Feeds

IBM's cloudy object vision stoked by EU

Eurocrats fund IBM-led development

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Fancy that: European tax-payers are coughing up for a €15.7m IBM research project about storing objects in the cloud with metadata.

The EU-funded VISION Cloud (Virtualized Storage Services for the Future Internet) project will run for three years and is led by IBM Research in Israel, with 14 partners in a consortium.

The aim is to work out a way to store data as so-called smart objects, composed of data and metadata about it, describing how the data can be handled, shared, replicated or backed up. One aim is to help data move from one cloud provider to another without losing these attributes. IBM is calling this a smart cloud architecture.

The data holding entity can use the metadata to regulate access to the data. We might think of the metadata as being roughly similar to the XML (extensible Markup Language) rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. IBM claims the smart cloud architecture will use the knowledge of the content being stored to improve data mobility and enable more efficient and secure methods of computation of different types of content, whether medical data, telco information, TV shows, enterprise storage, or personal data.

IBM claims that VISION Cloud will make it "easier and less costly to develop new data intensive services that provide security and QoS (quality of service) guarantees." It will do this by combining a rich object data model, having computation execute close to the stored content - quite reminiscent of Sun's X4500/Thumper approach, have content-centric access, and full data interoperability.

IBM's announcement has one of those "the future will be wonderful" type paragraphs full of optimism and reassurance. It should be treasured and here it is:

For example, with VISION Cloud, a future provider of storage services could offer a "digital safe" service, where people can safely store all their digital information, including photos, videos, health records, financial records, and more. Then, for example, when an expecting mother undergoes a 3D ultrasound of her foetus, the image is automatically uploaded and stored in her digital safe. She can then decide to give access to family members and to an online video editing service, through which she produces the first video of her baby, which she shares with her friends and family. Her friends and family each download the video from her safe and view it on their own personal device, each with its own screen size and supported video formats. Meanwhile, a radiologist finds a slight anomaly and can tag the scan accordingly. The tagging triggers a search in a medical repository, which finds that the probable cause of the anomaly is an allergy medication.

That old mother and child thing, tugs at the heartstrings, doesn't it? Get your feet back on the ground by reading about IBM shipping server jobs from the EU (Ireland) to China here.

IBM's VISION Cloud partners include IT technology, business software, and service providers (SAP AG, Siemens Corporate Technology, Engineering and ITRicity), Telco providers (Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo, Orange Labs and Telenor), media service providers (RAI and Deutche Welle), the SNIA Europe standards organisation, and various universities (National Technical University of Athens, Umea University, Swedish Institute of Computer Science and University of Messina).

We're told the VISION Cloud "technologies developed by this project are expected to serve IBM, partners and customers in the development of modern data centres with quantified and significant improvements in service delivery productivity, quality, availability and cost".

This could end up as just another high-status and pointless EU research project which will be forgotten about after the Eurocrats have finished patting themselves on the back. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.