RealTime IT News

IBM Releases a Shark

IBM has announced the IBM Enterprise Storage Server -- code-named "Shark" -- a new enterprise disk storage system designed to provide universal access to data across enterprise computing environments.

Built upon the IBM's Seascape Storage Enterprise Architecture, the Enterprise Storage Server is designed to expand and to incorporate new storage innovations. It incorporates a 'snap-in' design designed to allow additional capacity, performance and connectivity over time using the same platform.

Seascape is IBM's storage enterprise architecture which outlines next-generation concepts for storage by integrating modular "building block" technologies from IBM, including disk, tape and optical storage media, processors, and software.

The Enterprise Storage Server follows IBM's Storage Area Network (SAN) initiative announced last month. SANs are separate networks of storage devices dedicated to managing and storing data. The Seascape architecture, with its storage server and modular technology building blocks, is suited to SANs.

The IBM Enterprise Storage Server can scale from 420 gigabytes to over 11 terabytes. The system is based on two four-way symmetric multiprocessors, Serial Storage Architecture and a cache with additional nonvolatile memory. The server has the ability to work with heterogeneous hosts -- S/390, UNIX, Windows NT and AS/400 -- and with a variety of interfaces, including ESCON, Fibre Channel and Ultra SCSI.

Other features such as IBM's Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy and FlashCopy functions, as well as the Parallel Access Volumes technology, are also included. The server will incorporate a full range of storage functions such as data partitioning, peer-to-peer remote copying, extended remote copying, and Parallel Access Volumes.

To help customers with SAN and other storage implementations, IBM Global Services has established storage solution interoperability labs at the IBM National Testing Centers in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Mainz, Germany. IBM will offer a range of services, including performance evaluations and stress testing, to help customers evaluate and test their SAN and storage solutions.

The interoperability labs feature the IBM Enterprise Storage Server, 50 terabytes of disk storage and 6,000 MIPS of processing power on S/390, UNIX and NT platforms. In addition to IBM storage products, the lab also tests configurations using equipment from other server and storage vendors.

IBM is also announcing a worldwide 1999 deferred payment program from IBM Global Financing for qualified customers who finance their installation of Enterprise Storage Servers. This offering gives customers a payment deferral for up to 110 days, so they can install and use the new storage technology without impact to their 1999 budgets.

Customers who take advantage of the program won't have to make their initial lease payments until January 1, 2000, or as late as March 30, 2000, depending on when they install.