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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — President Joe Biden said Thursday that a $20 billion investment by IBM in New York’s Hudson River Valley would help give the United States a technological edge against China, hailing the expansion during an appearance with two House Democrats in competitive races in next month’s critical elections.
The president cited IBM’s commitment as part of a larger manufacturing boom, spurred by this summer’s passage of a $280 billion measure intended to boost the semiconductor industry and scientific research. That legislation was needed for national and economic security, Biden said in Poughkeepsie, adding that “the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied against” it.
“The United States has to lead the world of producing these advanced chips — this law is going to make sure that it will,” Biden said.
Democratic candidates have largely avoided election-year appearances with Biden, whose approval ratings remain underwater. Bucking that trend in New York were Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Pat Ryan.
The lawmakers, along with Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, greeted Biden upon his arrival at Stewart Air National Guard Base.
“When I heard @POTUS was looking to see the benefits of the CHIPS & Science Act first-hand, I told him that the Hudson Valley was the perfect place,” Maloney wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “I’m thrilled to host him in Poughkeepsie this week to celebrate the major wins and good-paying jobs we are delivering here in NY.”
The CHIPS and Science Act, which Biden signed in August, was a rare bill for which the president was able to win bipartisan support.
IBM’s $20 billion investment over the next decade is intended to bolster research and development and manufacturing of semiconductors, mainframe technology, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
“As we tackle large-scale technological challenges in climate, energy, transportation and more, we must continue to invest in innovation and discovery — because advanced technologies are key to solving these problems and driving economic prosperity, including better jobs, for millions of Americans,” said Arvind Krishna, IBM’s chairman and CEO.
IBM’s commitment comes on the heels of chipmaker Micron announcing this week an investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a plant in upstate New York that could create 9,000 factory jobs. In his remarks, Biden also celebrated Intel’s plant groundbreaking in Ohio and an investment by WolfSpeed for chip production in North Carolina.
Maloney, chairman of the powerful Democratic congressional campaign fundraising arm, is running against Republican state Assemblyman Mike Lawler in the 17th Congressional District. Ryan faces state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt in the 18th District.
The boundaries of most New York districts, including Maloney’s and Ryan’s, have been affected by redistricting.
Ryan in August won a close special election to serve out the term of Democrat Antonio Delgado, who vacated his 19th District seat after he was appointed lieutenant governor by Hochul. Ryan is running for a full term in the 18th District, where he lives.
Maloney, who had represented that district since 2013, decided to run in the 17th District. His Hudson Valley home fell inside the new boundaries after redistricting.
Hochul, who took office last year after Democrat Andrew Cuomo resigned amid sexual harassment allegations, is looking to win a full term. Her opponent is Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.
Later Thursday, Biden was scheduled to be in central New Jersey for a fundraiser at the home of Gov. Phil Murphy in support of the Democratic National Committee. In the evening, Biden planned to attend a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser in Manhattan hosted by James Murdoch, the son of News Corp. publisher Rupert Murdoch.
James Murdoch and his wife, Kathryn, a climate change activist, were major donors to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. In 2020, Murdoch resigned from the board of News Corp. amid differences over editorial content at his father’s company, which operates The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. The elder Murdoch is also chairman of Fox Corp., which includes Fox News Channel.
While Biden has been kept at arms length by many Democratic candidates, he’s been a prodigious fundraiser for his party this election cycle, raising more than $19.6 million for the Democratic National Committee.
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IBM, which three years ago acquired Red Hat, is now moving Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Red Hat Ceph, along with their development teams, into IBM Storage as part of a move to make a bigger play in the software-defined and open-source storage worlds.
IBM Tuesday said it has absorbed storage technology and teams from its Red Hat business to combine them with IBM’s own storage business unit as a way to help clients take advantage of the two without requiring extra integration or having to deal with multiple sales teams.
IBM is integrating Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation with its IBM Spectrum Fusion and will offer Red Hat Ceph-based storage technologies to its clients in a move to continue Big Blue’s software-defined storage leadership, said Brent Compton, senior director of Data Foundation for Red Hat’s hybrid cloud business.
For IBM, which in mid-2019 acquired Red Hat in a $34-billion deal, the move ensures maximum support for Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph, Compton told CRN.
[Related: 2022 Storage 100: Who’s Got Your Backup?]
“OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph will become a big part of IBM Storage,” he said. “IBM has been looking for a way to take advantage of Ceph and ODF, and now it can.”
Ceph is an open-source software-defined object storage technology with interfaces for object, block and file storage. Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation is a software-defined container-native storage that provides cluster data management capabilities as part of the OpenShift container platform.
Scott Baker, chief marketing officer and vice president of IBM hybrid cloud portfolio and product marketing, told CRN the move to combine Red Hat and IBM storage technologies sets the stage for growth in the combined software-defined storage portfolio.
“Customers not only get a choice of where storage runs—at the edge, in the cloud, or on-prem—but will find storage software releases will no longer be tied to the timing of storage hardware releases,” Baker said. “For instance, IBM normally enhances its Spectrum Virtualize or Spectrum Scale with new versions of the IBM FlashSystem. But with software-defined storage, we can drive changes quicker if they’re not tied to hardware releases.”
By bringing Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph into IBM, customers get the opportunity to access unified block, file, and object storage without regard to the genuine underlying hardware, Baker said.
“They can use Ceph to add the right type of storage depending on the protocol they need,” he said. “Ceph and ODF also simplifies how IBM provides data storage and protection. To do all that with IBM’s storage portfolio takes time. With CEF and ODF as part of IBM Storage, this can get done immediately.”
It really is the best of both worlds, as Red Hat customers will also see strong benefits from IBM Storage, Compton said.
“It’s important to note that IBM will continue to offer OpenShift Data Foundation inside the Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus hybrid cloud platform,” he said. “So if a customer gets pre-integrated OpenShift Data Foundation inside Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus, it accelerates their time to market. There’s no need to integrate the storage. This will not change.”
Also, Red Hat OpenShift customers have used Ceph to accelerate their time to scale for years, and Red Hat will continue to sell Ceph, Compton said.
“But by moving Ceph to IBM Storage, IBM will accelerate development of the storage-specific features,” he said. “Red Hat is not a storage company. So this will accelerate development of unified capabilities.”
IBM’s storage move makes good on the potential many saw with the company’s acquisition of Red Hat, said John Teltsch, chief revenue officer at Converge Technology Solutions, a Gatineau, Quebec-based solution provider and channel partner to both IBM and Red Hat that ranked No. 36 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500.
“This is something the channel has been waiting for ever since IBM acquired Red Hat,” Teltsch told CRN. “IBM has been doing a lot around software-defined storage. And when you add in Red Hat, it gives us an integrated solutions play. It lets us build an integrated sales team. We don’t have to first talk about IBM storage capabilities, and then bring in our Red Hat team to talk about Red Hat.”
Converge Technology Partners’ IBM and Red Hat sales teams are currently two separate teams, said Teltsch, who joined the company in March from IBM, where he held numerous sales leadership roles, including two years as Big Blue’s channel chief.
“Once IBM and Red Hat storage are together, it gets more simple to sell,” he said. “And it simplifies our training while IBM will have one integrated set of offerings for its clients. This lets us bring the best of Red Hat open-source capabilities with IBM storage. We’re living in a data-driven world. This move simplifies our go-to-market, as well as simplifies the client experience, client engagement, and client adoption.”