IBM Hitches Wagon to 4G bps Storage Train

The new IBM System Storage DS4700 Express offering is geared toward SMB and midrange enterprise customers.

Topping off the yearlong changeover of its storage controller systems portfolio from 2G bps to 4G bps support and bandwidth expansion, IBM on May 9 unveiled its new IBM System Storage DS4700 Express offering geared toward small to midsize business and midrange enterprise customers.

The DS4700 Express product line, which features the Model 70 low-end and larger Model 72 configurations, will replace IBMs older DS4300 2GB system.

Customers will be able to easily remove expansion draws and drives from their DS4300 investments and hook them directly into the new system, said Craig Butler, manager of product marketing for Disk, SAN, and NAS products at Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM.

Constructed to help SMBs respond to growing data demands involving record archiving, video streaming and high performance applications, the DS4700 Express series includes 16 disk drive bays within the controller and up to eight host ports, which minimizes a network switch requirement.

IBM OEMs the 4700 series hardware from Engenio Information Technologies, the storage systems subsidiary of LSI Logic, with the DS4700 series Model 70 being the Engenio model 3992 and the DS 4700 series Model 72 repackaged from Engenio model 3994.

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For scaling purposes, Butler said customers can attach either the EXP710 or EXP810 expansion unit to the DS4700 back-end to support more than 112 disk drives for a simplified data migration path.

The DS4700 has 16 bays, as opposed to its predecessor, which only featured 14 bays, and runs at 15K RPM disk speed.

The DS4700 line is enabled with DACstore technology capable of storing up to 512GB of metadata on each subsystem drive. By creating array portability with drives not bound to an enclosure, customers are able to easily remove and replace drives between storage server systems.

IBM also announced a new System p5 single and dual port 4G bps Fibre Channel HBA (host bus adapter) available in both AIX 5L and Linux on Power configurations.

The DS4700 Series will feature 500 GB SATA (serial ATA) II drives in about a month, said Butler.

The DS4700 Series is directly comparable with EMCs new CX3-20 midrange storage array, which was unveiled on May 8—beating IBMs announcement by a single day.

While very similar, there are slight differences between the two systems.

For instance, IBMs DS4700 Model 72 features 8 ports to the CX3-20, which has 4 ports.

Performance-wise, EMC gets the edge as its box scales up to 120 drives over IBMs 112 drives capacity.

The IBM System Storage DS4700 series will be available on June 9 with a starting cost of $19,449.

That pricing scheme does include a three-year warranty on hardware and software for the storage device.

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