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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.

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.

The newest product in IBM's NAS gateway portfolio, the IBM TotalStorage NAS Gateway 500, is based on Big Blue's own Power4 processors running the AIX operating system, a major upgrade from IBM's previous top-of-the-line NAS Gateway 300, which relies on Intel processors and Microsoft Windows.

NAS gateways such as the 500 let enterprises link servers and clients with multiple storage devices and SANs (storage area networks) through a single platform. IBM's pitch is that by reducing the number of storage 'islands,' -- separate clusters of data, often spread geographically -- enterprises can better take advantage of existing storage resources while lowering support costs.

The key to the NAS Gateway 500 is its speed improvements, which deliver data from NAS clusters and SANs faster than IBM's previous gateways; faster, too, claimed product marketing manager David Vaughn, than its competitors.

"The speed improvements of the NAS 500 don't come exclusively from the hardware," said Vaughn, "but from a combination of the Power architecture and the software based on AIX, the same technology used in our enterprise storage products."

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