IBM's Shark Attacks the Enterprise Storage Market

IBM’s Enterprise Storage Server -- code-named "Shark" -- is an advanced disk storage system, bringing precedent-setting levels of performance, scalability and connectivity to the enterprise storage arena.

"Now that our Shark is swimming free, we’re already seeing it take the first of many bites out of our competition," says Ron Kilpatrick, general manager, IBM Storage Systems Division. The new system is being widely recognized as a bold move by IBM to recapture its technological lead in high-end storage.

"Storage is one of the key technology growth areas moving into the new millennium and IBM is committed to leadership in this segment. Shark will help take us there," says Kilpatrick.

IBM’s early support program placed Enterprise Storage Servers with customers in a number of different industries and produced results that justify the storage industry’s eager anticipation of wider availability of the system. "Our first installations of the Enterprise Storage Server across a broad range of different environments have been an enormous success," says Kilpatrick. "Our customers have been delighted with the ESS’ performance and its ease of management, and the word is getting out. This is raising the bar for all our competitors."

And clearly, the competition is paying attention. "We heard that one of our competitors has been spraying shark repellent at their meetings. Frankly, we’re flattered. You only use repellent if you’re afraid of getting bitten," says Kilpatrick.

"Our initial sales of the Enterprise Storage Server have exceeded our expectations," says IBM’s Kilpatrick. "We couldn’t be more pleased. Our tactic with early shipments was to put our system in the most demanding technical environments we could think of. Our success there will translate directly to success in the most challenging business environments."

IBM has booked significant strategic sales in all of its initial target segments, including financial services, Internet service providers, healthcare, insurance providers, as well as other segments using enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence, and transaction processing solutions.

Customers have discovered that the Enterprise Storage Server, is an ideal platform for all e-business applications, as well as the cornerstone of their future plans for storage area networks (SANs).

An executive at one large New York-based financial firm comments, "Shark is the box of choice for the S/390 environment. IBM has leapfrogged the competition and I am confident Shark will perform equally well in our open systems environment. IBM is the only vendor whose storage subsystem performs 32 upper interface concurrent I/Os. IBM sets the new standard for all other storage vendors."

The IBM Enterprise Storage Server offers customers scalability from 420 gigabytes to over 11 terabytes, two four-way symmetric multiprocessors (SMPs), Serial Storage Architecture (SSA) and a large cache with additional nonvolatile (battery-backed) memory. Most important, though, is its ability to work with heterogeneous hosts -- S/390, UNIX, Windows NT and AS/400 -- and with a variety of interfaces, including ESCON, Fibre Channel and Ultra SCSI.

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