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IBM Launches Shared Storage For SMBs

The latest "big" company to set its sites on small and midsize companies is IBM with the introduction of a new shared storage option that claims to cut storage costs and require minimal IT resources.
The latest "big" company to set its sites on small and midsize companies is IBM with the introduction of a new shared storage option that claims to cut storage costs and require minimal IT resources.The IBM BladeCenter S launched back in 2007 with the objective of simplifying IT; an 80% reduction in sever usage was claimed for midsize companies with 25-45 servers. Today's shared storage announcement for the BladeCenter S system boasts somewhat less outlandish claims, though the stats remain eye popping -- 30-40% reduction in shared storage costs.

Blade Center S chassis

The idea here is to consolidate multiple storage devices onto a single blade computing system (and fill a gap in the BladeCenter S system). There's a SAS-based SAN in the chassis, providing an alternative to more expensive Fibre Channel SANs. Though the claimed savings don't factor in the cost of moving to Blades from a rack system much less towers. The current install situation at your business could make the claimed reduction in storage costs a mirage or reality, but the shared storage concept does have legs both for smaller companies and larger companies with remote/branch offices.

Of perhaps more interest to resource-restrained business owners looking to control IT costs is the Start Now Advisor that claims to walk you through the setup process in 30 minutes or less. Call it a wizard, call it an advisor, but if it trims deployment time that's money in your pocket.

There's also a Service Advisor feature that IBM's dubbed "OnStar for servers" that alerts IBM or an authorized service provider automatically if there's an issue. It goes without saying that charges may apply, but there's some peace of mind to be had in automating storage monitoring.

Available later this month, the starting price point for the BladeCenter S with shared storage, power, fans, rack and DVD/CD combo drive starts at $2,599.

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