back to article Why two scale-out NAS, IBM? One's a pickup, the other's a juggernaut

IBM already had a scale-out NAS (filer) when it announced Spectrum NAS last month: Spectrum Scale, which can grow to 16,000-plus nodes. Why does it need another? The two overlap in the same way as a Dodge pickup and a Mack truck. Sure, they can both carry small loads but using a Mack truck for Dodge pickup loads is a waste of …

  1. chrismevans

    Clear as Mud

    The "Spectrum" branding just doesn't work for me. I have to keep thinking of the old product names. Having two products says that IBM couldn't reconcile GPFS to smaller shops, so had to OEM another product for those requirements. Two totally separate products. They've just done the same for data protection. Honestly their portfolio is just too confusing.

    1. mikeymac

      Re: Clear as Mud

      Don't worry, Chris, I'm sure they'll completely revamp it AGAIN in the next year or two. ;-)

    2. returnofthemus

      The "Spectrum" branding just doesn't work for me.

      You must be the only person on the planet that it doesn't work for, I don't think they could've made it any more simple, especially in an industry full of three and four letter acronyms, the naming convention of it's storage software assets (Spectrum) is pretty much self-explanatory and something most objective commentator's would applaud IBM for.

      Your assertion is also a bit wild, though would point out that their prior OEM agreement in this space was with NetApp (N-Series/SONAS), in the end it boils down to maintenance and support.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The "Spectrum" branding just doesn't work for me.

        The problem is most of the brands they replaced with "spectrum" something or over already had established names. And the difficulty is trying to work out which is which, because while there's a single "spectrum", there are lots of other things that go with it. So essentially they've renamed everything and put "spectrum" in front of it.

        So you get the situation where, for example, Spectrum Virtualize is also called Storwize. But it's also called SVC. And for those who have used them in anger, it's also called Lodestone. Most people just call it SVC.

        TSM was one of IBM's most well-establish brands and is still a big earner. Yet they ditched that and called it spectrum tape or something. I honestly don't know what it's called.

        By the way, SONAS had nothing to do with Netapp. It was GPFS. Very few were ever sold. Even fewer actually worked. It tainted the GPFS name so they rebranded it elastic storage, but that sounded too much like a box you keep rubber bands in so it was re-re-named.

        1. returnofthemus

          Re: The "Spectrum" branding just doesn't work for me.

          "So you get the situation where, for example, Spectrum Virtualize is also called Storwize.

          It's not! Spectrum Virtualize is the code decoupled from SVC, which can be run independently of the appliance, much the same way Spectrum Accelerate is the decoupled code from XiV.

          Naturally, IBM have incorporated this code in some of their storage devices, AFAIK they still sell the SVC appliance, have incorporated the code on both Storwize and FlashSystems, now with the option to buy it as software only.

          As I previously stated 'Spectrum' is largely a collection of software assets, harmonising and consolidating it's storage software assets under a single unfied brand, as well as consolidating features and functions is nothing more than common sense

          In my experience those who are easily confused by 'freedom of choice' don't understand their own use cases and probably lack the ability to think outside the box, I thought the industry/market was suppose to be shifting away from dictatorships?

  2. cmaurand

    SMB and Microsoft

    We should remember that IBM wrote SMB and that Microsoft screwed it up, but became the 800 lb gorilla that everyone had to go figure out what they did. It was originally called NetBIOS over IP, then Microsoft made changes and called it NetBEUI. Both are SMB.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the other other IBM NAS, V7000U?

    V7000U was supposed to fill the N-Series gap, Mack truck, Dodge pickup... Mini Clubman?

    1. returnofthemus

      Re: What about the other other IBM NAS, V7000U?

      I'm not sure IBM ever promoted this particular storage device as a NAS filer?

      Besides which, at this moment in time Spectrum NAS is a software only solution.

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