IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
is dipping its foot into the iSCSI SAN waters with an entry-level system -- making Big Blue the first major Fibre Channel SAN vendor to unveil an iSCSI system aimed at SMBs.
IBM today announced the TotalStorage DS300, an iSCSI SAN based on an unannounced OEM deal with Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT) (see Adaptec, IBM Get Cozier). The DS300 server runs under Windows and Linux. Single-controller models will start shipping September 24 with dual-controller models following in December.
IBM, like most other SAN vendors, sees the market for its iSCSI SAN starting small -- literally. Initially, we see iSCSI confined to the Windows and Linux space, says Rich Lechner, VP of IBM storage systems. I dont believe well see iSCSI as a big part of enterprise-class storage.
Still, something's shifting. According to the latest IDC numbers, iSCSI still represents less than 1 percent of the networked disk storage systems market, but it grew 30 percent in the second quarter of the year.
IBM's chief competition for its new SAN is the AX100 from Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). Indeed, IBM positions the DS300 as a cheaper alternative to the AX100 for use by small business customers. A single-controller DS300 with 436 GBytes of external storage costs $4,642 and a dual-controller configuration with 730 GBytes begins at $8,340. Dell lists an AX100 with a single processor and 480 GBytes at $4,999 and a dual processor and 640 GBytes at $9,646.