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IBM, EMC step up storage skirmish

IBM, Citrix, EMC go head to head with new technologies

IBM continued its aggressive push into the data storage arena today with the unveiling of several new network-attached storage products.

The Armonk, New York company also said it has enhanced its tape storage products and is now reselling and servicing the port switch Inrange FC/9000-128 Fibre Channel Director.

IBM's announcements came the same day that storage kingpin EMC and hosted technology vendor Citrix Systems outlined an alliance to help service providers and others manage their storage needs and applications.

In February, IBM launched its storage networking initiative with the promise of a new disk array that moves storage data over an IP network -- the TotalStorage IP Storage 200I array -- the NAS Gateway and the iSCSI product line.

"As e-business and the Internet move storage from the back room to the heart of the IT network, customers are looking to take the islands of storage they have built and create interoperable, open storage networks," said Bob Samson, vice president of sales and operations at IBM's Storage Systems Group.

On Tuesday IBM rolled out the TotalStorage NAS 200 product, which comes in tower or rack form. The tower -- one processor and up to 216GB -- is aimed at service providers and remote workers, such as those in workgroups or in branch offices. The tower is designed for such applications as streaming media and e-mail storage.

The rack design -- two processors and up to 1.74TB -- is aimed at departmental and regional office locations for larger groups such as sales forces.

The two NAS 200 configurations are scheduled for general availability June 29.

The TotalStorage NAS 300, meanwhile, is targeted at critical applications such as accounts receivable, payroll and customer support. The product includes fault tolerance and dual engines. The TotalStorage 300G links a company's local area network and storage area network.

The NAS 300 and 300G will be available on 13 July, the company said.

On the tape storage front, IBM rolled out its TotalStorage Linear Tape-Open Libraries, which, through dual 2GB ports, give native Fibre Channel support for the Ultrium Scalable Tape Library. And enhancements to IBM's Magstar Virtual Tape Server family include increased support for more virtual and physical tape drives, larger block sizes and a new peer-to-peer configuration.

The tape products are scheduled for release in August and September.

The company also is reselling and servicing the Inrange FC/9000-128 Fibre Channel Director, a 128-port switch.

A Premiere alliance For their part, EMC and Citrix are teaming up in a joint development and marketing alliance that will offer Citrix's MetaFrame application server software with EMC's Celerra and Clariion IP4700 NAS products.

In addition, EMC will become a Premiere member of the Citrix Business Alliance, while Citrix will join EMC's E-Infostructure Developers Program.

The alliance was announced today during Citrix's iForum Northern Europe conference in London.

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