Mark III Systems Blog

IBM Cloud Object Storage: The foundation of the digital and cognitive eras!


As a long-time IBM Premier Business Partner, we're very excited about IBM's announcement today that IBM Cloud Object Storage, based on Cleversafe, is now supported across 40 IBM Cloud datacenters globally, which gives enterprises and service providers a perfect public and hybrid cloud option to complement Cloud Object Storage's long-time, industry-leading on-premise object storage capabilities.

Rated by Gartner as the leader for Overall Use Case in its "Critical Capabilities for Object Storage" study in March 2016, we view IBM Cloud Object Storage as the key to not only solving immediate unstructured data challenges, but also serving as the digital foundation to enabling key enterprise initiatives of the digital era, including IoT, cloud, cognitive, deep learning, social, mobile, and next-generation analytics.

At Mark III, we've had IBM Cloud Object Storage up and running in our lab since the Cleversafe acquisition was announced by IBM in 2015, and have worked hand in hand with our clients on use cases ranging from video data to backups to archival data to digital content repository data and many more, since that time.  In short, if you need to store unstructured data in a cost-effective and flexible manner with the possibility of scaling to 100s of PBs (most likely spanning multiple sites) and be positioned for future digital initiatives, IBM Cloud Object Storage represents a truly unique platform to enable this, all with simple access via popular object storage APIs (S3, OpenStack Swift, etc).




Here's a look at our very first IBM Cloud Object Storage (Cleversafe) dsNet instance we spun up last year in our demo center/lab, just after the acquisition was announced by IBM:



We're huge fans of IBM Cloud Object Storage partly because of the versatility in how you can set it up.  Cleversafe, as a company, was founded in 2004 first as an on-premise, object storage platform years BEFORE any of the mainstream public cloud object storage platforms existed.  As a result of this head start, Cleversafe was able to build a lead in the industry by loading up on advanced features and offering rock-solid stability, due to its vast market adoption and customer field cycles.

With this announcement of IBM Cloud Object Storage in the IBM Cloud, you can now easily customize and build a Cloud Object Storage platform based on 100% on-premise, 100% public cloud, or a hybrid model unique to your enterprise.  For any on-premise component, you can choose if you'd like to use Cloud Object Storage appliances, or use just the Cloud Object Storage software on top of general-purpose x86 servers.

In addition to helping our clients with the architecture and rollout of IBM Cloud Object Storage for their own use cases, we've also worked closely with our own BlueChasm digital development unit to develop prototype use cases that leverage Cloud Object Storage as the object storage layer (as shown below).  Additionally, we've also contributed to open source to enable developers anywhere to more easily create apps that can leverage IBM Cloud Object Storage (npm package here).

To get your imagination going on how this might apply to your own digital initiatives, here are just some of the platform/app concepts that we've built on top of IBM Cloud Object Storage:

  • VideoRecon:  A video analytics platform that uses deep learning to analyze the visual and audio components of a video and return auto-tags.  The videos and tags themselves are stored on IBM Cloud Object Storage.
  • Cognitive Advertising Display:  Dubbed the "Minority Report board," this digital advertising display looks at the person in front of the board and shows them a targeted advertisement based on their age/gender.  Ad content and video/images of subjects are stored on IBM Cloud Object Storage, and served via an advertising platform that we built
  • Cognitive Drone Platform:  Built a drone that uses IBM Watson to visually identify objects while in flight to "observe" things of interest to an enterprise (i.e. inventory levels in a warehouse or noting the composition of a crowd of customers).  IBM Cloud Object Storage stores the images used for analysis by our platform.


Regardless of if you're looking at IBM Cloud Object Storage from the unstructured data storage angle, analytics angle, or the digital initiatives angle, we're incredibly excited about the future of IBM Cloud Object Storage.  Let us know if you'd like to learn more about IBM Cloud Object Storage or dive into one of our digital prototypes!