IBM Launches Deluge of New Storage Products

Big Blue refreshes its entire storage product line, from disks to tape to virtualization software.

IBM is rolling out an extensive refresh of its main storage product lines.

Big Blue Oct. 23 introduced a new release for its flagship enterprise disk storage system, new and enhanced storage virtualization products for disk and tape storage, and improvements to lower-end disk and tape storage packages for small and midsize businesses.

"This is our most comprehensive round of new storage products and product enhancements this year," Cindy Grossman, vice president of tape and archive storage systems, told eWEEK.

The Armonk, N.Y., companys System Storage DS8000 Turbo series now features a storage control console that acts as the equivalent of a "universal remote control," Grossman said.

Called the IBM System Storage Productivity Center, the Web-based console offers a consolidated view of an organizations storage system nodes for management and configuration, Grossman said. The console allows storage administrators to configure multiple storage devices at one time, she said.

The Productivity Center will be available Nov. 16, starting at $7,500.

Other enhancements to the DS8000 Turbo series include FlashCopy SE, an optional, licensed function that allows users to make a snapshot copy of their data, Grossman said. Data copies at one set point in time are an increasingly important part of data protection and testing solutions.


IBM will consolidate about 3,900 of its own servers onto 33 virtualized System z mainframes running Linux. Click here to read more.

Another enhancement is Dynamic Volume Expansion, which helps users maintain data availability and simplify storage administrator workload by enabling easier online volume expansion to support application data growth, she said.

Other new features are storage pool striping, which enables users to speed data access and processing through high-performance data placement without needing special analysis and tuning by a storage performance expert; adaptive multistream prefetching, a caching technology that enables up to double the throughput for tasks such as data backup, batch processing, business intelligence and streaming media; and z/OS Global Mirror Multiple Reader, which improves throughput for remote mirroring for IBM System z users.

On the virtualization side, IBM launched its System Storage N series Virtual File Manager and enhancements to its Virtualization Engine TS7520 tape package.

The VFM provides a central control panel for managing unstructured file data across an enterprise and enables virtualization of file systems on Unix, Linux and Windows file servers and on IBM N series. It offers data management for server and storage consolidation, migration, remote office data management, and disaster recovery, Grossman said.

The Virtual File Manager Enterprise and Migration editions will be available Oct. 26 starting at $2,000 for the Enterprise Edition and $1,200 for the Migration Edition.

IBMs Virtualization Engine TS7520 virtual tape machine now offers 750GB Serial ATA disk drives for higher capacity (1.3 petabytes) and supports IBMs encryption-capable LTO Gen 4 tape drives, Grossman said.

"IBM announced enhancements to their TS7520 Virtual Tape Library in order to improve its automation capabilities and simplify operations," said Dave Reine, an analyst with The Clipper Group.

IBM also integrated new 32-port Ethernet and Fibre Channel switches into the VTL for expanded and simplified data center operations, Reine said.

Virtualization Engine TS7520 will be available Dec. 7 starting at $104,769.

For SMBs, IBM engineered new functionality into its lower-end System Storage DS3000 and DS4000 disk series, as well as its System Storage TS2240 tape products.

The DS3000 now supports SATA and Big Blues System p servers and BladeCenter Power blades. Users can now intermix SAS and SATA drives on the DS3000.

New options for the DS4800, DS4700 Express and the DS4200 Express include support for RAID 6 on the DS4700 Express models and the DS4200 Express; increased capacity with support for more than 2TB volumes on some operating systems; up to 64 enhanced remote mirror pairs on the DS4700 and DS4200, and up to 128 on the DS4800; and up to 128 storage partitions on the DS4700 Express and DS4200 Express, and up to 512 on the DS4800.

The DS3000 and DS4000 Series will be available Dec. 7.

"All these releases are really about sustaining innovation," David Hill, an analyst with The Mesabi Group, told eWEEK. "Sustaining innovation extends and evolves product functionality to increase the value of the product to the buyer. Most releases are sustaining innovations rather than disruptive innovations."


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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...