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IBM Addresses High End

IBM has "turbo" charged its DS8000 enterprise SAN systems around its Power5 processors, while adding the latest Network Appliance enterprise system to its brand and beefing up its replication software. The announcements included the second storage system rollout in two weeks, but today's news concentrated more on the high end of IBM's portfolio.

The additions follow IBM's Aug. 8 upgrade of its midrange DS4000 family based on hardware from LSI Engenio controllers. (See IBM Intros DS4200.)

IBM says the Power5 improves I/Os per second (IOPS) on the DS8100 and DS8300 Turbo systems up to 15 percent over the previous DS8100 and DS8300 models. The new systems also support 4-Gbit/s FICON. Pricing for the DS8100 Turbo family starts at $213,000, and the systems will be available Sept. 9.

Other pieces of the launch include:

  • IBM System Storage N7600 and N7800 systems, based on NetApp's FAS 6030 and 6070 appliances and gateways. The appliances will be available Sept. 1 starting at $140,500 with the gateways to follow Sept. 22 starting at $113,500.
  • Support for three-way replication between sites and TPC For Replication, a replication manager that provides a single interface for its Metro Mirror, Global Mirror, and Flash Copy services, and automates replication between DS8000 and DS6000 systems.
  • Fibre Channel ATA (FATA) drives for the DS8000 and midrange DS6000 system.

As far as a product launch goes, the news was underwhelming. The DS8000 upgrade is a tepid response to EMC's new Symmetrix unveiled earlier this year and Hitachi Data System's TagmaStore, which financial analysts say is winning market share from both EMC and IBM. Still, IBM did beat EMC to 4-Gbit/s on its enterprise system and claimed DS8000 sales increased 10 percent year over year last quarter. (See IBM's Mixed Bag of Storage.)

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