IBM refreshes storage hardware, software

LTO-3 added to tape line

IBM has enhanced its ILM (information lifecycle management) offerings with new hardware and software aimed at better managing information from the time it is created to when it is disposed.

The company also announced it will begin using new LTO-3 tape drives through its entire tape automation line as well as begin shipping Fibre Channel versions of the LTO-3 drives. "LTO-3 is the direction everyone is heading, and we want to offer that to our customers as quickly as possible," said Charlie Andrews, director of IBM TotalStorage.

IBM also doubled the tape-mounting performance of its enterprise-class TotalStorage 3584 tape library by introducing a faster and more reliable robotic arm. The new system  decreases the chance of a tape library failure and doubles the tape mount performance rate of the system, said Andrews. "With increased mandates for companies to store data either as back-up or as archived, companies are looking at joint tape/disk environments to provide cost-effective, long-term storage solutions to data retention and compliance needs. These enhancements will help companies with that integration," he said.

Tape drives, libraries, and autoloaders with LTO-3 will be available March 4, starting at $5,999.

IBM will also enhance the performance and capacity of its TotalStorage DS4000 series of disk arrays with new hard drives. To step up performance, IBM will begin shipping new 146GB, 15,000-rpm Fibre Channel drives, said Andrews. For higher capacity, IBM will offer 300GB, 10,000-rpm Fibre Channel drives, he said. That will increase capacity to as much as 67TB for the 4400 and 4500 disk arrays, he said.

The new 300GB hard drives will ship March 18, while the 146GB drives should be available in mid-April 15.

IBM also announced additional features for its SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization software. The software can now virtualize Sun Microsystems' StorEdge 9910, 9960, 9970, and 9980 arrays, all manufactured by Hitachi Data Systems, into a heterogeneous data pool, Andrews said.

In addition, the company introduced SAN Volume Controller Migration to migrate data between similar and dissimilar storage systems. The capability is useful for customers that need to migrate data from an older array to a new one and will allow the data to be available during the migration, said Andrews.

IBM has changed its pricing for the SAN Volume Controller to allow for more gradual price increases as capacity increases.

IBM has also released Version 2.2.1 of its TotalStorage SAN File System, which now includes Microsoft Clustering support for Windows clients. The company also unveiled a software tool, ROInow, which is designed to help customers analyze the total cost of ownership of IBM and competitive solutions.

The TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller Version 2.1.1 is expected to be available March 11, while the other new software applications are available now.