RealTime IT News

IBM Adds New Storage Disk, Drive Systems

IBM Monday broadened its storage product line for medium-sized companies, including a new high-end midrange disk system and the next iteration of its midrange tape system for archiving data and disaster recovery.

Big Blue, presiding over its IBM PartnerWorld conference in New Orleans this week, introduced the FAStT 900 from its TotalStorage line of midrange disk storage systems, which it claimed has as much as 120 percent read/write performance improvements over previous models. It also debuted the TotalStorage Linear Tape-Open Ultrium 2 drive, which it said will prove to be the fastest LTO tape drive performance available. In fact, the systems vendor said the new drive is 17 percent faster than LTO 2 drives from competitors such as HP and Seagate.

Roland Hagan, vice president of storage marketing, IBM Systems Group, said the products were created to help enterprises with less than 1,000 employees consolidate data networks to make storage management less cumbersome. Specifically, the FAStT disk system is geared for digital media or life science applications, which Hagan said don't require optimum levels of reliability.

The FAStT 900 runs at 2 Gbps Fibre Channel technology and scales from 36GB to more than 32TB to support e-business applications and other data files intended to scale. Hagan told internetnews.com customers may also get FAStT 900 fitted with a feature from IBM's on-demand e-business strategy -- the optional autonomic FAStT Service Alert function, which will alert IBM if a problem occurs so a technician can quickly diagnose the problem and fix it. FAStT 900 will be available March 14, 2003.

IBM also offered some news on the tape drive front, as it released two TotalStorage Ultrium 2 tape drives. The new machines were created with the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) standard for tape drive interoperability. Created by IBM, HP and Seagate, it provides formats for both fast data access and high storage capacity.

Hagan said TotalStorage UltraScalable Tape Library 3584 and the TotalStorage Ultrium External Tape Drive 3580 double the capacity and the performance over IBM Ultrium 1 drives. Ultrium 2 also has a "sleep" function, which switches the drive to a lower power setting when it is not in use. Cartridge room is 200 GB at a 35 MB per second data rate.

As with the FAStT 900, Hagan said Big Blue also added autonomic computing enhancements to the UltraScalable Tape Library 3584 to include control path failover. In this safeguarding function, one communication path is substituted for another in the event of a disruption. Moreover, the new drives work backward and forward; they can read and write to Ultrium 1 cartridges, which means customers don't have to throw out the Ultrium 1 drives to use Ultrium 2 gadgets. The new systems are currently shipping.

Hagan, who said medium-sized businesses are more prevalent than small and large enterprises, said Tivoli Storage Manager now supports its storage and tape libraries.