back to article IBM is letting storage hardware revenues slip gently off into the night

IBM's fourth quarter and full year 2016 results showed the now traditional storage hardware revenue decline, while all-flash array and software-defined storage revenues grew double digits. IBM's results announcement material said that storage HW revenues were down 10 per cent on the year. Our calculation is that they are thus …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Flash is up, spinning rust is down

    Okay, thanks for the official report. I think only Gartner will be surprised, if even they stoop that low.

    I like SSDs. Since I banged a 500GB one in my laptop last month, I feel like the whole thing got a major upgrade. It's a different laptop. Startup is 25 seconds, from button ON to full desktop availability. Frak me but I like that.

    So it seems clear to me that flash IS the future. Most people don't splurge for more than one hard disk on their PC, and Joe User's laptops are never upgraded, so if they can get them with an SSD it makes everyone happier.

    15 years ago I was telling everyone they needed a second hard disk to put the swap file and make Windows faster. With SSDs, that is no longer a requirement.

    Viva progress.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Flash is up, spinning rust is down

      "15 years ago I was telling everyone they needed a second hard disk to put the swap file and make Windows faster."

      If computer is slow due to heavy swap usage the very first thing to do should be adding more RAM if possible.

      But, congrats on getting onboard the SSD wagon!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Flash is up, spinning rust is down


      Would you put digitise your entire music and video collections, throwing out the CDs/vinyl/DVDs, all of your photos, and all of the important documents you have on that single SSD in your laptop, with no other copies of it?

      Of course, there are plenty of people who are stupid enough to do that but in the enterprise, data needs to be protected against media failure, and several backups need to be kept. Yes, an enterprise could buy flash for everything, just as a shipping company could use planes and motorbike couriers and do away with lorries and shipping containers. It would work and it would be quick, but it wouldn't exactly be price-competitive.

      Flash is no doubt a great place to put data which needs to be accessed quickly, but ask IBM if they put all their multi-petabyte Cleversafe object stores on flash.

      IBM did very well to buy TMS - it's a good product, even if the RAS was a bit crappy before they had to re-engineer it (at the expense of its best feature - latency). The older stuff was designed for 15K drives and it's not really working out for them any more.

      The reason IBM is not releasing actual numbers for the all-flash and software-defined stuff is because they're most likely (allegedly etc.) manipulating the numbers to back up their argument that their "strategic direction" is the correct one. If a deal includes a bunch of all-flash systems and some of the legacy stuff, you can guarantee that while the customer sees a single, bottom-line price, the legacy stuff will be heavily discounted and the all-flash stuff won't be. Makes the numbers better.

      I shouldn't really single out IBM here - this sort of thing is rife in the industry. Many products "sell" heavily even if they're thrown in free as part of a deal. Often they will sit and gather dust. But it's a sale nevertheless.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge


        So I mention putting an SSD in my laptop and you equate that with me throwing away all my backups, photos and "important documents".

        Wow, quite a leap of logic there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC

          The article is about enterprise storage. Your comment was in its entirety about personal laptops. While both essentially store data they are very different scenarios. Would you be happy if all your banking details were just stored on a laptop of one of your banks employees?

          You didn't "mention" putting an SSD in your laptop. Your entire comment was about that. However, I do see your point that SSDs have made a personal difference to you in the context of your laptop and perhaps that difference could be extended to the value they lend to enterprise-class systems. In reply I was merely stating that the latter is a complicated beast and economies of scale suggest that while flash storage cannot replace legacy hard drives they are a valuable tool available to the storage architect.

          You clearly took it personally so apologies for that. Have a nice week.

  2. returnofthemus

    In our view, IBM is experiencing a move from disk to flash

    LOL, no shit, Sherlock

  3. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Gee whiz that is neato!

    The relevancy of an upgrading a laptop to SSD to an article about Enterprise storage.

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