IBM Increases High-End Storage Features

IBM last week announced feature upgrades to its high-end storage array, focusing on data protection.

IBM last week announced feature upgrades to its high-end storage array, focusing on data protection.

The new version of TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server 800—better known as Shark—doesnt have a new name. It will ship June 27, officials said.

Among the new features are improvements to the FlashCopy snapshot software, PPRC (Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy) replication software and standby capacity, officials of the Armonk, N.Y., company said.

FlashCopy can now record images of more granular, file-level data, compared with only entire logical unit numbers before. However, that feature applies only to IBMs new "T-Rex" z990 mainframe, officials said. For all users, FlashCopy can now also image to 12 locations versus just one before. It can also perform incremental snapshots, is faster and can be administered through the PPRC graphical interface, officials said.

In PPRC itself, users can configure a secondary data center as a primary site for a third—useful for making off-site copies of backup data and for restoring the backups faster, officials said.

Shark can now use up to eight disk pools, as much as 6.9 terabytes, as standby capacity, paid for only when its activated, officials said. In prior versions, only a quarter as much was available for standby use.

High-availability features are also new, such as dual active servers, system reconfigurations without IBM assistance, and rewritten microcode thats 25 percent faster for IBMs zSeries servers and 50 percent faster for the iSeries, officials said.

By the end of this year, Shark—the main competitor to EMC Corp.s Symmetrix DMX and Hitachi Ltd.s Lightning 9900 families—will also get an option for replication over Fibre Channel. It currently uses the mainframe-derived Enterprise Systems Connection, officials said. The storage will also receive upgraded management software based on the evolving Common Information Model, they said.

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