IBM is continuing its push into SSDs (solid-state drives), announcing flash drives for server and storage platforms as well as new software for allocating data among different types of drives.
Enterprise SSDs allow for faster access to data but cost far more, per bit, than spinning HDDs (hard disk drives). IBM is clearly committed to the emerging technology, as are EMC and other enterprise storage vendors. IBM, though, doesn't believe SSDs will make up more than 5 percent of any average company's total storage capacity.
For the foreseeable future, SSDs will be used as part of tiered storage architectures alongside HDDs, said Charlie Andrews, director of marketing in IBM's Dynamic Infrastructure group. For that reason, the company offers a variety of software to help store "hot" data in SSDs and "cold" data on HDDs. Its latest announcement, the IBM i:ASP Data Balancer, automatically shifts different bits of data to the most appropriate tier in a storage system. The software uses an algorithm that draws upon information such as how often each bit of data has been used, Andrews said. The i:ASP Data Balancer is designed for IBM's iSeries servers, part of the company's Power