The Channel logo

News

By | Chris Mellor 19th July 2016 16:13

Big Blue's boxes: No IBM storage numbers, but it's a drop

Quarterly storage hardware revs continue slow slide

+Comment The storage hardware portion of IBM's quarterly revenues continued its long-term decline, with a 13 per cent annual drop.

It's a nice welcome for incoming storage boss Ed Walsh with the storage hardware decline glaringly obvious.

We don't know the storage software numbers within IBM's systems segment, and nor do we know storage software revenues in the SoftLayer cloud operation, which now has the CleverSafe object storage software product in its mitts.

+Comment

IBM provided a percentage annual fall but not an absolute dollar number in its results release. Our guess from a calculating against the year-ago second quarter is that the storage revs came in at around $548.1m.

Then we updated our history chart of IBM's quarterly storage hardware revenues and this is the result:

IBM_quarterly_storage_HW_revenues_to_Q2cy2016

Click on the chart for a larger version.

It's not pretty. Within these numbers we could imagine that all-flash FlashSystem and all-flash DS8000 are doing okay, perhaps even splendidly. We could equally well imagine that hybrid and disk-based arrays are suffering plunging declines in their revenues.

What's a Big Blue storage boss to do?

Pure Storage has just replaced Storwize arrays at the UK's Waitrose retail business, with AIX-running POWER systems the accessing servers. It's not as if Storwize is that old in technology terms but it's no match for a flash array, and IBM's own FlashSystem couldn't persuade Waitrose's IT buyers to prefer Big Blue's in-house flash array.

What are the instructions Walsh has been given? Manage the decline? Arrest it? Get us into storage software? Our estimate is that he has to manage the decline while developing the systems with prospects, like FlashSystem, decide how to get into the hyper-converged area in a serious way, and extend the flash product portfolio.

That means pouring engineering effort into FlashSystem or buying in technology. El Reg is betting on an acquisition. Time is too short for lengthy development. Why bring in Walsh if you are not prepared to give him the product weapons he needs to succeed in the storage battlefield? Only bozos would do that. ®

comment icon Read 1 comment on this article or post a comment alert Send corrections

Opinion

Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Stranded_ships

Chris Mellor

Thousands of layoffs announced as spinning rust enters its death spiral

Features

STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Plan b, image via Shutterstock
EU workers, new markets: post-Brexit pressure on May & Co
Tough question, pic via Shutterstock
Honest mistake with your licensing? Audit police look at it on a 'case by case basis'