IBM Announces $400 Million SAN Initiative

Joanna Doyle

IBM this week announced a new initiative to expand and strengthen its position in the growing storage area network (SAN) market.

Big Blue kicked off a $400 million program which will include new products, services, global and regional testing facilities and sales support meant to take advantage of the growing demand for open standard solutions to help companies utilize and manage the massive amounts of data being generated by e-business practices.

“IBM’s SAN initiative is about leveraging every division of the company to deliver on the promise of SANs for our customers—interoperability between vendor systems and true data sharing,” says Linda Sanford, general manager of IBM’s storage subsystems division. “Any industry vendor not committed to open standards for SANs is driving their customers into a proprietary dead-end.”

As part of the initiative, IBM plans to establish more than 50 centers worldwide dedicated to developing and marketing SAN solutions, and will add 1,000 new storage product specialists to its sales force. In addition, IBM Global Services will offer a number of new services for customers looking to implement SANs or other storage systems. These include planning and design, enterprise storage assessment, SAN testing facilities and expanded support.

On the product front, IBM will be releasing new models of its Enterprise Storage Server (ESS), or Shark, with a 64-bit IBM RISC processor, 16GB of cache and additional PCI buses. Enhanced Shark software can be added to the new Shark models, which will allow advanced copy services and native fibre channel connectivity. IBM is also releasing a number of enhanced products to better facilitate SAN connectivity across an enterprise.

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