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IBM introduced a new, entry-level configuration of its IBM TotalStorage NAS (network-attached storage) Gateway 500 on Tuesday to give customers running an NAS environment a less costly option to satisfy less-demanding performance requirements.

Available by the end of this week, the slimmed-down configuration features a single microprocessor based on Power4+ and is priced at $31,850—about 40 percent below the starting price point of IBM’s NAS Gateway 500, which was introduced earlier this year.

With the entry-level NAS Gateway 500 in tow, customers have a simplified upgrade path to scale up to two, four or eight processors as their storage needs expand, said David Vaughn, worldwide product manager for NAS at Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM.

IBM’s recent storage products focus on data-retention relief. Click here to read more.

“Customers were telling us that the [original NAS 500 gateway multiple processor] entry point was overkill for what they needed at the time,” Vaughn said. “They wanted to see a lower configuration for them to grow in the future, but have complete upgradeability.”

IBM NAS Gateway 500 upgrades will include processor, memory, adapters, Ethernet and Fiber Channel, redundancy with engine clustering and operation-system mirroring, and data mirroring over IP and SANs (storage area networks), according to IBM officials. The gateway is built to connect SANs and other storage array data sources over IP networks into a virtualized location for simplified access.

Click here to read about IBM’s TotalStorage Productivity Center, a modular suite of storage and virtualization software products.

IBM also announced Tuesday that the new IBM NAS Gateway 500 will ship with support for three modes of mirroring over IP networks. These include asynchronous mode, synchronous mode and MWC (Mirror Write Consistency), which works by writing data to the local disk at the same instance when it is sent to the remote site. The write is only complete when the action is acknowledged by the remote site.

Additional enhancements to the product include beefed-up support for Microsoft Windows 2003 environments, support for EtherChannel and IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation within environments featuring two clustered NAS Gateway 500s, as well as improved features to let users to track, manage and restore snapshot files.

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