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IBM sneaks out data storage announcements

IBM published details of its forthcoming Easy Tier automated tiered storage feature for the DS8700 on its website Tuesday, and spilled another couple of beans on upcoming storage product announcements along the way:

New replication for DS8000, ProtecTIER

Also detailed on IBM’s website along with the Easy Tier announcement were some updates to other products in IBM’s storage portfolio, including new replication features for the DS8000 series and a new many-to-one replication feature for the TS 7650 ProtecTIER data deduplication virtual tape library (VTL) IBM acquired with Diligent in 2008.

New granularity has been added to IBM’s Global Mirror feature for DS8000 arrays to support application-by-application failover; previously the entire DS8000 system had to be failed over at once. A feature already added to the DS8100 and DS8300 called Remote Pair Flash Copy will also be added to the DS8700 with this announcement. According to an IBM spokesperson, “Remote Pair FlashCopy option provides the ability to copy data from a remote mirror and copy source volume and have it be immediately reflected on the remote mirror and copy target volume.”

This brings ProtecTIER into even closer competition with EMC / Data Domain’s data deduplication arrays, which has also been announcing new replication features, including support this week for one-to-many replication for its DD series arrays.

2 TB SATA, LTO-5 boost disk and tape system capacities

IBM, like competitor Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), will be launching new software features as it adds support for the LTO-5 format to its tape libraries; in IBM’s case, software it developed called the Long Term File System, which allows users to track data in tape archives, will be shipped as a no-charge standard feature on TS2250 and TS2350 LTO-5 tape drives. Pricing for the TS2250 drives, which will ship April 16, starts at $3622.The TS2350 will GA April 23 starting at $4825. IBM will also support LTO-5 drives within the TS3500 tape library April 16, and within the TS3100 and TS3200 libraries May 21.

Finally, 2 TB SATA drive support within IBM’s XIV array will become generally available April 22. Pricing was not available for the new XIV as of press time.

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