IBM Tries to Lure SMBs with 'Express' Storage

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-08-08 Print this article Print

With a new, scaled-down storage system for small businesses, IBM says it's willing to sacrifice speed and capacity for lower price.

It's hard to think of normally heavy-duty data storage servers as something like "storage lite," but IBM is giving it a serious go.

Big Blue introduced a new entry-level storage product Aug. 8—System Storage DS4200 Express—designed to compete for SMB customers against similar offerings from EMC, NetApp, and Hewlett-Packard.

System Storage DS4200 Express is aimed at businesses with 99 to 1,000 employees and has many of the features in IBM's high-end DS4800 product, which retails for $44,000 and up. But it also is slower and offers less capacity in order to keep the price down.

The IBM System Storage DS4200 Express Model 7V (2GB Cache, 1GB per controller) has a starting price of $11,474, an IBM spokesperson said.

It stores data on 500MB SATA (Serial ATA) drives and can scale from 2 to 112 drives for a range of 1TB to 56TB of total storage.

IBM will market the system against EMC's Clariion AX150 and HP's StorageWorks 1000 Modular Smart Array and MSA 1500cs, in addition to products from NetApp and CA.

Storage industry analyst Dianne McAdam of The Clipper Group in Wellesley, Mass., told eWEEK that IBM was being more "aggressive" than "revolutionary" with the new product.

"IBM is going after the SMB market by pricing these new storage subsystems very aggressively," McAdam said.

"So you can get a dual controller (that is, two controllers within one chassis) for about $11,000, and the chassis can include up to 16 500-GB SATA drives."

Customers can also get features like Volume Copy (which creates a physical copy of a volume on the same controller) and MetroMirror (which will copy a volume to a second controller), McAdam said.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: IBM Tries to Lure SMBs with 'Express' Storage


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