IBM hopes its new entry-level NAS gateway will open up a new market among smaller companies with less-demanding storage performance needs. But resellers suspect it will have a tough time convincing target firms to invest in the technology.
The IBM TotalStorage NAS Gateway 500 is a single-processor hardware and software appliance for accessing remote data over IP networks. It will be sold almost entirely through the channel.
Daniel Sazbon, IBM's EMEA manager for storage networks, claimed the appliance's 30 per cent price reduction would be attractive to SMEs. "They can get a large amount of storage with adequate performance," he said.
But Paul Evans, vice-president of operational support services at reseller Glasshouse Technologies, believes while it might be enough to interest a strong IBM customer with AIX it will be "hard to go in cold". He added: "EMC and Network Appliance have the high-end [NAS market] sewn up."
Matt Harrison, InTechnology's IBM division strategic business manager, said it could appeal to higher-end SMEs of 500 to 1,000 seats, particularly for the mirroring software included as standard.
"Customers will buy for the scalability. More and more are considering disaster recovery and remote replication. Anything that brings down the cost of a remote site is interesting," he said.
Gateway 500's mirror write consistency (MWC) software writes data to the local disk at the same time as sending it to a remote site. IP networks transfer data asynchronously and assume the data has been sent successfully, but MWC sends an acknowledgement to confirm this.
TotalStorage NAS Gateway 500 upgrades include two, four or eight processors, memory, Ethernet and Fibre Channel adaptors, redundancy through device 'engine' software clustering, and data and operating system mirroring.
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