IBM Unveils Midrange Storage Servers for Telcos

The company continues its push into the midtier market by offering portable, heavy-duty servers with built-in support for DC power.

IBM continued its full-court press on the midtier market Nov. 8 with the introduction of two new midrange storage servers designed for companies that use so-called "hardened" infrastructures, due to the industries they serve or the data center environments where the equipment is located.

A hardened, or heavy-duty, IT infrastructure is one that utilizes high-end hardware and software components, a highly secure network, specially protective enclosures, and redundant database, backup, storage and archiving for high-volume data creation and transfer.

The new IBM System Storage DS4700 Express servers, Models 70-DC and 72-DC, are designed to address requirements for companies in the telecommunications industry, as well as other segments, such as oil and gas exploration.

The new models, as well as the enhanced IBM System Storage DS4000 EXP810, a high-bandwidth storage system and expansion unit for midmarket clients, are now NEBS (Network Equipment-Building System) Level 3-compliant and optimally suited for environments with strict requirements, said a spokesperson for IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y.

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The DS4700 Express 70-DC and 72-DC and the EXP810 expansion unit feature built-in support for DC power and are compliant not only with the NEBS L3 standard for U.S. clients, but also with the NEBS L3 standard for the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the spokesperson said.

The DS4700 and EXP810 aim to deliver the benefits of automated networked storage to all customers, particularly to customers in the telecommunications industry, because the systems can be powered from a 48-volt DC industry-standard power source.

A bezel attachment option is also available for new models and expansion unit. This option contains an air filter that helps prevent harmful airborne particles from entering the DS4700 or EXP810 enclosure when these units are installed in rugged environments, such as earthquake-prone areas or buildings with significant amounts of dust and debris, often found in the oil and gas industries.

The DS4700 Express series is designed to provide users with high performance and connectivity with connectivity to 4G-bps attached host systems, in addition to 16 disk drive bays inside the controller and up to eight host ports.

Clients can attach EXP810 expansion units, each containing another 16 drive bays, to the back-end to scale up to 56 terabytes of physical capacity and 112 drives. The two DS4700 Express models will feature different amounts of cache and numbers of host ports.

Pricing and availability

IBM System Storage DS4700 Express Models 70-DC and 72-DC start at list prices of $26,100 and $52,000, respectively. The IBM System Storage DS4000 EXP810 will start at a list price of $12,100. Pricing includes Microsoft Windows host kit and storage partitions. All systems will be generally available on Dec. 8.

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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...