifio ventue is helping IBM target some pretty big markets. The corporation has stated that it intends to move into what it refers to as “a $100 billion market for cloud expenditures.” Meanwhile, activists are extremely enthusiastic about IBM’s vision, pointing out that it will enable them to deliver joined-up services which some of their rivals are forced to provide in separate bundles.

Both Actifio and IBM are evidently focused on a long-term partnership as one of the iconic names in computing looks to push itself to the forefront of this burgeoning technology. Given their success in the past and the moves that they’re making at the moment, don’t bet against them being a major cloud player very soon.