IBM Flashes Cash, Makes Storage Push

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- IBM ( IBM) announced a $1 billion investment in Flash technology as the tech giant fleshes out its storage story.

A high-speed data storage technology, Flash also contains no moving parts so it's touted as a more reliable and energy efficient-alternative to traditional spinning hard drives.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based tech giant revealed on Thursday that it is investing $1 billion in Flash-related research and development. IBM also unveiled a family of all-Flash storage appliances, based on technology from the company's acquisition of Texas Memory Systems last year.

Telecom giant Sprint ( S) has already clinched a deal to install nine of the new FlashSystem appliances in its data center, adding 150-Tbytes of Flash storage to its data capacity.

Data is big business for IBM, which recently increased its 2015 revenue target for analytics and big data to $20 billion from $16 billion. Back in 2010, IBM had set an initial goal of $10 billion by 2015.

Big data refers to the management of vast quantities of unstructured data, or information that is outside the realm of traditional databases. Examples include email messages, PowerPoint presentations, audio, video and social media information.

IBM recently received an upgrade from UBS, which cited the company's strengths around private cloud computing.

Shares of IBM crept up 0.38% to $212.80 in mid-morning trading on Thursday.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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