One source familiar with IBM's plans, who requested anonymity, says the change is a strategic move by the company. "It's not short-term stuff," he says. The source says IBM is not considering making an acquisition or entering into a joint venture for its next-generation NAS platform but emphasizes that the company will "continue to improve its ability to address the NAS marketplace."
Another industry source, meanwhile, says IBM has developed a "NAS-like offering" out of its StorageTank distributed file system project. StorageTank, which has been in development for more than five years, runs on a Linux kernel. IBM expects to deliver the software (renamed TotalStorage SAN File System) in December 2003 (see IBM Virtually in the Game and IBM Gasses Up Storage Tank).
Currently, IBM offers three Windows-based NAS systems: the low-end NAS 100, a 1U-high system that offers up to 480 GBytes of storage; the NAS 200, which provides up to 7 TBytes in a single system; and the NAS Gateway 300, which provides connectivity to back-end SAN storage (see IBM Turns NAS Crank).
IBM officials did not respond to requests for information by press time.