By Dave Simpson
In a bold-but predicted-move, IBM is moving beyond its direct sales strategy and is for the first time taking aim at the OEM storage subsystem market. Although IBM had planned to attack this market for more than a year, the move was facilitated by the acquisition of Mylex Corp. last September, according to Greg Enriquez, vice president of IBM's OEM Storage Systems unit in San Jose.
Earlier this month, IBM announced the first product in its OEM strategy, the StorageSmart ProFibre Array, which is aimed at the low-end Windows NT and Unix markets. IBM is hoping to gain business primarily from systems OEMs, the majority of which were Mylex customers.
Based on Mylex RAID controllers, the ProFibre Array includes a Fibre Channel host interface and either SCSI or Fibre Channel drives from IBM (Seagate drives have also been qualified.) Capacity ranges from 9GB to 2.8TB in a four-enclosure stacked configuration. Other features include dual active-active controllers, full redundancy and hot pluggability, cache mirroring, and support for RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 0+1, and 10.
IBM claims performance specs of up to 9,000 cached I/Os per second, 3,800 I/Os per second with random reads and writes, and up to 190MBps transfer rate with the Fibre Channel version of the array. The company also claims increased drive performance from enhancements in vibration reduction and environmental factors.
Enriquez says IBM's OEM subsystem group will release a network-attached storage product by the mid-year.