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IBM targets low-end storage market

IBM will announce a new lower-end network-attached storage (NAS) system Wednesday, the TotalStorage NAS 100, which will go on sale in August for $4,420. The slim 1.75-inch-thick product has a capacity of 480GB with four "hot-swappable" drives that can be replaced without shutting the system down in the event of failure. The system is about half the price of IBM's NAS 200, which uses higher-speed SCSI drives instead of the NAS 100's somewhat slower ATA drives.

Network-attached storage systems, popularized by Network Appliance and now sold by IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Quantum and others, are useful for storing files such as e-mail or shared documents. IBM's new system includes IBM Director software that can monitor some aspects of the hardware and help flag problems before they become severe.