IBM, Intel Lead Trend to Simplify Storage

New hardware, software products aim to help users consolidate infrastructures and simplify storage management.

Storage vendors are readying new hardware and software products designed to help users consolidate infrastructures and simplify storage management.

At the Storage Networking World show in Orlando, Fla., next week, IBM and Intel Corp. will each announce storage hardware that focuses on array management and server components, respectively.

Also at the show, BMC Software Inc. will unveil software designed to make management and integration easier. IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., is updating its TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server 800 series.

Starting next month, IBM will use 145.6GB drives to double the capacity of the series—also known as the Shark family—from 28 terabytes to 55.9 terabytes.

In comparison, EMC Corp.s Symmetrix 8000 holds 70 terabytes and Hitachi Ltd.s 9900V holds 74.7 terabytes, although both companies have announced double-capacity versions set for release early next year. IBM will also announce new automation features for managing capacity, volumes and users, officials said.

Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., is expanding its storage portfolio with a new RAID controller, the Serial ATA 31244; an iSCSI adapter, the Pro/1000 T IP; and a processor for low-end NAS (network-attached storage), the Ultra Low Voltage Intel Celeron, at 400MHz.

The chip uses 4.2 watts and will have future speed upgrades, said spokesman Joe English.

"Coming down the road, what youre going to see is some TCP/IP offload engine technology. ... Itll be discrete chips" co-developed by Lucent Technologies Inc., said English, in Chandler, Ariz.

Storage management software—particularly as it becomes more interoperable—is increasingly important to businesses such as Comprehensive Software Systems Inc., which runs 6 terabytes of EMCs Clariion and plans to add 10 terabytes more next year. However, the Golden, Colo., company is looking at software from Fujitsu Software Technology Corp., instead of EMC, to help manage it.

"Right now, without [Fujitsus software], I dont have a choice," said Chadd Warwick, manager of operations. "I either have to go to EMC, or I have to learn a whole new thing. The hassle is expansions [of storage systems]."

Also next week at the show, BMC, of Houston, will announce a deal to brand and resell startup Invio Software Inc.s Storage Practice Manager 1.1. Late next month, BMC will sell the Palo Alto, Calif., companys product as Patrol Storage Automation-Provisioning, and in April or May of next year, BMC will merge the product with its Patrol Storage Manager as PSM 3.1, said BMC officials.

Future BMC-branded features built with Invios Practice Foundry 1.0 will be for data replication/mirroring, topology/footprint extensions management and quality-of-service monitoring, they said.