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IBM and European Partners to Pioneer New Storage Cloud Architecture

Expanding its cloud computing strategy, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is leading a joint research initiative of 15 European partners to develop a smart cloud storage architecture, which will improve the global delivery of rich data and storage services across boundaries of countries and vendors. The research project will tackle the major challenges facing today's storage clouds, including: cost-effectiveness, data mobility across cloud providers, security guarantees, and the massive co

"Users now require capabilities that are far richer than simple raw bits and basic storage," noted 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. With VISION Cloud, our aim is develop the infrastructure to support this prominence of data and data-intensive services."

The VISION Cloud will introduce a breakthrough storage cloud architecture which combines several new concepts, notably (a) a rich object data model, (b) execution of computations close to the stored content, (c) content-centric access, and (d) full data interoperability. Based on this architecture and the supporting technologies, VISION Cloud will enable the delivery of new classes of rich data-intensive services, offering unprecedented functions and providing high quality of service and security guarantees.

For example, with VISION Cloud, a future provider of storage services could offer a "digital safe" service, where people can safely store their digital information, including photos, videos, health records, financial records, and more. Then, for example, when an expecting mother undergoes a 3D ultrasound, the image is automatically uploaded and stored in her digital safe. This ultrasound is stored together with metadata, such as the date, format, stage of pregnancy, or content description; the metadata is stored as an integral part of the smart 'data object'. She can then give access to family, friends, or editing services, enabling them to download and view the video - no matter what kind of format their device or computer works with. Meanwhile, a radiologist with access to the video finds a slight anomaly and can tag the scan accordingly. The tagging triggers a search in a medical repository, which finds that the probable cause of the anomaly is an allergy medication.

This scenario exercises innovations of the VISION Cloud, including:

* The data model allows meaningful metadata to be associated with the scan.

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