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Storage

IBM storage server targets midsize companies

Big Blue is the latest to embrace iSCSI, a protocol increasingly being used to build low-cost storage area networks.

IBM on Friday announced that it will release a low-price disk server aimed at midsize companies that want to establish storage area networks.

The DS300 is based on iSCSI, a protocol that relies on existing Gigabit Ethernet networks and is therefore less expensive than traditional Fibre Channel-based storage area networks.

The server has Ultra320 iSCSI drives, battery backup cache and power supplies. The system will start at $2,995, IBM said.

The release is significant, because storage hardware and software companies have been trying to reduce cost barriers by making their products affordable to small and midsize companies, in large part by embracing the iSCSI standard.

IBM also announced the DS400, a 2GB Fibre Channel storage system that's 5.25 inches tall. That server will start at $5,254, IBM said.

Both servers can be managed with RAID (redundant array of independent disks) management tools, and both run on Windows and Linux, IBM said. Both are part of Big Blue's TotalStorage suite and will be available in the fourth quarter.

Also Friday, IBM changed the name of its midrange storage arrays from FastT storage servers to DS4000 midrange disk systems, and announced new software for the product line. Big Blue's DS4000 Storage Manager V9.1 software is designed to protect information via real-time data replication. The software lets customers mirror data both synchronously and asynchronously. It is free to existing customers and can be downloaded from the company's Web site.

In addition, IBM said its high-end Enterprise Storage Server products--sometimes referred to as "Shark"--are now part what it is calling the "IBM TotalStorage Disk Systems Family."