Data storage technology is one of the few segments of the IT industry that seems to have any growth prospects in 2009. With that in mind, IBM this week unveiled Tivoli Storage Manager 6, the latest release of the data storage software with new deduplication and reporting capabilities.
"Storage is one of the only, if not the only, IT categories where spending is going to increase this year," said Ron Riffe, who manages the Tivoli storage software products. More than 50 percent of all sales of Tivoli Storage Manager are through the channel, he said.
Deduplication is a cost-cutting technology that's in big demand right now. Deduplication reduces data storage needs by eliminating redundant data, such as saving only a single copy of an attachment in an e-mail string instead saving a copy of the attachment with each message.
IBM already offers a number of deduplication products, including the ProtectTIER gateway appliance targeted toward large-scale IT systems. But the extended edition of TSM 6 is the first release of the storage management software with native deduplication capabilities, Riffe said, making them more available for small and midsize companies. "That's going to play very well in the [SMB] target markets our channel partners play in," he said.
New realtime monitoring and historical reporting features in TSM 6 also provide opportunities for resellers. With those tools, solution providers can develop custom reporting packages and services for data storage operations, capacity utilization and system recoverability. Such reports are needed for day-to-day IT management as well as for audit and compliance requirements. "We think this will generate new revenue sources and profit opportunities for business partners," Riffe said.
TSM 6 also makes greater use of IBM's DB2 database to double the number of files it can manage: The storage management system can now handle more than 1 billion objects per TSM server, Riffe said. And it offers a 300 percent improvement in its data backup performance.
TSM 6 is slated to be available March 27.