IBM Gives Boost To FAStT600 Array

The base model FAStT600, which previously could be configured with a maximum of 42 hard drives, can now accept up to 56 drives, or nearly 9 Tbytes of capacity, said Harold Pike, worldwide product marketing manager for IBM midrange disk systems. The maximum number of partitions is now 16 compared with eight, and IBM has added a FlashCopy option for creating point-in-time data images.

The enhancements are in keeping with IBM's "pay-as-you-grow" plans, Pike said. "As customers upgrade, they can pay for just what they need," he said.

IBM also introduced a "turbo" option, a customer-installable upgrade kit that includes new firmware and dual controllers with double the cache memory of previous storage arrays, Pike said.

Customers can use the turbo option, available Sept. 12 with a starting price of $26,570, to configure the FAStT600 for up to 64 partitions and 112 hard drives and to take advantage of the FlashCopy and VolumeCopy options. VolumeCopy allows data to be copied locally and permits access to duplicate data almost immediately in the event of an outage.

Sponsored post

The product enhancements are good news for the channel, which accounts for about 75 percent of FAStT600 sales, Pike said.

The FAStT600 upgrade options are a big plus, said David Stone, executive vice president of Solutions-II, a Littleton, Colo.-based IBM solution provider. "IBM needs to continue to roll in more pay-as-you-grow functionality," Stone said. "They've been doing it for years with storage and recently started with servers as well."

Jerry Schmitt, president of Dempsey Business Systems, a solution provider in Irvine, Calif., said the upgrades show that IBM is totally committed to storage. "Customers want the upgrade ability, even if they have no plans to expand now," Schmitt said. "They're looking for long-term ROI investments. When you take everything into consideration, there's not a lot of difference in price between various arrays, so upgradability is a selling point."