IBM Global Services adds storage to portfolio

IBM Global Services will provide a network-delivered service for clients, allowing them to store data online on IBM-managed servers, the company announced Wednesday.

Clients will be able to purchase storage capacity and management services on the customer’s property, or off-site at an IBM Corp. data centre, IBM Global Services said in a release. The service is aimed at corporate customers with extensive data storage needs, like government, financial services, insurance or media companies, said Ginni Rometti, general manager for strategy at IBM Global Services.

The services are immediately available in North America, with a phased rollout over the remainder of the year in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and a launch in the Asia-Pacific region at the beginning of next year, said Roger Schwanhausser, director of storage and storage area network services for IBM Global Services. Customers will be billed on a per-use basis. While pricing is based on various factors, like specific services required, level of data availability or the kind of data being stored, “95 per cent of customers will fall in a range between US$25 per gigabyte per month to $75 per gigabyte per month,” he said.

Hosted storage is akin to other hosted services provided by ASPs (application service providers). The idea is that companies can save money by leasing equipment and services rather than buying equipment and software that has to be upgraded and maintained by in-house technical staff.

“This supports what we believe is the ever-growing trend of how companies will do business. This idea is that companies start to look at the huge demand being placed on their IT departments,” Rometti said. By outsourcing storage costs, particularly the costs of maintaining data storage equipment, which can be as much as 90 per cent of the total data storage cost, “you get capacity as you need it, and it scales.”

In addition to hosted storage and storage management, IBM Global Services offers Web hosting for electronic marketplaces and ASPs. The company also is developing network-delivered services for the wireless market.

IBM, in Armonk, N.Y., can be reached at