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IBM introduces new 2Gbyte fibre channel server

IBM has announced that it is to begin shipping a new storage server providing 2Gbytes of fibre channel connectivity, along with enhanced network-attached storage and Internet protocol storage products aimed at the midrange market.

IBM's new FastT700 server can perform enterprise-class functions such as remote copy and FlashCopy or point-in-time capabilities. It can also perform up to 120,000 cached I/O operations per second, said IBM, more than double EMC's comparable Clariion 4700 server.

Anne MacFarland, director of research at The Clipper Group, said the FastT700 is an attractive offering because of an affordable entry point slightly lower than EMC's Clariion product.

"The FastT product line is an established line, with a loyal customer base," MacFarland said. "It's easy just to look at high-end product lines, but one of the strengths of IBM has been its product line for [mid-market] customers."

The FastT700, which can scale up to 16Tbytes of storage, supports Windows NT, Windows 2000, Novell NetWare and Red Hat Linux environments.

Linda Sanford, senior vice-president and group executive of IBM Storage Systems Group, said the products were all about "delivering open and interoperable solutions designed to enable universal access to data for customers of all sizes."

The IBM announcement followed one made by EMC in which it introduced four new software products for tying networked storage products into a configuration that can be managed and allocated to various departments and workgroups from a single console.

IBM also announced that its TotalStorage network-attached storage (NAS) models 200 and 300 servers would now provide increased storage capacity and performance and expanded Ethernet connectivity. Similarly, the NAS 300G (Gateway) would now offer additional fault-tolerant features.

IBM TotalStorage IP Storage 200i - a storage over IP or iSCSI raid array - now comes with up to double its former capacity and 1.13-GHz Pentium III processors.

In the services arena, IBM announced new integrated packaged solutions offering disaster tolerance, storage consolidation and that supported greater data protection for midmarket and enterprise customers. Enhanced support for the Tivoli Systems Storage Manager suite of products is also on the way.

IBM has added support for various operating systems to its IBM TotalStorage FAStT500 Storage Server, including IBM AIX, Unix and Linux.

The IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (codenamed Shark) has been upgraded to provide customers an ability to intermix differing disk drive capacities.

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