IBM Goes After EMC with 'Turbo' Storage ServersBy Chris Preimesberger | Print
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The company spiffs up a large part of its storage server line in an all-out effort to outflank market leader EMC.IBM doesn't often name names when it publicly discusses its competitors in the IT storage business, but it made an exception Aug. 22 when it aimed a new product line squarely at market leader EMC.
The new "turbo-powered" line of storage servers offers faster performance and improved system management compared to both EMC's servers and previous IBM models, an IBM spokesperson said.
IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y., also announced the launch of the new IBM System Storage N7000, developed in conjunction with Network Appliance as part of a recent alliance between the two companies.
"This [the Turbo line and the N7000] is the largest expansion of [IBM's] storage portfolio in years," the spokesperson said.
The enterprise-class disk array IBM DS8000 Turbo line features 4GB-per-second FICON (Fibre Connection) throughput, which is about double the I/O now typically available. The Turbo runs on IBM's Power 5 chips, and the company claims that it delivers 15 percent better performance than the company's older model.
"As EMC's appetite for acquisitions grows ever more healthy, the foundation from which the company began is under siege," the IBM spokesperson said. "Market share numbers from IDC show the company is losing its grip on market dominance in the storage sector. Today, with the introduction of more enterprise-to-SMB [small and midsize businesses] appealing systems from IBM, that grip will be further tested."
According to industry reports, IBM has been making strong inroads into the $4.2 billion disk storage systems market share that EMC and HP (Hewlett-Packard) have historically owned.
EMC owned 21.8 percent of the enterprise external disk storage systems market in Q1 2006, with HP at about 18 percent and IBM at 12 percent, according to IDC, in Framingham, Mass.
DS8000 Turbo: tiered storage options within single system
The IBM DS8000 Turbo features:
The IBM System Storage DS8000 Turbo and enhanced DS6000each with a four-year warrantywill be available on Sept. 9, with starting list prices of $213,400 for the DS8000 Turbo and $102,600 for the enhanced DS6000. The server synergy features for the DS8000 Turbo will be available on Nov. 17.
NetApp-IBM N series: scalable up to 504TB
The NetApp-IBM N series enterprise appliance models, IBM System Storage N7600 and N7800, offer Fibre Channel and SATA (Serial ATA) disk drive support and provide simultaneous NAS, iSCSI and 4G-bps FCP (FC SAN) attachment. Additionally, they offer more than 35 advanced software features and are scalable up to 504TB. Both are available in single controller and clustered controller versions.
Key software features include:
The N series enterprise appliance models will be available Sept. 1 with a starting price of $140,500. The N series enterprise gateway solutions will be available Sept. 22, with a starting price of $113,500.
Data retention products enhanced
Designed for long-term data retention and to help support regulatory and corporate governance data retention requirements, the IBM System Storage DR550 V3.0 and DR550 Express offer increased flexibility, capacity and price performance by including the IBM System Storage DS4700 storage controller and the EXP810 storage expansion as its disk storage subsystem. The DS4700 system uses 500GB SATA drives and offers 4G-bps Fibre Channel technology.
Single server and express model configurations are currently available starting at $21,000. Dual-server models will be available Sept. 15 starting at $128,000.
Expansion of IBM System Storage DS4000 Series
IBM has expanded its DS4000 line of midrange storage servers with the introduction of the IBM System Storage DS4200 Express Model, aimed at SMBs. It also added new features and functionality across its entire DS4000 family of products to increase capacity, speed and overall performance.
The new IBM System Storage DS4200 Express will be available on Aug. 25, starting at a list price of $11,474.
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