IBM introduces new 2GB Fibre Channel server

IBM announced today it will begin shipping a new storage server that provides 2GB Fibre Channel connectivity, as well as enhanced network-attached storage and Internet protocol storage products aimed at the midrange market.

IBM's new FastT700 server can perform enterprise-class functions such as remote copy and FlashCopy or point-in-time capabilities, and the company said the server can perform up to 120,000 cached I/O operations per second -- more than double EMC Corp.'s comparable Clariion 4700 server.

Anne MacFarland, director of research at the The Clipper Group Inc. in Wellesley, Mass., said the FastT700 is an attractive offering because of an "affordable entry point" that's slightly lower than EMC's Clariion product and because it supports advanced storage functions.

"The FastT product line is an established line, with a loyal customer base," MacFarland said. "It's easy just to look at high-end product lines, but one of the strengths of IBM has been its product line for [mid-market] customers."

The FastT700, which can scale up to 16TB of storage, supports Windows NT, Windows 2000, Novell Inc. NetWare and Red Hat Inc. Linux environments.

Linda Sanford, senior vice president and group executive of IBM Storage Systems Group, said the products are all about "delivering open and interoperable solutions designed to enable universal access to data for customers of all sizes."

The IBM announcement trails one made by EMC on Monday in which it introduced four new software products for tying various vendors' networked storage products into a configuration that can be managed and allocated to various departments and workgroups from a single console.

IBM also announced that its TotalStorage network-attached storage (NAS) models 200 and 300 servers will now provide increased storage capacity and performance and expanded Ethernet connectivity. Similarly, the NAS 300G (Gateway Inc.) now offers additional fault-tolerant features.

IBM TotalStorage IP Storage 200i -- a storage over IP or iSCSI raid array -- now comes with up to double its former capacity and 1.13-GHz Pentium III processors.

In the services arena, IBM announced new integrated packaged solutions that offer "disaster tolerance, storage consolidation and support greater data protection for midmarket and enterprise customers," as well as enhanced support for the Tivoli Systems Inc. Storage Manager suite of products.

Additionally, IBM has added support for various operating systems to its IBM TotalStorage FAStT500 Storage Server, including IBM AIX, Unix and Linux. Finally, the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (code named Shark) has been upgraded to provide customers an ability to intermix differing disk drive capacities.

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