IBM Taps NetApp for Gateways

Wednesday May 31st 2006 by Clint Boulton
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IBM and Network Appliance celebrate their first year together with appliances that bridge the gap between SAN and NAS.

IBM and Network Appliance celebrated the first anniversary of their partnership with new storage appliances that act as bridges between storage area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) systems.

Designed for small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), the IBM System Storage N5200 and N5500 Series Gateways will help customers access their data more easily and improve their ability to get up and running after an outage.

The machines, essentially IP attachments to Fibre Channel storage subsystems, unify NAS, SAN and iSCSI protocols under one architecture.

The N5200 and N5500 support Unix, Linux and Windows file protocols, IBM's System Storage DS4800 and DS8000 series systems and machines from other vendors, IBM said in a statement.

For CIOs and other administrators charged with striking a balance between having enough technology without considerably raising costs, the appeal of consolidating storage based on different protocols on one machine is clear.

The N5200 and N550 machines cut costs by requiring fewer machines to handle the environments that use multiple storage approaches.

Storage systems also require some sort of governing software to guide the complex data transfer from machine to machine.

To that end, the new IBM systems include NetApp's DataFabric Manager, a software tool that provides customers manage storage and content delivery.

The utility also includes options to license software features specific for business continuity and storage resource management, a hot segment that accounted for a third of the total storage software revenue in 2005.

The N5200 and N5500 N series Gateways include hot-swappable components to allow changes to be made to the systems without turning them off and 8 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel ports.

The machines scale from 50 to 84 terabytes, and will be available June 2 at a starting price point of $34,650.

IBM abandoned making its own NAS machines last year and has been reselling NAS, iSCSI, and IP SAN products from NetApp, fleshing out its product lines to better compete with storage giant EMC.

Article courtesy of Internet News

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