IBM rolls suite of new storage products

SAN JOSE, Calif. — IBM Corp. announced Monday (Sept. 8) more than 30 new products and services as part of what the company billed as its largest launch ever in data storage. The products included a variety of new tape and hard disk systems as well as storage software, many of the offerings based on products from a handful of acquisitions in the past two years.

The news comes at a time when many companies are angling to address a rise in so-called unstructured data—information not part of a formal database—that is growing at an average of 30 percent a year.

“There's huge growth in file-based data storage because businesses are being required to keep more data around longer,” said Noemi Greyzdorf, a research manager at International Data Corp. (Framingham, Mass.). “This is eating up increasing amounts of space and power in the data center.”

According to a recent report from Gartner as many as 50 percent of data centers will run out of power or space sometime in 2008. Energy consumed by U.S. data centers will grow from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent of the nation's total energy consumption over the next five years, according to government figures.

For its part, IBM estimates the amount of data saved for the average business user will rise from a terabyte to more than 16 Tbytes by 2020. The company has created a new initiative to cover its various storage efforts.

“The world is re-tooling its underlying IT infrastructure in a dramatic shift away from a decades-old client/server model to a radically more efficient Internet-style architecture, ,” said Andy Monshaw, general manager of IBM's storage group in a press statement. “This requires different thinking and new capabilities which we are addressing in this launch,” he added.

The new products debuting include a high-end disk storage system based on the product acquired from XIV in January that can contain up to 180 Tbyte drives. The DS5000 is a separate new disk storage system for midrange markets. The systems debut along with a new version of IBM's storage virtualization software.

In addition, IBM rolled out a new terabyte-class tape library which it claims surpasses the capabilities of systems Sun Microsystems acquired from StorageTek. The IBM TS1130 can handle backups 54 percent faster than the previous IBM generation drive. A new tape library frame can hold up to three-times more cartridges in a 10 square foot footprint. It provides nearly twice the storage density of a similar system from Sun, according to IBM.

IBM also introduced products acquired from Diligent Technologies in April that can reduce duplicate files by a ratio of 25:1, the company said. It also rolled out new software from IBM's acquisition of Arsenal to ease the job of data archiving.

The company has spent as much as $2 billion in recent storage acquisitions and product development efforts, including work on flash drives. Recently, IBM said one of its unannounced systems was able to process more than one million I/Os per second with a response time of under one millisecond using PCI Express flash drives from startup Fusion-IO.

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