IBM joins SME storage battle

Hot on the heels of EMC’s launch of a new, 2Mbps, low-cost Clariion system, IBM has come out with a cheaper system with twice the speed

IBM has announced the DS4700 Express, a high-bandwidth storage system with front-to-back-end four gigabits per second (Gbps) performance.

The announcement came on the heels of EMC’s launch of its latest mid-range Clariion CX3, also aimed at the SME market. The EMC systems can scale to 59TB, with an entry-level system offering 365GB of storage for £14,650 ($27,000). But while the CX3 comes with 2Gbps performance as standard, the new IBM system is 4Gbps and costs $19,449 (£10,420).

The SME market for storage has become much more competitive this year with NetApp finding its traditional dominance in this area threatened by a string of new products from EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and now IBM.

IBM claims its new mid-range storage system is designed to offer "faster access to business critical information [with] high-bandwidth storage technology".

"Small to medium-sized clients are faced with the same challenges as large enterprises, which is to cost effectively manage and run the increasing flood of complex data applications," said Kristie Bell, vice-president for IBM System Storage.

"The DS4700 Express hits the sweet spot for response time and performance by offering customers an outstanding, affordable midrange option."

The DS4700 includes 16 disk drive bays inside the controller and up to eight host ports.