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IBM Bolsters Mid-range NAS

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Targeting mid-sized customers, IBM today announced new network attached storage systems that, in some cases, double the speed and storage capacity of its previous models.Big Blue said it’s seeing an uptick in demand from two groups: medium businesses that need to boost storage space and large companies that want lower priced systems that are easy to install and manage.

“IBM’s strategy is to deliver the latest technology advances to our customers as quickly as possible,” said Walter Raizner, an IBM general manager.

Two of the beefed up products are in the Armonk, N.Y., company’s TotalStorage line. The NAS 200 and NAS Gateway 300 — improve performance with 2.4 GHz Intel processors.

The also feature integrated accelerator adapters which deliver high-speed network performance by moving TCP/IP processing from the NAS processor to a custom processor designed to manage this function in hardware.

Since TCP/IP can consume up to 90 percent of the processing cycles, offloading the task improves overall system performance, IBM said. Both the NAS 200 and NAS Gateway 300 will be available November 22, with base prices of $17,295 and $63,100, respectively.

A third TotalStorage family member, FAStT, has its capacity doubled with new 146.8 GB disk drives, upgrading from 7 terabytes to 32 terabytes.

On the software side, IBM said its new Tivoli Software will be installed in IBM’s storage centers by year’s end. IBM said the applications help simplify the storage deployment and administration processes.

As large enterprise customers such as airlines and banks have delayed major purchases because of the economic downturn, mid-sized customers such as hospitals and retailers, have become increasingly important to IBM, and its competitors, EMC, Hewlett-Packard and Hitachi.

A spokesman for Hopkinton, Mass., data storage giant EMC was not immediately available to comment on IBM’s renewed mid-market push. Earlier this week, EMC Executive Chairman Michael Ruettgers told he expects some casualties in the sector because of the recession.

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