IBM revamps storage product brand names for clarity

Big Blue has embarked upon a feast of rebadging, in hopes of communicating more clearly what its various product lines do.

Back in 2015, IBM had instituted a Spectrum prefix for its many storage products. We had:

  • Spectrum Connect – orchestrates IBM storage in containerized, VMware, and PowerShell setups
  • Spectrum Elastic Storage System (ESS) – software-defined storage for AI and big data
  • Spectrum Discover – file cataloging and indexing product
  • Spectrum Fusion – containerized derivative of Spectrum Scale plus Spectrum Protect data protection
  • Spectrum Protect – data protection
  • Spectrum Scale – scale-out, parallel file system software (the prior GPFS)
  • Spectrum Virtualize – operating, management, and virtualization software for the Storwize and FlashSystem arrays and SAN Volume Controller
  • Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud (SVPC) – available for the IBM public cloud, AWS, and Azure

The full names for these products would start with IBM – as in IBM Spectrum Fusion. We’ve dropped the “IBM” for the sake of brevity.

In February 2023, Spectrum was changed to a Storage prefix – as in Storage Fusion. The “Storage” product set included Storage Ceph, Storage Scale, Storage Defender, Storage Fusion, Storage Fusion HCI, and the Storage FlashSystem.

Now, IBM has decided that the Storage Fusion HCI brand name may be inappropriate – as it suggests that the product is a storage appliance, rather than a hyperconverged system for running Red Hat OpenShift and its applications. On that basis, its name is being shortened – to Fusion HCI. A Fusion HCI system includes IBM’s Fusion software and this Storage Fusion product becomes, simply, Fusion.

Big Blue has also decided that Spectrum Discover – its data catalog and metadata management software for file and object data – needs an alternative name. The product provides automatic cataloging of unstructured data by capturing metadata as it is created, and so can now be referred to either as Data Cataloging or as Spectrum Discover – but not Storage Discover.

We’re told that Data Cataloging connects to exabyte-scale heterogeneous file, object, backup, and archive storage on premises and in the cloud to rapidly ingest, consolidate, and index metadata for billions of files and objects. This suggests a feature overlap with data orchestration functionality from suppliers such as Arcitecta, Datadobi, Hammerspace, and Komprise.

In fact, the product is also an unstructured data lifecycle manager as it can facilitate data movement to colder, cheaper storage, and increase storage efficiency by eliminating trivial or redundant data. That also overlaps with Komprise functionality.