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IBM goes after high-end storage market

IBM introduces a new-generation storage system, offering technology with many of the features of sophisticated servers.

IBM has introduced a new generation high-end storage system that mimics many of the features of sophisticated corporate servers.

As previously reported, the IBM Enterprise Storage Server, which offers up to 11 terabytes of storage, fits well into Big Blue's electronic commerce strategy. Internet businesses are some of the biggest consumers of mass storage.

E-commerce and Web site hosting have greatly increased storage demand as companies deployed SANS (storage area networks) to handle data demands. SANs are separate networks of storage devices that manage and store data without tying up the computing resources of servers.

These new IBM systems are "intelligent" storage systems which take on many of the attributes of high-end servers used in large corporations. The IBM architecture, for example, includes multiple IBM PowerPC processors, similar to the multiprocessor servers offered by Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and others in the Unix world.

IBM's system is based on its Seascape 1 storage architecture, which lets technology managers more easily add additional storage and features.

The system also supports a wide range of operating systems and hardware common among large corporations, such as S/390 mainframe, AS/400, Unix, and Windows.

IBM plans to leverage the might of its Global Financing organization to spur interest in the storage system. Qualified customers can defer payment for up to 110 days or, if leasing, up to March 30.