IBM To Reunite Storage, Server Units Into One

An IBM spokesperson confirmed that the two divisions will be recombined effective Jan. 1. William Zeitler, currently senior vice president of IBM's Server Group, will oversee the new organization, which has not yet been named.

IBM said it is recombining the groups to merge resources and create a single organization focused on supporting the company's new on-demand computing initiative.

The server product line will contribute autonomic computing and grid computing technologies to the initiative, while the storage side will contribute capacity on demand and virtualization. These technologies allow easy integration of on-demand computing into an enterprise's IT infrastructure, IBM said.

>> Combining the two units is expected to help IBM use its R and D resources more efficiently.

The strategy of the on-demand computing business is to treat computing resources as if they were a utility, and increase the automation and 24x7 capability of IT infrastructures, the spokesperson said.

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The combined units will help IBM move enterprise storage and server technologies into the midrange market, where the company traditionally relies on solution provider partners, IBM said.

Bringing the two organizations together is a good move, said Chris Pyle, president of Champion Solutions Group, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based solution provider and one of IBM's largest business partners.

"I think it gets everybody selling the complete line," Pyle said. "Before, there were some IBM server guys who didn't get compensated for selling storage. That was just changed recently. At Champion, I want my people selling everything."

IBM's initial spin-off of storage as a separate group almost three years ago was the right move at the time, Pyle noted. "They needed to spin off the Storage Systems Group back when EMC was strong," he said. "It has done a great job with the product and [today is second to none."

Bringing servers and storage together will help customers acquire complete solutions, he said.

The move also should help IBM use its R and D resources more efficiently, Pyle said. "At the end of the day, isn't the Shark an enterprise storage server?" he said. "Isn't all storage based on servers?"