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IBM Scales Up for Healthcare

IBM has boiled down a slew of storage, software, and server products into a single package for healthcare and biotech firms, and is planning to extend the offering to other industries drowning in data. (See IBM Intros Medical Grid.)

The solution, unveiled today, uses IBM's recently launched Grid Access Manager Software to tie together the vendor's EXP3000 and DS4000 storage hardware and System x servers in a package aimed at the healthcare industry. (See IBM Unveils SAS Systems, IBM Turns to LSI for SAS, SNW: First Take, and IBM Deploys 'Low Carb' IT.)

Grid Access Manager is OEM'd from content-addressable storage (CAS) specialist Bycast. (See IBM to Build on Bycast and IBM to Build on Bycast.) The startup, along with Caringo, is one of the world's few software-based CAS systems, which makes it portable across heterogeneous arrays, rather than tied to a vendor's hardware. (See Bycast Casts Out, Bycast Announces IBM Deal, IBM to Build on Bycast, and Caringo.)

CIOs and IT managers in the health sector have already voiced their concern about the storage challenges posed by Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS). (See PACS Poses Storage Challenge and Radiology Group Picks Isilon.) PACS, which is becoming increasingly popular, involves the creation and storage of large digital images, prompting many organizations to rethink their storage strategies. (See Baptist Memorial Healthcare, Baptist Memorial Picks Copan, and Hospital Prescribes VTL, CDP.)

IBM's new bundle, which it calls its Grid Medical Archive Solution (GMAS), is a way for firms to come to grips with the data growth associated with this type of application. "[Because] they are pre-packaged bundles means that they are pre-configured and easy to install," says Hugh Rivers, business line executive healthcare and life sciences at IBM.

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