IBM Embraces ILM With New Storage Lines

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Months after its competition trumpeted information
lifecycle management, IBM leapt onto the ILM bandwagon Wednesday with a new storage strategy that combines ILM,
virtualization and tiered storage with the company’s broad on-demand

At a press event here, IBM executives promised to integrate and simplify storage management in order to enable users to provision resources for storing and retrieving information on the fly, through a combination of virtualization and tiered storage layers.

They also characterized ILM as a piece, but not
the only piece, needed for a completely managed storage system.

Big Blue accented its strategy with new products, including the FAStT100, a near-line storage device that houses 250 gigabytes to 56 terabytes, and the new Tivoli Provisioning Manager, software that allocates resources in storage devices and servers.

Rounding out the new offerings for the Armonk, N.Y. company were Write Once, Read Many (WORM) and storage area network (SAN) refresh capabilities.

In outlining the refined strategy, IBM executives described a way to mesh storage, a technology hotspot made crucial by new data retention mandates, with the company’s broad strategy for providing business on-demand, which promise minimal labor and wide-sweeping automation for data centers.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice president Technology and Strategy at IBM, triggered the news event by describing how an industrial society is moving to an information-based society, where users in the consumer and
enterprise space are relying on storage and devices to safeguard their
information and keep them connected with the outside world.

The executive, known for fostering IBM’s move into the Internet and its e-business on-demand focus, promised that IBM
will press onward in its storage strategy by simplifying infrastructure, supporting open standards and accommodating heterogeneous environments.

He also recounted what has become a familiar pledge from IBM: to integrate everything — people, processes, and information. In a practical example, Wladawsky-Berger pointed to IBM’s Lotus Workplace Client, a
software product to facilitate on-demand computing and keep end users
connected to their information from any device.

“A major challenge for our storage team is to provide an underpinning to
integrate all of the diverse infrastructure, standards and heterogeneous
environments, regardless of information type,” Wladawksy-Berger said.

Another challenge IBM is tackling, he said, is providing infrastructure
simplification and management. With the call for infrastructure exploding
due to lower acquisition costs, the executive stressed virtualization as a
way to “hide complexity from everyone.”

While IBM’s pledge for ILM bears a resemblance to announcements from rivals
EMC , VERITAS Software
and Hitachi Data Systems at first
blush, company officials said IBM’s resources will give it a leg up.

Rich Lechner, vice president of IBM Storage, said IBM plans to offer ILM
through a combination of nearline storage, online storage and tape storage
to help move reference data to the right storage, as part of IBM’s plan for
ILM. He said automating storage in the data center will reduce both human
error and costs.

Looking forward, Lechner said IBM will deliver storage blades, which will
operate like a self-contained server blade to allow
customers to house their entire infrastructure in one box.

As for the new products, the new FAStT100 Storage Server uses serial
advanced technology attachment (SATA) pick to pick up where
the FAStT600 left off, and is geared for near-line storage, which is the
on-site storage of data on removable media. The device is geared for small-
and medium-sized businesses looking to house infrequently used data.

Fitted to accommodate 16 partitions, the machine is geared to run with
eServer pSeries and and xSeries servers from IBM, as well as with other
Intel and UNIX-based servers.

IBM’s new WORM features, designed for the TotalStorage 3592 tape drive, is
geared to help companies concerned about storing data for the long term due
to record-keeping compliance laws. IBM also introduced a new 60 gigabyte
cartridge for the 3592 tape drive.

Tivoli Provisioning Manager allocates and provisions servers, operating
systems, middleware, applications and devices, offering workflows that
trigger manual provisioning and deployment. It is the center piece for the
capacity provisioning features of the new TotalStorage Productivity Center
with Advanced Provisioning, a storage capacity provisioning product geared
to cut cost and data center complexity.

Other components of the offering include Tivoli Storage Resource Manager,
Tivoli SAN Manager and TotalStorage Multiple Device Manager Performance

Provisioning cuts back on manual labor by automatically triggering IT
hardware and software on the fly as users request the resources, such as
storage and applications. The system comes with storage capacity building
blocks that allow customers to craft volumes, assign them, and create zones.

News Around the Web