IBM Adds Asynchronous Mirroring, Thin Provisioning To Storage Lineup6:18 PM EST Wed. Jul. 15, 2009
IBM this week enhanced its XIV Storage System and its System Storage DS8000 array with a couple of features channel partners said were necessary to bring them in line with the competition.
Big Blue's XIV Storage System will now support asynchronous mirroring to enable remote disaster recovery regardless of distance between a company's primary and remote sites and without impacting response times.
The XIV Storage System also now features up to a 30 percent increase in performance thanks to the introduction of dual processors, IBM said.
IBM's XIV Storage System is an open disk storage system based on a grid of standard, off-the-shelf hardware components connected via a massively parallel, non-blocking Gigabit Ethernet network.
IBM acquired the XIV line with the acquisition early last year of an Israeli company of the same name.
For the System Storage DS8000 array, IBM this week is adding thin provisioning capabilities.
Thin provisioning allows a storage administrator to allocate more capacity to specific applications or users than is physically available under the assumption that not all those applications and users will need the entire allocated space simultaneously. This allows extra physical capacity to be installed at a later date as the total amount of space actually used approaches the current installed capacity.
The addition of asynchronous mirroring to the XIV is important for customers with mission-critical applications in fields such as health care, said Leif Morin, president of Key Information Systems, a solution provider and IBM partner.
"Asynchronous mirroring is absolutely critical for XIV to be considered an enterprise-class storage platform," Morin said. "IBM is robustly committed to this platform, which after this week will be enterprise-class."
Without asynchronous mirroring, customers who need high-performance disaster recovery on the XIV platform could do it using IBM's SAN Volume Controller (SVC) virtualization technology, Morin said.
"But people are not buying XIV to immediately virtualize them," he said. "They're buying XIV as a consolidation platform they can scale out using XIV's native tools."
It's about time IBM added thin provisioning to its DS8000, Morin said.
"It's something IBM had to do in the face of competitive forces," he said. "Thin provisioning is a minor feature, but it's something they had to do."
Pricing for the thin provisioning capability for the DS8000 starts at $69,000. The enhancements to the XIV Storage System come at no extra charge. The new dual processors are slated to ship August 13, while asynchronous mirroring is expected to be available in the fourth quarter.