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IBM Speeds Up NAS Gateway

IBM scaled up its network attached storage (NAS) gateway line Tuesday in response to customer demands and a continued convergence of NAS and storage area network (SAN) environments.

According to Vaughn, the NAS Gateway 500 boasts dramatic performance increases. In a Unix or Linux environment using NFS (Network File System), the new gateway works six times faster than the 300, he said, while companies using Windows' CFIS (Common Internet File System) will see a 50 percent increase.

"That's a dramatic improvement," Vaughn said, who went on to claim that third-party benchmarks show a 30 percent speed advantage over similar gateways from EMC and Network Appliance.

The new gateway also ups the storage capacity ante, for it can tie together more than ten times the storage -- 224 terabytes total -- than the Gateway 300, which maxed out at 22 terabytes.

IBM's gateway includes several reliability and availability features, including failover when a memory chip or processor in the device goes south. "If one processor goes out, it's 'moved aside' and the others keep working as if nothing happened," said Vaughn.

Additionally, an optional feature inserts a server processor into the gateway, which then monitors the health and performance of the device and reports status to IBM's technicians. At the first sign of a problem, IBM contacts the customers. "We're taking the autonomic computing idea to the gateway," said Vaughn, "to deal with failures before they happen."

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