IBM Expands Midrange Storage Products

Adds four gigabit expansion unit, disaster recovery features, and Microsoft Simple SAN designation

SOMERS, NY -- 28 Feb 2006 -- IBM today announced new enhancements to its line of storage product offerings and features for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The offerings bring enterprise-level capabilities to a broad group of storage users.

The new enhancements affect a range of products across the IBM® System Storage™ DS4000 Series, a scalable storage system designed to accommodate the changing value of data over time, while maintaining data availability. Highlights include:

  • The IBM System Storage DS4000 EXP810, a new four gigabit per second (Gbps) capable expansion unit for increased density and capacity

  • Automated backup and restore processes developed exclusively for Microsoft Exchange

  • Microsoft Simple SAN designation for the IBM System Storage DS4100 and DS4300

"Today's news provides powerful benefits to small companies that want easy-to-install and affordable solutions, as well as larger companies looking for high-end file speeds and disaster recovery features at a lower price point," said Kristie Bell, vice president, IBM Storage Systems Marketing. "IBM is constantly looking for new ways to make storage more manageable and accessible for companies of all sizes."

The Evolution to 4 Gbps Technology

The new 4-Gbps-capable Storage Expansion Unit, the EXP810, offers a 16-bay disk enclosure for attachment to selected DS4000 Midrange Disk Systems, with up to 4.8 terabytes (TB) physical capacity per expansion unit on initial introduction, which is more than double the capacity of the existing EXP710 Expansion Unit. Designed to accommodate today's 2 Gbps Fibre Channel disk drives, as well as future 4 Gbps Fibre Channel disk drives, the new unit is designed to offer the following features and benefits:

  • High density, flexibility and scalability with 16 disk drive bays

  • Low "total cost of acquisition" for large installations by helping reduce the need for additional expansion units at various capacity points

  • A switch on the DS4000 EXP810 enclosure allowing speed selection -- either 2Gbps or 4Gbps

  • Enhanced Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Features -- IBM's new feature codes for disaster recovery and business continuity are designed to help protect e-mail storage as well as other mission critical data

Many businesses have chosen Microsoft Exchange Server for their e-mail platform. To increase the availability of Exchange, Microsoft has introduced a Volume Shadow Copy service that can be used with Exchange to help eliminate e-mail backup windows. Utilizing this advanced service, IBM has developed a simple, automated business solution for its DS4000 storage systems called DS4000 Integrated Backup for Databases (IBD) for Exchange that is designed to enhance current backup strategies by helping enable protection and rapid recovery of Microsoft Exchange 2003 databases.

Additionally, VolumeCopy and a combination of FlashCopy®/VolumeCopy have been added to the IBM TotalStorage DS4100, an entry-level storage server designed to address storage consolidation and near-line application storage needs without undue expense, while leaving companies room to grow. FlashCopy is designed to create a copy of disk volumes without interrupting operating system access to the volume, while VolumeCopy is designed to allow customers to make a full copy of a FlashCopy volume to help improve their data protection capabilities.

Microsoft-Designated Simple SANs for SMBs

IBM has taken first step in building a Simple SAN solution by achieving Microsoft Simple SAN designation for its DS4100 and DS4300. SAN Kits are designed to provide "out-of-the-box" SAN experience for users, enable small and medium size enterprises to install a SAN quickly, in many cases under an hour, without on-site assistance. The kits include all the hardware and software necessary to connect servers to a first SAN or to extend a SAN from the data center to a distant workgroup. For more information, go to: http://www.microsoftstoragepartners.com/SolutionShowcase/Showcase.aspx?CompanyID=69.

Pricing and Availability

The IBM System Storage DS4000 EXP810 will be available on April 28, 2006, starting at a list price of $6,000. Disaster recovery and business continuity features including IBM Integrated Backup for Databases (IBD) for Exchange, VolumeCopy and a combination of FlashCopy/VolumeCopy will be available on March 17, 2006 with list prices starting at $4,800 for entry-level storage servers. IBM DS4100 and DS4300 SAN Kits for the IBM DS4000 storage systems are available now, starting at a list price of just over $6,500.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions, and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com.