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IBM and European Partners to Pioneer New Storage Cloud Architecture

HAIFA, Israel, Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 computing power demands that are affecting quality of service. The consortium partners include standards bodies, media companies, telecommunications companies, healthcare companies, academic institutions and more.

The 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 preserved. 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 explosion of personal and enterprise digital data has been specifically recognized as one of the most significant characteristics of the decade. According to one estimate, 150 exabytes (billion gigabytes) of data were generated in 2005. It is estimated that this year, 1,200 exabytes will be produced. Additionally, the explosion of raw data and the dependence on data services is expected to be further amplified due to the strong proliferation of data-intensive services and the continued digital convergence of telco, media and information technology.

"The world is generating data faster than we can store it," explained Kristof Kloekner, IBM VP Strategy & Enterprise Initiatives, Systems & Software & CTO Cloud, "and we've become critically dependant on services that can extract valuable information from the data and help drive better decision making. By optimizing delivery of data-intensive storage services, VISION Cloud will usher in a new era of more flexible, scalable, and secure cloud storage that can be delivered in a pay-per-use model."

Over the last three years, IBM has been actively developing technologies related to cloud computing across its server, software, services and R&D units. Presently, IBM's cloud portfolio includes offering such as IBM Smart Business Development and Test Cloud, IBM Smart Analytics Cloud and the IBM Smart Business Storage Cloud. These offerings allow enterprises to access advanced capabilities over the cloud. The VISION Cloud represents a new initiative, led by IBM Research, to further advance cloud computing technology, making it easier and less costly to develop new data intensive services that provide security and guarantees for quality of service.

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