Feeds

IBM's cloudy object vision stoked by EU

Eurocrats fund IBM-led development

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.