Software needs Hardware - but good software can run on any hardware
(Disclaimer - I work for IBM in the SVC and Storwize development team)
Quite a few comments here, the first I would contend with is the statement above that all IBM can do is buy in technology like TMS and Storwize. Well, if you actually knew what you were talking about, you would see that the 1% of IBM's revenue last year that came from SVC and Storwize was 100% organic IBM development from the last 14 years of work from the team I work in.
Yes, we re-used the Storwize name, but the product range is based off of SVC software.
SVC is a software product and always has been - its part of IBM's Tivoli group, the Storage Software Group - but all software needs some hardware to run on.
We've looked many times at running SVC software on anything, but the main reasons we don't do this are performance and reliability. You need to guarantee certain performance levels, certain response time aspects, and ensure you can report when something has gone wrong. For now, thats why SVC software runs on specific SystemX hardware, and the Storwize controllers.
At the end of the day, just like Printers, Disk Drives, Laptops, POS, and now x86 hardware, these all become commodity items, that a vendor who is geared up to produce millions of them, and has routes to marked for the masses are in a much better position than IBM to increase sale and make profit.
Storage is still a growth area, and IBM has some great technology in SVC and XIV that have proved they can scale and grow with customers right from small 12 disk systems to many tens or hundreds of petabytes.
All Storwize product hardware is based on x86_64 hardware, but its custom built planars to fit in the form factors needed, and had no SystemX components. XIV is a custom "storage rich server" that again has no SystemX components. Only SVC used a vanilla (with a little metal-bending) SystemX platform, and more often than not, some of the server components just got in our way - like IMM's service processors and the like. With the sale of SystemX, yes we could goto Lenovo in the future and get a standard server from them, or anyone else, or we could tender for a specific server planar that has just the bits we want, and none of the bits that get in the way, or cause additional development to work around.
SVC software has run on over 15 platforms in the last 10 years - including MIPs - so the actual base hardware is almost irrelevant to us.
All that said, the roadmap for SVC and Storwize is rosey, growth is meeting target and some of the exciting things we are working on at the moment will take the bar to the next level.