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IBM Launches Major Expansion Of Its Storage Product Line

With tiered storage, new warranties, and pricing options, IBM is trying to reduce the total cost of ownership of its storage systems.
Calling it the "single largest expansion of its storage portfolio," IBM on Tuesday rolled out new storage platforms and enhanced storage products.

At the high end, IBM introduced the IBM System Storage DS8000 Turbo models. The two new models, the DS8100 Turbo and DS8300 Turbo, are based on IBM's Power 5+ processor and provide a performance improvement of up to 15% for transaction processing workload environments when compared to the previous DS8000 platform.

The enhancements include the use of 4 Gbps Fibre Channel Fiber Connection to reduce the number of network resources needed, which will simplify management and reduce infrastructure costs, says Charlie Andrews, director of product marketing for IBM systems storage.

Additional features for the DS8000 Turbo systems include improved tiered storage options, functions to enable greater performance and efficiency for DB2 database applications running on IBM System P servers, and a three-site business continuity system that reaches greater distances and requires less network bandwidth.

The first tiered-storage option uses Fibre Channel drives and is targeted at storing critical and frequently used data. The second tier uses lower-cost Fibre Channel ATA drives and is intended for less frequently used data.

The overall cost of the new systems includes a 25% lower base system list price than previous comparable systems, Andrews says.

In addition, an upgraded DS6000 storage system will provide for use of Fibre Channel ATA drives and tiered storage options. The system comes with a flexible Enterprise Choice option for warranty extensions, which allows customers to choose a 24x7 option in one-year increments for up to four years.

The DS8000 Turbo and enhanced DS6000 will both be available on Sept. 9, with starting prices of $213,400 and $102,600, respectively.

"We've been focusing very heavily on pure [total cost of ownership]," Andrews says. "That includes longer-term warranties and trying to create some acquisition price options available to drag down the cost."

IBM also announced the next step in its relationship with Network Appliance Inc. to offer more network-attached storage options.

IBM is offering System Storage N7600 and N7800, which include Fibre Channel and SATA disk drive support as well as more than 35 advanced software features, to provide platforms scalable to 504 terabytes, Andrews says.

New software called FlexShare will let administrators increase processing utilization without sacrificing the performance of critical business needs. It also affords better control of how applications are prioritized. MetroCluster extends failover capabilities from primary to remote sites and replicates data from the primary site to the remote site to ensure data is up-to-date and available.

Andrews says IBM has also enhanced the Systems Storage DR550 V3.0 and DR550 Express platform to help support regulatory and corporate governance data retention requirements.