IBM Tailors Storage For Toughest Customers

Systems vendors such as IBM, HP  and Sun Microsystems  offer super sturdy versions of their servers to run in places of intemperate climates.

But these servers need some place to lodge the data when it isn’t being actively served.

IBM  has created versions of its DS4700 midrange arrays that can withstand the physical beatings from hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Featuring compliance with the Network Equipment Building System (NEBS) Level 3 protocol for toughness in areas racked by earthquakes or hurricanes, the IBM System Storage DS4700 Express models 70-DC and 72-DC meet the rugged requirements for companies in telecommunications and oil and gas markets.

IBM’s Craig Butler, manager of disk, SAN and NAS products for IBM System Storage, said the 70-DC and 72-DC, along with an enhanced IBM System Storage DS4000 EXP810 expansion unit for mid-market clients, run a 48-volt DC battery.

Such a battery is standard issue in the telco market, Butler said, noting that the machines also comply with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute for toughness and safety in addition to the Nebs Level 3.

Butler said the new systems can also come with a bezel attachment, which contains an air filter that helps prevent hazardous airborne particles from entering the DS4700 or EXP810 enclosure when these units are installed in regions likely to be racked by earthquakes, powerful storms, or simply just lots of dust and debris.

The 70-DC and 72-DC run at the now standard 4 gigabit-per-second connectivity speed. The 70-DC has 2 gigabits of cache memory and 4 host ports; the 72-DC boasts 4 gigabits of cache and 8 host ports.

Customers can attach EXP810 expansion units, each containing another 16 drive bays, to scale up to 56 terabytes  and 112 drives.

The new machines will be generally available on Dec. 8.

With a Windows host kit and storage partitions bundled, the 70-DC is $26,045, while the 72-DC costs $51,995. Without the host kit and partitions, the 70-DC and 72-DC are $19,449 and $44,250, respectively. The EXP810 starts at $12,044.

IBM’s rugged midrange upgrades come two days after Network Appliance, which lets IBM resell its network-attached storage (NAS) systems, unveiled new midrange storage arrays that manage SAN, NAS and IP storage.

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