IBM Reveals New Storage Networking Devices

Hoping to position itself as the dominant presence in the network attached storage space, IBM has entered what it calls the “next phase” of a storage networking initiative it launched in February.

Big Blue is kicking off this new generation of its storage life with the release of a lineup of network attached storage devices equipped with integrative capabilities designed to help customers deal with mounds of data using the systems they already have.

"In today's e-business environment, customers want open storage networking technology and solutions that integrate the workgroup and the enterprise, and help protect the investments they have made in their IT infrastructure," said Linda Sanford, senior vice president & group executive, IBM Storage Systems Group in a statement.

IBM’s new NAS solutions come in three flavors and are intended to help store a range of data types from video streaming and e-mail to customer support, accounts receivable, and payroll.

The TotalStorage NAS 200, available in both tower and rackable enclosures, is a single-processor system and supports up to 216 G or storage. IBM is positioning the offering for use in a branch office or to support a department in a large enterprise.

For mission-critical storage, IBM is touting the TotalStorage NAS 300, which is a dual-processor, redundant system. The NAS 300 also is available in an enhanced version, TotalStorage NAS 300G. The 300G has high-availability features that enable a storage area network and a local area network to be connected.

IBM’s biggest competition in the NAS area of the storage space is Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Network Appliance. By highlighting the interoperability of its NAS offerings with other IBM products, Big Blue believes it is showing customers a more attractive value proposition than Network Appliance. Since IBM already has achieved a widespread presence in e-business environments – whether it be on the application or server level or both – it is trying to use this leverage to proliferate its NAS solutions among the industry.

TotalStorage NAS 200 and 300 come with IBM’s xSeries Advance Systems Management processor, which is a diagnostic tool for identifying potential problems on the network. Part of a pre-loaded suite of software packaged with all IBM NAS products, the systems management processor is designed to alert the IT manager when problems are detected.

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