PC makers can incorporate the new offerings--storage servers and network attached storage (NAS) appliances--into products running either Unix or Windows NT. PC manufacturers resell the IBM products under their own brand label.
"Providing IBM-produced technology to other IT sellers, in many cases its own competitors, is one of IBM's three primary growth strategies, along with services and software," Greg Enriquez, vice president of IBM's OEM (original equipment manufacturer) storage systems division, said in a prepared statement.
The first product, the IBM ProFibre Storage Array, is designed for handling applications requiring mass amounts of storage, such as e-commerce transactions over the Internet, video editing or data warehousing.
The briefcase-size device, which incorporates Mlex RAID controllers and IBM hard drives and enclosure, offers storage capacity from 9 GB to 2.8 TB.
The new storage system supports both Fibre Channel and SCSI, which are competing high-speed ways of connecting storage devices together or attaching them to servers.
IBM also announced it would begin selling new NAS products, but not until later in the first half of the year. The ProFibre Storage Array is available immediately in limited quantities.