IBM Unveils New Tiered Storage System

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IBM can now match some of its smaller rivals’ features, with a refreshed data storage portfolio

IBM has announced the availability of several new tiered storage products, breaking a 12 month dearth of storage news from the company.

While there is nothing overly revolutionary here, the additions are actual improvements to its previous portfolio, which allows Big Blue to catch up to features that smaller companies already offer.

Lately, IBM has been devoting a lot of attention to making and marketing cloud computing hardware and software, cloud-delivered service products, and green IT initiatives. Now it’s the storage division’s turn to release several products all at once.

IBM DS8700 Disk Storage System

The most important newbie is IBM’s DS8700 disk storage system, a combination solid-state and spinning disk array that utilises IBM’s new System Storage Easy Tier. This feature continually monitors I/O performance and is able to move the most frequently used data to faster solid-state storage, based on policy or on data type. IBM’s recent partnership with Fusion-io plays into this one.

By automatically placing clients’ most important business data on Tier 1 NAND flash SSDs, the DS8700 provides quicker access to data so it can be analysed on demand for business intelligence use.

This new system is designed for large data-producing deployments, such as business analytics, financial services and scientific projects.

IBM Long Term File System

IBM also has launched a new version of its Long Term File System, a tape-based archiving package that provide up to 1.5TB of capacity. It could go as high as twice that amount using an optional compression feature.

The LTO (Linear Tape-Open) Ultrium format is open-standards tape storage that is the greenest type of storage, since when storage is finished, the data is completely at rest. IBM’s new Long Term File System uses LTO-5 for file system access to very large data archives created by unstructured enterprise data.

The Long Term File System is designed to address the growing storage needs of industries that generate digital media such as media and entertainment, and medical and digital surveillance, IBM engineer and Chief Technical Storage Strategist Clod Barrera told eWEEK.

Deduplication And Replication

IBM also is upping the ante in the deduplication and replication areas, as EMC, NetApp, Quantum and Dell also have done in the last year. IBM’s so-called many-to-one replication service is now standard on its ProtecTier deduplication appliance, Barrera said.

IBM claims that by stripping out duplicate data before it is replicated, ProtecTier can reduce the bandwidth needed to send the data by 95 percent or more, Barrera said.

IBM XIV Storage System

IBM’s XIV Storage System, last heard from in July 2009 with an upgrade, again has been improved with an option of deploying 2TB SATA drives and lower voltage processors.

XIV’s Tier 1 external-disk system is completely distributed. It packages all data storage into 1MB chunks and spreads them around the system, so that no one or two disks have to handle most of the workload. This saves on disk life and increases performance. When more arms of the system are used – and load-balanced – hot spots and well-worn disks in the system are avoided.

The new IBM storage products will become available within the next several weeks. For more information, go here.

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