IBM Intros New Storage System



IBM today unveiled a storage system that will move and store data from OS/390, OS/400, Unix, and Windows NT servers. The IBM Enterprise Storage Server, known by the code name "Shark," is the vendor's first storage system that can support all its servers.

With a starting capacity of 420 Gbytes, the ESS is not a departmental storage system. But despite the power, the system is easy to use, IBM says. For instance, even when it scales up to a capacity of 11 terabytes, it is built with hot pluggable components that customers can easily configure. As part of IBM's open Seascape architecture, the ESS is no longer based on a proprietary controller. Instead, it uses the same four-way server components that go inside AS/400 and RS/6000 servers.

The new storage system will operate over IBM's version of a fibre channel-based storage area network, which promises more efficient and easier data access.

The ESS will be available in the fourth quarter, with pricing dependent on capacity. A 420-Gbyte system will cost around $147,000, and an 11-terabyte system will cost around $3 million.

While the hardware ships next quarter, it will take at least 12 months for software that takes full advantage of the new system to become available from IBM and others, according to IT research firm the Meta Group.

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