IBM on Tuesday unveiled the new small-to-midrange-class IBM System Storage N5000 series, which stands as the companys second major technology rollout resulting from its OEM and product re-branding partnership with Network Appliance Inc.
Primarily suited for small data centers and remote regional offices, the N5000 series features two models: the IBM System Storage N5200 and the N5500.
The products will be generally available on Dec. 9 in both single and dual storage controller models.
The N5200 scales up to 50TB and starts at $60,000. The N5500 offers capacity up to 84TB with prices beginning at $85,000, said officials of Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM.
The new mirrored NSeries boxes are equivalent to Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApps FAS (Fabric Attached Storage) 3020 and FAS3050, respectively.
Both of the N5200 and N5500 systems will support Fiber Channel drives for higher performance, as well as support SATA (serial ATA) drives for data retention and archiving using non-erasable and non-rewriteable capabilities, and disk-to-disk backup.
Additionally, the products push data availability, reduce tape management and boost disaster recovery via centralized backup.
Back in April, IBM announced an OEM deal with NetApp wherein IBM could re-brand NetApps entire product line or select parts thereof by the first half of 2006.
In August, IBM announced the IBM System Storage N3700, which was NetApps NAS (network attached storage) and low-end FAS270 filer designed for SMBs (small to midsize businesses) of fewer than 1,000 employees.
With the midrange NSeries in tow, IBM officials say the next product rendition will involve NetApps high-end systems FAS960 and FAS980 products and V-Series NAS gateway appliances and SAN (storage area network) virtualization platform.
Upon its release, the IBM re-branded V-Series (formerly gfiler) will feature interoperability support for IBMs TotalStorage DS 4800, 6000 and 8000 series.
The introduction of the N5200 and N5500 will allow IBM to plug gaps within its storage portfolio in terms of catering to SMBs by allowing them to integrate the iSCSI and NAS-based strength of NetApps FAS3020 and FAS3050 directly into an IBM environment utilizing xSeries and pSeries servers, SAN, and DFS (Distributed File System) products, IBM officials said.
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