Big Data is placing new storage demands on enterprises, and IBM is aiming to address their needs with a new software-defined storage platform for the cloud called SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center (VSC).

The VSC platform, which IBM released this month, "helps clients transition from traditional to agile, cloud-ready, software-defined storage environment with no 'rip and replace,'" according to the company. It does that by providing not only a platform for storing data, but also a data-mangement system that offers administration tools, including a plug-in for VMware vCenter.

IBM is hoping VSC will appeal in particular to the midsize business niche. Midsize organizations, in IBM's analysis, are now facing the same Big Data storage challenges as large enterprises, but lack the staff and resources or their bigger counterparts for addressing those challenges themselves. VSC is designed as a drop-in software-defined storage solution for midsized customers.

The VSC platform is available in three different tiers that are differentiated by pricing and product features, as the VSC website details:

  • IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center - No usage restrictions.
  • IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center Entry - A reduced price, restricted use option for use in low capacity IBM SAN Volume Controller environments.
  • IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center for Storwize Family - A reduced price, restricted use option for use with IBM Storwize family storage systems to manage Storwize and its virtualized external storage.

Open source software-defined storage solutions, such as OpenStack Swift, may be continuing to evolve, but enterprises such as IBM are already releasing production-ready solutions. The channel can expect to see plenty more of these as software-defined storage grows in popularity.