IBM Aims High for Low End

IBM is taking an unusual approach to the small and mid-sized business (SMB) storage market, trying to outdo competitors by features instead of price.

IBM this week unveiled a new System Storage DS4000 Series model — the DS4200 Express — and upgrades across the rest of the line.

Big Blue said the DS4200 Express offers SMBs powerful management and protection features, with the ability to expand from workgroup to enterprise-wide capability, and support for heterogeneous open operating systems.

IBM packed the dual-controller DS4200 Express with 4Gbps Fibre Channel and as much as 56 terabytes of SATA storage capacity, with up to six Fibre Channel/SATA expansion units.

Pricing for the new array starts at $11,474, more than competing products from HP and EMC, but IBM is betting that users want performance and scalability as much as they want low cost.

Enhancements to the entire DS4000 Series include 500GB SATA drives for tiered storage strategies; end-to-end 4Gbps-capable Fibre Channel interface technology; greater scalability; support for IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS), Version 2.3 and Version 3.1, on the DS4700 Express; and support for VMware Infrastructure 3 on the DS4700 and DS4800.

FlashCopy and VolumeCopy software is available for the DS4000 Series at additional cost.

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Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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