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IBM Enhances Performance and IT Optimization While Helping Customers to Reduce Storage Needs


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new unified storage offerings and enhancements across a broad range of storage products in its portfolio, including virtualization, storage resource management and enterprise disk. The new IBM System Storage N5300 enterprise-class storage is designed to help customers optimize their IT environments by unifying iSCSI, NAS File serving, and Fibre Channel storage needs into a single hardware platform which can seamlessly manage data from cradle to grave.

The System Storage IBM N series line is now extending its storage efficiency leadership by introducing a new deduplication feature, known as Advanced-Single Instance Storage (A-SIS deduplication). Unlike other deduplication technologies, A-SIS deduplication functions with virtually no performance penalty. Data is automatically scanned and redundant copies are eliminated, resulting in immediate space savings with minimal impact on operations. IBM is directly aiding in cost reduction for its customers by enabling lower storage space requirements with A-SIS technology.

“IBM is relentlessly focused on solving our clients’ storage challenges with information on demand solutions,” said Barry Rudolph, Vice President, IBM System Storage. “The new storage products and enhancements we’re announcing today are a shining example of this -- they’ve got superior ease of management and storage flexibility coupled with unmatched innovation and cost reduction.”

The N5300 is suitable for a range of environments, such as data centers in small, medium, and large enterprises; and offers superior application availability with recovery in mere minutes with Snapshot™ copies, a comprehensive set of storage resiliency features, including RAID-DP™ (IBM N series’ implementation of RAID 6), and simple, robust disaster recovery capabilities.

Key features of the N5300 include: scalability up to 252 drives and 126TB of capacity; storage tiering with support for both Fibre Channel and Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) disk drives; 64-bit controller architecture with high-bandwidth I/O design; and integrated Gigabit Ethernet and 4Gb Fibre Channel ports. The N5300, like all N series systems, offers a comprehensive suite of software, built-in enterprise serviceability and manageability features to support clients’ efforts to increase reliability, simplify and unify storage infrastructure and maintenance, and deliver exceptional economy.

Additionally, IBM is announcing two new Gateway models to the IBM System Storage N series family -- the IBM System Storage N5300 Gateway and N5600 Gateways. The IBM System Storage N series Gateways are network-based solutions designed to provide heterogeneous access to Fibre Channel attached storage arrays. The N series Gateways leverage the dynamic provisioning capabilities of Data ONTAP® software -- a highly scalable and flexible operating system for network storage appliances used in heterogeneous host environments -- across existing Fibre Channel SAN infrastructures. This supports an expanded set of business applications and enables connectivity of IP applications and user communities to Fibre Channel SAN storage resources. Finally, IBM is announcing the IBM System Storage EXN4000 Storage Expansion Unit -- a 4Gbps-capable Fibre Channel disk enclosure, which offers high bandwidth for maximum performance and investment protection.

The IBM System Storage N5300, the IBM System Storage N5300 Gateway, the IBM System Storage N5600 Gateway, the IBM System Storage EXN4000 Storage Expansion Unit, and A-SIS deduplication for all N5000 and N7000 appliance models will be available on June 8, 2007.

In addition to today’s innovative new NAS products, IBM is also announcing enhancements across a broad portion of its System Storage portfolio, including virtualization, storage resource management and enterprise disk:

-- Simplifying Infrastructure with Storage Virtualization

IBM is introducing, today, enhancements to its flagship storage virtualization product, the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) including new, higher performing storage engines and enhanced software. IBM SVC Model 8G4 Storage Engines are intended to deliver highly improved throughput compared to previous models, enabling SVC to manage larger and more I/O intensive environments, without any price increases. Preliminary measurements show the new engines delivering throughput that is at least twice as fast compared with previous engines, allowing for highly competitive price/performance. The new engines can be added to existing SVC clusters providing a new growth option and unrivaled investment protection for existing SVC customers.

Also announced today, new IBM SVC software Version 4.2 supports these new engines, improves SVC availability, and allows for FlashCopy to make up to sixteen copies from a single source. In addition, SVC 4.2 delivers support for new operating environments and disk systems. These improvements also help SVC scale to manage larger environments and to meet the needs of more demanding customers who need greater replication functionality. These enhancements to SVC will be available on June 8, 2007.

-- Managing Performance with Storage Resource Management

Today, IBM is announcing a major new release of its flagship Storage Resource Management (SRM) product, IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center (TPC) V3.3. TPC 3.3 brings together storage device management, fabric management, and storage resource management into a single integrated offering and offers innovative new enhancements including: enterprise roll-up reports from multiple TPC instances throughout global corporate environments; new analytic capabilities for improved system availability with rapid discovery of performance problems; comprehensive configuration guidance with intelligent contrast comparisons to help reduce SAN outages caused by configuration changes; new storage planning wizards, which offer intelligent configuration guidance via preset best-practices policies; dynamic security and violation alerting; and quick access to vital information through new “favorite grouping” features, which allow the storage administrator to save a group of resources that are deemed mission-critical, and then quickly recall and monitor that group. IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center (TPC) V3.3 will be available on July 6, 2007.

-- Flexible, High Performing Enterprise Disk Storage

Additionally, IBM is announcing today that the IBM System Storage DS8000 will provide support for two additional Expansion Units. These new enhancements greatly increase the scalability of the DS8000 and improve IT optimization and business flexibility with up to 60% higher capacity and up to 512 TB of data storage supported. Moreover, IBM is announcing an option to support single-phase power on the IBM System Storage DS8100. The choice of single and three-phase power on the DS8100 can enable better optimization for individual site wiring and power needs which can help lower implementation costs. These enhancements for the DS8000 will be generally available on July 27, 2007.

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