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IBM Upgrades Storage Hardware, Launches Cloud Service

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IBM on Wednesday enhanced many of its storage products, and introduced new products and services aimed at increasing the efficiency of operations within organizations.

The company introduced enhancements to the high-end DS8800 storage array, the IBM StorWize 7000 data compression appliance, the SAN Volume Controller virtualization appliance, and the clustered XIV and Scale-Out NAS (SONAS) systems.

Further they announced enhancements to its Tivoli storage software products and unveiled a new public cloud storage service that would be based on Nirvanix's Cloud Storage Network.

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Among the announcements, IBM's enhancements to its flagship array, the DS8800, stand out. The DS8800 now supports the largest 3 TB disk drives for a total useable capacity of 2 PB and IBM's migration software EasyTier, which automatically moves data in and out of solid state drives and among tiers of Fibre Channel and less expensive storage.

In addition IBM has assured quality of service, performance, and scalability in one box, when used in System Z mainframe environments. The company has guaranteed that mission-critical applications have priority over less-important applications via integration with the I/O Priority Manager, that DB2 v10 queries are 10 times as fast as previous models with zHPF or High-Performance FICON technology, and that the system can scale to over 1,500 drives. The I/O Priority Manager system can prioritize access to system resources to achieve the volume's desired quality of service based on defined performance goals (high, medium, or low) of any volume.

IBM also enhanced its XIV object-base storage system with the addition of 3 TB drives, giving double the capacity of previous models. The company also added expanded migration capability to its IBM SAN Volume Controller Stretch-cluster virtualization appliance to include expanded distances of up to 300 kilometers.

IBM also added clustering capability to the StorWize appliance for fault-tolerance and high availability. With clustering, IT managers can scale their systems for performance and capacity. The company also added block storage deduplication and compression capabilities. Previous versions of the StorWize appliance handled only unstructured data such as Word files, spreadsheets and images. This capability is important in that the appliance is now able to reduce the amount of all types of data.

IBM also enhanced the StorWize appliance by adding policy-based storage tiering and support for the cloud so an administrator can set rules for where data is stored after it is deduplicated and compressed. Further, the company added EasyTier software to the StorWize appliance for migrating data between tiers of storage.

IBM introduced enhancements to its SONAS (Scale-Out NAS) system to include police-based management and use of 3 TB drives, increasing maximum capacity to over 21 PB.

On the cloud storage front, IBM said it will include technology from Nirvanix that will let customers upload files and be able to access them from any location, without restrictions on file size or geographic regions. It should make it easier for customers to store data in multiple locations for easy, fast access. IBM said its SmartCloud Enterprise storage services will support millions of users, billions of objects, and exabytes of data.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.