IBM adds to midrange storage line

IBM has bolstered its midrange storage hardware line with two products that aim to improve on the speed and features of previous...

IBM has bolstered its midrange storage hardware line with two products that aim to improve on the speed and features of previous systems.

Both the TotalStorage FAStT900 Storage Server and TotalStorage Ultrium 2 Tape Drive bring higher end technology to IBM's midrange line, and aim to boost both medium-sized businesses and larger companies, said Roland Hagan, vice president of storage marketing in IBM's systems group.

The FAStT900 will start shipping on 14 March and will top IBM's midrange line. The system comes with a controller which, Hagan claimed. would boost performance over the FAStT700 by as much as 120%.

The server can store 36Gbytes of information with an entry-level configuration and scale up to 32Tbytes with a separate expansion unit. It also ships with software that will send alerts to administrators about hardware failures, and works with Microsoft's Windows-based servers as well as Unix servers from IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. The FAStT900 is priced at $75,000 for a system with 150Gbytes of storage capacity.

IBM began shipping the TotalStorage Ultrium 2 Tape Drive on Friday, in both the UltraScalable Tape Library 3584 and the Ultrium ExternalTape Drive 3580. The Ultrium 2 uses the second-generation of the Linear Tape Open standard for improving data storage performance.

The standard allowed IBM to double storage capacity from 100Gbytes in previous products to 200Gbytes. The tape drive comes with a sleep function that powers down the drive when it is not in use to help save on energy costs.

IBM will start reselling Cisco Systems' MDS family of switches for storage area networks on 21 March in the US, and shortly thereafter worldwide.

IBM competes against EMC, Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computer in the midrange storage market and against companies such as HP, Dell and StorageTek for tape products.

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