IBM Beefs Up Midrange Storage Hardware, Desktop Storage Resource Management

The company also enhanced its storage management software with new technology that extends storage resource management to the desktop.

The IBM TotalStorage FAStT600 has up to 6 Tbytes of raw capacity within a main unit and two expansion modules that together take up 9U of rack space, said Harold Pike, worldwide product marketing manager for the company's midrange disk products. The product also includes four 2-Gbit Fibre Channel connectors and offers autonomic features such as capacity on demand, dynamic volume expansion and dynamic RAID configuration, he said.

The FAStT600 is slated to become the entry-level member of the FAStT family--a spot currently occupied by the FAStT200, which has 1-Gbit Fibre Channel connectivity, Pike said. But IBM currently has no plans to cut the FAStT200 from its product line. The midrange FAStT500, however, eventually will be replaced by the FAStT700, the high-end model that is being replaced by the 32.8-Tbyte FAStT900, he said.

The FAStT600 and FAStT900 include a full suite of storage management applications for Windows environments, and those apps can be upgraded to work with Unix as needed. Current models in the FAStT family support High Availability Cluster MultiProcessing for AIX. That support will be extended to the FAStT600 in the third quarter, Pike said.

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The FAStT600 is slated to begin shipping on April 15, and its price will start at about $15,000 with no hard drives, Pike said. Nearly three-quarters of all FAStT arrays are currently sold through IBM's solution providers, and that number continues to rise, he said.

On the software side, IBM is extending its storage resource management offering to desktop computing with its Tivoli Storage Resource Manager (SRM) Express Edition, said Mike McCarthy, director of market management for the Tivoli storage software line.

IBM introduced SRM at the server level to its Tivoli offerings in October, and this new edition extends that capability to individual desktops and laptops, McCarthy said. "They now become part of a more complete SRM solution," he said.

The Express Edition, which is expected to ship on April 25 and will cost $65 per desktop or laptop, enables individual users to more effectively manage storage on their own PCs and achieve centralized storage management, McCarthy said. It allows them to monitor how much capacity is used and how much free space is available, as well as enabling them to access information, he said.

"It's a very channel-friendly offering. It gives solution providers a better opportunity than traditional SRM offerings. It deploys quickly and shows customers a fast return on investment," McCarthy said. "Solution providers can help customers take advantage of such active capabilities as setting threshold policies and conditions for actions, or deleting or archiving a file that has not been accessed within a certain time frame."