IBM Unveils Vision For On Demand Storage

IBM Tuesday introduced an entry-level storage server and provisioning software as it unveiled its vision to battle EMC in the burgeoning storage software market.

May 13, 2004

2 Min Read
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IBM Tuesday introduced an entry-level storage server and provisioning software as it unveiled its vision to battle EMC in the burgeoning storage software market.

At a storage briefing in Cambridge, Mass., top IBM executives launched three new additions to its TotalStorage software family, including the FastT100 Storage Server and Tivoli Provisioning Manager, and Write Once Read Many media technology for the company's Enterprise Tape Drive 3592.

The entry level server is designed as a near-line storage device that gives small and medium-sized businesses quick, low cost access to infrequently accessed data, IBM executives said. It supports serial ATA and will be available in July, a spokeswoman said. She would not reveal the price of the server.

The Tivoli Provisioning Manager, which will offer storage operations building blocks, is a member of the IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center, will simplify the task of building storage workflows, IBM said.

The Productivity Center, which is due in the third quarter, offers storage resources manager, SAN Manager and Multiple Device Manager. The provisioning software provisions and configures servers, operating systems, middleware, applications, storage capacity and network drives.The latest additions to IBM's TotalStorage solutions will enable both SMB customers and enterprises to meet federal regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and corporate governance requirements.

Additionally, the growing TotalStorage storage software stack -- particularly the company's SAN Volume Controller and SAN File System and storage virtualization technologies under development -- will be fully integrated to hide the complexity of supporting multiple SANs.

It will allow for more data storage, moving the company closer to providing an end-to-end storage software stack for expanding business needs in the on demand era.

"Nothing is more important than integrating information," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice president of technology and strategy at IBM, noting that IBM is working on the next major challenges in the storage arena around consolidation, virtualization and automation as more and more computing devices deliver information to the data center. "On demand is about leveraging virtualization. It is the way you can have your cake and eat it, too."

Wladawsky-Berger and other IBM executives noted that storage virtualization decouples the storage software from the hardware in a way that liberates customers from being locked in to EMC, HP or IBM's storage area network. Advancements in storage virtualization and fully integrated blade solutions are high on the to do list, said Rich Lechner, vice president of storage at IBM."The next step is to have storage blades where we have the whole infrastructure in a box," said Lechner. 'We're not there yet, but [we're getting closer] because we have built storage on a server-based infrastructure."

To that end, IBM also previewed next generation storage technologies including collective intelligent bricks, object storage, advanced data protection technologies beyond RAID 5 and support for non-magnetic technologies that may significantly bolster data storage rates.

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