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Repackaging SSD for the Enterprise

Although usage of solid state disks is on the uptake, SSDs have yet to hit their stride with mainstream enterprises. But vendors are taking fresh approaches on how they present and package the product.

"A key value proposition for enterprises is that they have the flexibility to use solid state disk on any computing platform they want it on, coupled with system management software that equips them with automated, best of class SSD provisioning," says Charlie Andrews, Director of Dynamic Infrastructure Marketing Solutions for IBM.

IBM announced on May 21 that it would be delivering new solid state offerings across its hardware platforms using Smart Data Management software that allows customers to migrate, monitor and dynamically place data on SSDs. It followed this with an announcement on June 3 that its System Storage XP12S with SSD has set new performance benchmarks in IOPS/watt, which will contribute to data center green energy savings. SSDs and SDM software are available on IBM Power Systems servers; on System x, which includes the BladeCenter family of x86 servers; and on DS8000 storage systems, which are frequently attached to System z mainframes. "Our goal was to make SSD available to every server platform, so that enterprises could put SSD anywhere it made sense," Andrews says.

Repackaging SSD so that it is a flexible storage alternative for any hardware platform is likely to be adopted by vendors besides IBM as they look at repackaging options that can make SSD a more readily insert-able technology for enterprises that can answer any SSD need, wherever it turns up.

"IBM is following Sun's initial efforts to provide broad support over the enterprise product line," says Gregory Wong, principal analyst with industry researcher Forward Insights. "SSDs are clearly a differentiating factor, and others such as HP are expected to follow suit."

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