IBM Aims For Compliance ‘Sweet Spot’

IBM has unleashed new network-attached storage (NAS) systems to help businesses preserve data across distributed networks.

The IBM System Storage N5200 and N5500, the latest fruits of IBM’s agreement to resell hardware and software from Network Appliance, were built to help small and medium-sized enterprises run disk-to-disk backup, data retention and archive chores using write-once, read many (WORM) technology.

Products with the WORM assignation do not allow data stored on them to be erased and written over, rendering them unchangeable. Such technology is important at a time when corporate compliance regulations call for data integrity to be preserved.

The N5200 and N5500 systems, which employ the same architecture but differ in high-availability features, scalability and performance, provide centralized backup to reduce tape management requirements and the need for remote systems administration.

The storage devices, which run NAS, IP SAN (iSCSI) and Fibre Channel SAN storage protocols concurrently or separately, also support applications for database, data warehousing, workgroup collaboration and messaging.

The systems will be available on December 9 in single and dual storage controller models. The N5200 will start at $60,000, and the N5500 will start at $85,000.

The boxes are the second set of products from the technology and marketing alliance IBM and NetApp inked last April to help both better compete with storage giant EMC. IBM introduced the System Storage N3700 for small and medium-sized businesses in August.

Under the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement, IBM agreed to resell NAS and IP storage area network (SAN) products from NetApp. This includes NetApp NearStore disk-based backup and archiving devices, NetApp V-Series unified storage systems and certain software offerings.

NetApp has long been known as the leader in the NAS market, which is expected to reach more than $3 billion, according to market research firm IDC. While very competitive with EMC and HDS in SAN storage, IBM has struggled to gain traction in this arena.

“IBM wants to be the leading storage vendor and in order to do that they need NAS,” said Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Tony Asaro.

NetApp is also well regarded by analysts for its unified storage provisions, which are so-called “gateway” devices that bridge the gap between NAS and more complex SAN storage.

Article courtesy of Internet News

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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