TCP/IP offload engines or TOEs, move the TCP/IP processing stack from the NAS processor to a custom card. Processing of the TCP/IP stack can take up as much as 90% of a CPU's processing capacity, according to analysts.
"I thought that the uptick in performance was pretty dramatic," said Dianne McAdam, an analyst at Storage Mobility Group. "I think [TOEs] will be key in guaranteeing customers get that better performance."
David Vaughn, product manager of networked storage at IBM's storage systems group, said IBM's TotalStorage NAS 200 file server will now sport 2.4-GHz Intel Xeon processors and 146.8GB SCSI disc drives.
Vaughn said IBM's TotalStorage NAS Gateway 300 device is also benefiting from the same upgrades and can now scale to 22TByte - with double the throughput to storage-area networks (SAN) through 2Gbit/sec. Fibre Channel ports. The Gateway 300, which translates block-level data on a SAN into files that can be transferred over an IP network, starts at $63,100 (£39,771).
The upgrades will increase Windows common internet file system performance by half and Unix application performance or network file system performance by 30% on both servers.
The NAS 200 filer now scales to 7Tbytes, with prices starting at $17,295 (£10,900) available from 22 November.
IBM's TotalStorage FAStT 200, 500 and 700 NAS boxes will be getting double their normal capacity using new 146.8GBytes disc drives. The FAStT 200, designed for workgroups and departments, now scales to 9TBytes. And the FAStT 500 and 700 models, designed for business-critical applications in midsize environments, now scale to 32.8TBytes.