IBM Rolls Out Storage Option For The Little Guy

IBM on Tuesday rolled out a series of new storage products, including the DS3300, an array that includes Internet SCSI (iSCSI)  connectivity with simple installation features tailored for the small- and mid-sized business (SMB) market.

Harold Pike, IBM’s entry and mid-range disk product marketing manager, said the DS3300 essentially functions as networked storage incorporating both iSCSI and Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS)  connections, making life much easier for companies of any size to transition from direct-attached storage (DAS)   configurations to an IP-based storage area network (SAN) .

Pike said the DS3300, which is actually IBM’s  third iteration of an iSCSI storage product, represents Big Blue’s latest effort to regain market share from HP  and EMC , the two vendors that are dominating the low-end storage market with their MSA and AX150 offerings.

“At the entry level, HP has kicked our butts,” Pike said in an interview with “Dell, which sells EMC’s AX150, is also doing very well because they’re smart. They sell their (storage) stuff with their servers. We’re the number one server vendor in the world, so I can only assume they must be selling their storage on our servers. We’re going to change that. We want to be number one across all the segments.”

IBM, Dell, HP and handful of smaller players including EqualLogic and LeftHand Networks are all scrambling to get their share of the SMB market. Pike said IBM’s done a fine job of sewing up the large enterprise storage market but now it must focus on luring companies with less than 1,000 employees into the fold.

“The thing I tell everyone is that every company starts small,” he said. “The way to grow the way IBM wants to grow is to make sure customers understand the value we can bring to SMB customers No matter who you ask, this is were the real growth is going to come from in the future.”

The DS3300 supports SAS hard disk drives and expansion via IBM’s System Storage EXP3000 Expansion Unit, giving users up to 14.4 terabytes of raw capacity and the ability to add up to 48 drives. It will be generally available September 7 and commands a list price of $5,000.

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