How Cleversafe Will Boost IBM’s Cloud Portfolio


Oct. 15 2015, Updated 8:06 p.m. ET

Cleversafe’s dsNet integration with IBM’s SoftLayer

In the prior part of this series, we discussed IBM’s (IBM) acquisition of Cleversafe. By having Cleversafe under its umbrella, IBM will have access to Cleversafe’s content repository, backup, archive, collaboration, and storage. This will enable companies to manage the rising volume of unstructured data such as audio, video, and images.

Cleversafe’s dsNet (Dispersed Storage Network) solutions offer active archives and unstructured data content stores that complement IBM’s software-defined Spectrum Storage portfolio. Cleversafe’s dsNet will be integrated into the IBM Cloud, which is likely to enhance its IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service), SoftLayer, and SoftLayer Object Storage services platforms.

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IBM among four players dominating cloud infrastructure space

According to Synergy Research and as the chart above shows, the four big players dominating the cloud space are Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), IBM, and Google (GOOG),  In 2Q15, their combined market share rose to 54%, compared with 46% in 2Q14. IBM’s aggressive strategy to strengthen its cloud portfolio aims to retain its dominance.

Recently in June 2015, IBM announced its acquisition of Blue Box, which provides a private cloud service based on OpenStack technology. Notable acquisitions by IBM to boost its cloud portfolio include SoftLayer, Cloudant, and Blue Box. Formed in 2010, OpenStack is a free open-source technology that provides open integration framework that includes computing, storage, and networking.

With Cleversafe, IBM boasts comprehensive cloud storage

IBM’s Cleversafe acquisition is its latest in a string of investments geared towards Flash, SDS (software-defined storage), and cloud storage environments. Owing to Cleversafe’s leadership in the object storage space, this buyout will enable IBM to have one of the most comprehensive cloud storage portfolios in the sector. In May 2015, Gartner ranked IBM as the top SSA (solid state array) vendor in 2014.

Later in this series, we will discuss how IBM has strategically bought Cleversafe to thwart the competition posed by its peers in the hybrid cloud space. To gain exposure to IBM, you could consider investing in the iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW). IYW invests about 4.2% of its holdings in IBM.


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