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

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

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 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.

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