IBM unveils latest storage products

IBM has announced two storage products during a strategy briefing in which the company touted its work on storage management and...

IBM has announced two storage products during a strategy briefing in which the company touted its work on storage management and virtualisation products as the catalyst for future technology advances.

The entry-level FastT100 storage server is based on SATA (serial advanced technology attachment) technology and is designed for the near-line storage needs of small and medium-sized businesses, said Rich Lechner, vice-president of storage systems for IBM.

IBM refers to near-line storage as data that must be available at a moment's notice to users, as opposed to data that is backed up and needs to be restored from a tape drive or disc drive.

Pricing for the FastT100 will be announced on 25 May.

The company is trying to determine how competitive its product will be against similar products from rival storage firm EMC's CX product line, but it will probably cost around $15,000. It will be available worldwide in early July.

IBM also announced that the Model 3592 tape drive will now feature Worm (write once, read many) technology. Worm technology is useful for companies that need to store large amounts of data that does not need to be accessed very often, Lechner said.

A 20-pack of 300Gbyte Worm tape cartridges for the Model 3592 tape drive will cost $4,460, or $223 per cartridge. The Worm tape cartridges will be available on 21 May worldwide.

The company also unveiled a 60Gbyte tape cartridge in both Worm and non-Worm versions. Pricing for those cartridges was not immediately available.

IBM pointied out that while advancements in raw storage technology continued, more emphasis was needed to be placed on developing tools which help companies manage and simplify their storage area networks as the amount of stored data increases.

Tools such as San File System and San Volume Controller allow companies to virtualise their storage resources, allowing applications to break away from dedicated storage devices and employ a variety of different storage devices across a company's network.

IBM will work to improve these virtualisation products while still pushing the envelope of storage capacity and performance, Lechner said.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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