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IBM cuts cost of large-scale storage

James Rogers
A product launched by IBM last week will enable users to handle vast amounts of data by linking storage servers with a common file system over a storage area network.

IBM's Total Storage San File System is at the heart of the technology, which is code-named "Storage Tank".

The storage technology would be particularly useful for retail and financial companies, which have to store large amounts of customer data, said IBM executives.

For instance, retail companies could reduce costs by centralising administration and reducing the need for disc hardware.

Designed to offer the power of a mainframe, IBM said Storage Tank would be able to manage and process petabytes of data. A single petabyte represents data equivalent to as much paper as can be packed into 20 million four-draw filing cabinets.

Storage Tank is already being used at Cern, the European organisation for nuclear research. The technology forms part of the world's largest data grid, which is helping Cern scientists recreate the first moments of the big bang in a virtual environment.

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