IBM Bulks Up Sharks Speed

Big Blue's new ESS 800 and 800 Turbo means better performance, response times.

IBMs main business-class storage products have the capacity. Now the company is looking to increase its speed.

The Armonk, N.Y., company on Monday announced a major upgrade to its main business-class storage product, the Enterprise Storage System 800 and 800 Turbo, focusing on speed, officials said.

The new servers dont increase ESS capacity, which remains at 22 terabytes, compared to rival EMC Corp.s Symmetrix, at 70 terabytes, and Hitachi Ltd.s 9980, at about 140 terabytes when its second generation debuts this fall.

But the speed increases amount to a doubling of the performance of previous models, as well as response times that are up to 40 percent faster, IBM officials said.

The new ESS models, better known as Shark, each feature two 32G-bit caches, 2GB of Fibre Channel support, and RAID 10 options. The standard 800 will have dual four-way chips, and the Turbo model will have dual six-way chips. Both will have physical capacity pricing, replacing IBMs current usable capacity pricing, and both will use new versions of IBMs pSeries Unix server.

The new models also have real-time configuration ability, based on IBMs Project eLiza technology, officials said.

Other highlights of the 800 series are new 15,000 revolutions-per-minute drives, and compatibility with UltraSCSI, ESCON, and FICON interfaces, besides the standard Fibre Channel.