IBM puts on its Red Hat and bags some more storage software

IBM closed its massive $34bn Red Hat acquisition yesterday. The Red Hat portfolio includes five open source storage software products. Let’s take a closer look.

For starters, there is little crossover with IBM’s own storage offerings.

We tabulated each company’s storage products and came up with  four or five partial overlaps.

Red Hat has Ceph-based storage software, which provides scalable file, block and object storage. IBM has nothing exactly like this but its Spectrum Scale delivers massively scalable and parallel access file storage. IBM also has its Cloud Object Store for object storage, so there is partial overlap with Ceph on the file and object side.

Red Hat’s Gluster scalable network file system software overlaps with Spectrum Scale and to an extent with Red Hat’s own Ceph.

IBM’s hyperconverged infrastructure product is based on Nutanix software and POWER servers. The Red Hat hyperconverged infrastructure software is for X86 servers so the effective overlap is minimal.

The Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage has an overlap with Spectrum Scale which can also provide container storage.

Otherwise the two product sets largely complement each other.O

How deep is IBM’s love for open source software?

Could IBM conceivably transfer one or more storage products to Red Hat and provide them as open source software?

For example, XIV grid array software could be transitioned to open source as the XIV array system is no longer supported.

IBM might ask itself why it should have two ways of providing software, its own proprietary products and the Red Hat open source product set. Perhaps it will consider expanding the open source storage software product set as a way of having a more consistent storage software marketing position.