IBM Upgrades Shark Array


IBM this week unveiled an upgrade to its flagship TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server array, also known as the Shark.

The new Model 800 and 800 Turbo option, expected to be available in mid-August, will include features from IBM's Project eLiza aimed at improving availability and performance. Those features, including predictive failure analysis and preemptive RAID reconstructs, help detect potential problems before they occur, company executives said. Project eLiza technologies have been included in IBM servers for some time.

Also new for the Shark is a 2-Gbps host adapter, which increases performance to match that of many competitors' products.

Throughput performance for mainframe and open systems data backups with the Model 800 Shark using Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC) and PPRC Extended Distance was increased by up to 125 percent compared with current models, according to IBM. Overall throughput and performance have been increased thanks to the upcoming availability of 15,000-rpm hard drives in capacities of 18.2 Gbytes and 34.6 Gbytes.

The 800 Turbo option for the new Sharks includes an increased in workload capability of up to 150 percent over the standard Model 800, an expanded 64-Gbyte internal cache, increased internal bandwidth and RAID level-10 mirroring and striping, IBM said.

The new Shark is a good model, especially for companies that already love IBM, said Pat Kelly, president of Pinnacle Computer Solutions, a Sugar Land, Texas-based IBM solution provider. "But for people in Sun, Compaq, or Dell environments who don't have mainframes or AS/400s, they're not going to care for it," he said.