IBM Bolsters ILM Arsenal

The vendor enhanced its tape and disk offerings and software, not as point solutions, but to enhance its total ILM solution, said Charlie Andrews, director of IBM TotalStorage. "We are linking them together to show the value of ILM and the business value to clients of tiered storage solutions," he said.

On Thursday, IBM, Armonk, N.Y., became the first storage vendor to repopulate its entire tape automation line with new LTO-3 tape drives, said Andrews. It also became the first to start shipping Fibre Channel versions of the LTO-3 drives, he said.

For archiving purposes, IBM plans to add WORM (write once, read many) capability to its LTO-3 drives next quarter, Andrews said.

IBM also doubled the tape-mounting performance of its enterprise-class TotalStorage 3584 tape library by introducing a dual accesser, which is the robotic arm that pulls tape cartridges from a slot and inserts them into a drive and vice versa. The dual accesser should decrease the chance of a tape library failure, he said.

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Tape drives, libraries and autoloaders with LTO-3 are expected to be available March 4, with list price for the drives starting at $5,999.

In the hard-disk space, IBM plans to enhance the performance and capacity of its TotalStorage DS4000 series of disk arrays with new hard drives. For performance, customers will be able to start using new 146-Gbyte, 15,000-rpm Fibre Channel drives, said Andrews. For higher capacity, customers can also choose 300-Gbyte, 10,000-rpm Fibre Channel drives, he said. That will bump capacity to up to 67 Tbytes for the 4400 and 4500 disk arrays, he said.

The new 300-Gbyte hard drives are expected to start shipping by March 18, while the 146-Gbyte drives should be available by April 15.

IBM also unveiled its SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization software Thursday. New with the software is the ability to virtualize Sun Microsystems' StorEdge 9910, 9960, 9970 and 9980 arrays, all manufactured by Hitachi Data Systems, into a heterogeneous data pool, Andrews said.

In addition, the company introduced SAN Volume Controller Migration to migrate data between similar and dissimilar storage systems. The capability is useful for customers that need to migrate data from an older array to a new one and will allow the data to be available during the migration, said Andrews.

Pricing for the SAN Volume Controller has been changed to allow customers to be charged on a per-terabyte basis in a much more granular fashion, Andrews said. As a result, there is less of a bump in the license cost of the software as capacity jumps from one level to another, he said.

Also on the software front, IBM Thursday released version 2.2.1 of its TotalStorage SAN File System, which now includes Microsoft Clustering support for Windows clients. The company also unveiled a software tool, ROInow, aimed at helping customers analyze the total cost of ownership of IBM and competitive solutions.

The TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller version 2.1.1 is expected to be available March 11, while the other new software applications are available now.