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.