IBM revamps midtier storage lineup, eyes specialized workloads

As the storage market heats up, IBM is moving to show that it has the research and development and products to compete.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

IBM on Wednesday launched a series of storage systems optimized for specific workloads like analytics and transaction processing.

With Hewlett-Packard buying 3Par, Dell pushing hard into storage and stalwarts like EMC and NetApp dominating the landscape, IBM is moving to show that it has the research and development and products to compete. In global storage systems, IBM is No. 2 in a virtual tie with NetApp, according to IDC.

Storage demand only seems to go up as companies virtualize their infrastructure and create and consume more data. IBM says that its new storage systems feature technology that eliminates the need to back up the same data, scale and manage unstructured data. The systems also include deduplification technology, real-time compression and Scale-out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), which was created by IBM Research.

The flagship storage system for IBM is the Storwize V7000, which cuts down on rack space, features software to manage data and features a new user interface. Storwize V7000 also includes Easy Tier software, which moves the most active data to solid-state drives for quick access and other data to cheaper drives. Storwize V7000 is a mid-tier storage system that would primarily compete with EMC's Clariion family.

In an interview, Brian Truskowski, the general manager of IBM's storage unit, said the new lineup "integrated a lot of IBM knowhow and R&D along with expertise from acquisitions." IBM has acquired a bevy of storage companies including Storwize as well as XIV, a 3Par rival that Big Blue bought in early 2008.

Other updates include:

  • IBM System Storage DS8800, which replaces the DS8700 and will support Easy Tier next year.
  • New software updates for a storage area network (SAN) controllers, storage director control and Tivoli's storage management software.

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