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IBM Global Services picks Nirvanix for cloud storage

IBM Global Services unveiled a cloud storage service for archived and infrequently accessed data today, based on technology from Nirvanix.

The OEM deal with Nirvanix provides IBM with the storage portion of its IBM SmartCloud Enterprise services. IBM bills the SmartCloud storage service as best suited for unstructured data for companies in media and entertainment, healthcare and financial services. Nirvanix’s object storage is designed for content shared across geographical locations and for data that must be retained for long periods. IBM pitches SmartCloud storage as an alternative to tape for backups and archiving.

Nirvanix CEO Scott Genereux said IBM is taking Nirvanix’s existing service without modification, but he plans for the startup to eventually offer IBM services optimized for the SmartCloud service. “There will be integration at the software level,” he said. “A year from now, IBM will have compelling differentiators from anybody else who sells our technology.”

Genereux said the partnership will help IBM and Nirvanix compete against storage vendors pushing cloud implementations, and gives Nirvanix extra ammunition to go up against Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Storage services.

“There’s a big difference when IBM walks in and tries to sell the service than when we walk in as a startup,” he said.

Genereux also said IBM is looking to deliver a true cloud service, unlike storage vendors who try to sell what he calls “cloud in a box” by cloud-washing their hardware products.

“IBM Global Services and Nirvanix are both services companies, and we’re in complete synchronization selling services in a pay-by-the-drink model,” he said.

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