back to article Oh dear, IBM. Storage isn't looking like a cash cow any more, is it?

IBM's storage hardware revenues continue falling as growth businesses stay submerged under the declining ones. In its first quarter of 2016 results, IBM's storage hardware revenues were, at $433.5m, six per cent down year-on-year, continuing the now familiar trend. This was a billion-dollar-a-quarter business in the fourth …

  1. marky_boi
    FAIL

    We have made a very deliberate choice to NOT use IBM

    It's clear to our team that it is doing slow laps of the gurgler. IBM service is the pits anyway. just installing some new kit and it went elsewhere... thinking many other tech outfits are thinking the same way now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We have made a very deliberate choice to NOT use IBM

      Difficult to disagree with you on IBM's service. It doesn't make sense but IBM separates the systems people from the services people. Services isn't responsive or as responsive as they should be and there is little direct consequence. IBM needs to overhaul GS in general.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to work at IBM storage and I'm surprised the revenue drop is not greater than 6% YoY. It was a great place to work in many ways, but storage, generally, is a declining, commoditizing market. There is some momentum behind FlashSystem, certainly better than EMC XtremIO, but that is likely going to be short lived as the prices for Flash are rapidly declining and the tech is becoming standardized. External storage will likely become a much smaller market in general due to true host side SDS and cloud. IBM still has those DS8s attached to mainframe. I hope IBM storage does well. Still some great people in that business.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM storage hasn't looked like a cash cow since the 80s though, as to the title of the article.

  4. Korgonzolla

    I always thought the XIV was a nice piece of kit that the IBM guys didn't know what to do with when it came to selling.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I could have sold you on it :). I used to sell IBM storage. XIV was fun to sell in its day. You just had to demo it. Provision a LUN in VMAX, now provision it in XIV... how many frames do you want to buy? IBM really has not kept it up to date with the Flash era. I agree that IBM really should have done better with it. I think a bunch of people just thought IBM storage = old stuff (because IBM storage did = old stuff, prior to XIV) and didn't want to hear it. Tintri is probably the current equivalent to XIV.... where people just see the demo and are floored.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You don't think Infinidat is? Much the same original development team (those who got out of IBM as soon as they could, including the boss), kept and improved on the good bits and ditched the bad bits.

        The Tintri comparison has some validity. It's a current-generation system, although they still use dual-controllers, something which XIV was one of the first to ditch for something more reliable.

        Cleversafe's the only new thing that IBM really has, now that XIV has been beaten at its own game. DS8000 and Storwize are both 1990s architectures struggling to keep up. Add to that a bunch of staff who no longer give a shit and it's hardly an appealing proposition.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Infinidat is definitely XIV Mark II, or Gen4. It is pretty good, but I thought, as you mention, this is XIV with some improvements. I know some of the former XIV people at Infinidat. When I saw Tintri's VMStor for the first time it was similar to when I saw XIV for the first time... an "It's so simple yet powerful. Why doesn't every storage array work like this?" reaction. Agree that Tintri is less about the hardware architecture, or not at all about hardware, and more about the ability to exploit VMware and Hyper V. Makes sense given the founder. IBM actually tried to buy Tintri prior to TMS, but they couldn't agree on a price. Tintri is slick, but it is going to have issues with VSAN competition. Difficult to argue you are the best storage for VMware when VMware is storage. Seems like all primary storage arrays days are numbered. Flash inside a host cluster, SDS for anything online (cloud or on prem)... and then maybe IBM can sell people some LTFS tape libraries for the giant archives of cold data.

  5. Man Mountain

    I think XIV hit some architectural limits but was an interesting bit of kit for a few years. It's hard to accept the CFO's statement that they are well positioned to take advantage of flash, when flash has been around for a couple of years now and they are still struggling. Take out the storage that IBM attached to z and p series, almost by default, and there is very little else going on!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are doing alright in Flash. Second in the market by revenue. First in total capacity shipped. People like that speed box. FlashSystem is probably well suited for the SDS era as it doesn't have a software stack. EMC just came out with DSSD to challenge them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ha, blatant IBMer comment! I worked for IBM and I know what we did when we first brought out SVC - throw it in with DS8000 and server deals, keep the customer price the same and work the bid so some of the cost ended up attributed to the SVC. We got lots of SVC out there, we even 'appeared' to be selling it but in reality it was getting built into existing deals.

        Well suited for SDS era? SDS is typically servers with internal disk!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022