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IBM releases Windows-configured NAS servers

The four file-and-print server products come with Windows Storage Server and are aimed at small and mid-sized organizations.

IBM has brought four new network-attached storage (NAS) file-and-print server products to market this month, all

This is the small and the medium of solutions in the network attached storage arena.

Mike Kahn, The Clipper Group

preconfigured with Windows Storage Server 2003.

The products include the entry-level xSeries 206 and 226 tower models, the xSeries 346 models and the HS20 Blade Storage Server gateway product. All include Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) Shadow Copy of Shared Folders and disk quota management with Windows Storage Manager 2.0.

"IBM has many different solutions that it's bringing into the marketplace, and they're just trying to make sure that they have something for every customer who wants to buy an IBM product," said Mike Kahn, chairman and co-founder of The Clipper Group Inc. consultancy, in Wellesley, Mass. "This is the small and the medium of solutions in the network-attached storage arena," he said.

Putting xSeries in reach of SMBs

The servers start at $2,800 and run up to $30,000, he said, putting them at a more affordable level for smaller businesses than the Tivoli platform.

Kahn said IBM is combining different variations of the xSeries to put it in the price range of customers who want to run Windows. "The capability to run Windows Storage Server on an Intel platform is not new," he said.

File access to storage

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Blade servers help cut through storage challenges

The HS20 Blade Storage Server will be appealing to customers who want NAS functionality in their blade rack. "It allows you to connect to storage that's sitting behind the blade center and the dozens of servers that are in it," Kahn said. "All of the file traffic moves through this HS20. This allows you to have file access to storage that's sitting behind the HS20 blade, and it's all transparent to the users.

"On the surface, this is all about simplicity," he said. "They're trying to give customers choice and a little more distance between having storage in your server and having them behind it, and [your users] still thinking [they] have the files [they] used to have."

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