IBM brings high-end storage functions to the mid-market CW

The DS6000 and DS8000 feature higher physical storage capacities, a modular architecture, and additional visualization technology, all in systems considerably smaller than previous versions.

The high-end disk array DS8000 features advanced 64-bit Power5 processing capabilities and will be available in two-way and four-way controller configurations, with eight-way and 12-way versions planned for the future. The DS8000 will connect to other vendors’ storage systems and uses SAN Volume Controller (SVC) software for visualization. The DS6000 is built on IBM’s Power4 processor and comes in a 3U cabinet configuration that supports 16 drives and 13 expansion drawers. It can support as much as 67TB of storage and 4GB of cache.

IBM customer Bob Venable, enterprise systems manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, came onstage in a panel discussion during the event and explained that his company’s storage has grown by a factor of 10 in the last four years, all while reducing the staff that manage storage.

“Soft (logical partitioning) is the key,” Venable said. “We’ve taken it down from the mainframe to Unix.” Venable also plans to partition on Windows and Linux systems. According to a research report from PacificCrest Corp., the new offerings should help IBM, particularly in the midrange. The report says that the DS6000 “will extend some of IBM’s high-end functionality into the fast-growing midrange storage market segment.” The two systems compete with systems from EMC Corp. and Hitachi Data Systems Corp.

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