IBM offers FAStT600 turbo-charge

IBM will offer some enhancements to its FAStT600 storage server that it claims will improve its performance and double the amount...

IBM will offer some enhancements to its FAStT600 storage server which, it claims, will improve its performance and double the amount of data that the system can store.

Called the "turbo" option, the enhancements will increase the FAStT600's memory cache from 256Mbytes to 1Gbyte and allow the system to host 112 Fibre Channel drives instead of the existing total of 42. The turbo option will also include Storage Manager 8.4 firmware.

"It expands the number of options that our customers have, particularly at the lower end of the product line," said Craig Butler, IBM's manager of mid-range storage product marketing. "If your needs change you can change it markedly in terms of performance, without having to swap out your controller or your drives, or change the Storage Manager."

IBM will add a third expansion drawer to the FAStT600, which will increase the number of drives the non-turbo systems can hold from 42 to 56. With the turbo option, users will be able to double this number to 112, giving them a total of 16.4Tbytes of storage.

For one user, the appeal of the new option comes principally from its larger cache, not its expanded storage capacity.

"It's a huge upgrade in terms of caching. Instead of reading data from disc, it can read data from Ram, which is much faster, " said Jeff Rabon, a system administrator for the University of North Carolina's College of Information Technology. "We're not so much worried about being able to quadruple our capacity at this time," he added.

The University of North Carolina will implement a FAStT600 system with the turbo option to support its college system infrastructure, Rabon said. He expected to see the FAStT600 server's performance improve by 70%, based on information IBM has provided him.

The FAStT600's turbo enhancements will be available on 12 September and is priced at $26,570 (£16,990) as a "customer-installable upgrade" for existing FAStT600 users, Butler said. Complete systems will start at $36,569 (£23,383).

IBM will also release disaster protection software for its FASt600, 700, and 900 servers. The VolumeCopy software will allow users to restore systems faster in the event of a service outage.

Robert McMillian writes for IDG News Service


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