IBM rounds out 4Gbps arrays

Posted on September 01, 2006

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IBM completed fitting its midrange storage systems with 4Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity last month with the launch of a new entry-level array and a round of hardware and software upgrades for its System Storage DS4000 family of disk arrays.

Big Blue launched the entry-level DS4200 Express subsystem for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and added 500GB Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives and software options for the entire DS4000 series.

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The DS4200 Express features 4Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces and support for up to 56TB of capacity using expansion units with 500GB SATA drives.

The DS4200 is the 4Gbps replacement for the 2Gbps DS4100. The 4200 has dual controllers for redundancy and more space for hard drives and supports software features such as FlashCopy, VolumeCopy, and remote mirroring.

FlashCopy creates point-in-time images of data volumes for backup operations, and VolumeCopy replicates data volumes at a rate of up to eight concurrent active copies per source volume, and enables data migration between tiers of storage.

Sun ships midrange arrays

Sun Microsystems’ acquisition of StorageTek recently bore new fruit in the form of a new family of modular midrange disk arrays-the Sun StorageTek 6140 and 6540. The arrays mark the first new disk-based storage products to come out of Sun since StorageTek came into the fold and, according to Sun officials, the 6000 series combines technologies from both companies with a common management platform.

The 6140 is an RoHS-compliant, 4Gbps Fibre Channel array for either direct-attached or SAN-attached storage. The system has a redundant architecture with the ability to mix-and-match different classes of hard drives, including Fibre Channel and Serial ATA (SATA) drives. The 6140 has eight 4Gbps Fibre Channel ports, 4GB of cache, application-oriented management, switched drive connectivity, and a maximum of 112 drives.

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The larger 6540 array has similar features, but twice the capacity, with support for up to 224 drives.

Software functions include instant volume creation, the ability to configure volumes on-the-fly, replication, snapshots, and full-volume copy.

There is also a new tool called Profile Cloning. Sun included 15 application profiles with the management software that include pre-configured storage settings for popular applications to cut down on provisioning time.

The Sun StorageTek 6140 and 6540 are expected to compete directly with 4Gbps Fibre Channel disk arrays such as IBM’s System Storage DS4000 family, EMC’s Clariion CX arrays, and Hitachi Data Systems’ AMS family.

The 6140 and 6540 are priced from $25,000 and $85,000, respectively.

Exanet unveils ‘CDP’ for NAS

Exanet has added continuous data protection (CDP) for clustered NAS systems to its ExaStore software. The CDP module captures block-level changes on a continuous basis and allows recovery from any point in time.

The ExaStore architecture virtualizes Intel-based servers and storage sub-systems into a clustered NAS configuration. The product is designed primarily for high-end environments with more than 30TB that can’t afford downtime, such as those involved in digital broadcasting, CAD/CAM, chip design, etc.

The ExaStore software architecture eliminates single points of failure and is based on a distributed shared file system that enables administrators to manage an installation as simply as a single NAS filer. The software works with industry-standard servers and storage devices, eliminating vendor lock-in. In addition, storage and server components can be scaled independently.


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