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IBM 'Racks Up' Midmarket Storage

According to IBM, the most significant element of Thursday's additions to its storage portfolio is the Storwize V7000, a 2U rack-based disk system with enterprise-class performance packaged for the midmarket. Reportedly, it can reduce storage rack space by up to 67 percent and improve performance by 300 percent with automatic migration to solid state drives (SSD) through the integration of IBM System Storage Easy Tier software. Other features include thin provisioning, dynamic migration for continuous availability of applications while migrating data and FlashCopy for faster and more efficient data copies for online backup, testing or data mining. IBM also announced storage hardware, software and service announcements, including the DS8800 disk system, which offers 40 percent better performance over its predecessor.

For the last quarter (2Q10) IDC (Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker) reported that external disk storage systems factory revenues posted year-over-year growth of 20.4 percent, totaling just over $5 billion, with IBM a distant second at 13.6 percent to EMC at 25.7 percent. For total disk storage factory revenue, IBM came in third with 15.8 percent behind HP with 19.3 percent and EMC's 19 percent.

Based on IDC data, IBM says storage capacity worldwide will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 49.8 percent from 2009-2014. According to the company the problem is that organizations are already struggling with the volume and evolving nature of the data they're already collecting. Its solution is a combination of home-grown storage innovations like the Easy Tier technology together with acquisitions of technologies such as XIV.

Easy Tier can improve performance by up to 200 percent, automatically moving the most active data to faster SSDs and moving secondary data to more cost-effective storage technologies. The XIV high-end disk storage architecture that IBM acquired in 2008 enables it to adapt to changing workloads and deliver consistently high performance.

Howard Marks, founder of Deep Storage.net says "I'm impressed with the V7000.  IBM's midrange storage, like the DS5300, has been pretty generic and OEMed from LSI, and they say they say the V7000 isn't replacing it. The V7000 combines their own Storage Volume Manager software with Intel processors to create a midrange version of HDS's VSP, which is an array and a virtualization platform all in one."

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