IBM Increases Performance and Capacity of Open Storage Networks With Industry-First Products and Technologies

Includes first disk storage using Fibre Channel connections to mainframe that are six times faster; first copper chip-based tape server

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SOMERS, N.Y. - 31 Jul 2001: IBM today announced new enterprise storage products and enhancements including FICON support for IBM's TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (code named Shark) and two models of IBM's TotalStorage Virtual Tape Server (VTS) that for the first time incorporate IBM's patented copper chip technology.

With this announcement, IBM becomes the first storage vendor to offer mainframe customers a Fibre Channel-based connection (FICON) to their high-end disk systems. FICON provides peak data transfer rates almost six times faster than the current ESCON technology employed by competitors. In addition, the implementation of FICON relieves constraints that previously limited customers' ability to grow their configurations, as it supports disk storage configurations up to six times larger than those supported by ESCON. Easier management capability is also enabled because FICON configurations typically use one-fourth the number of channels.

On the tape side, the new higher-performance Model B20 VTS provides up to a 100 percent increase in the peak write data rate when compared to older models of the VTS. Both the B20 and the new B10 VTS model are also available for use in a peer-to-peer configuration.

``We're increasing the speed, reliability and capacity of storage networks with new products and solutions that take advantage of technologies pioneered by IBM,'' said Linda Sanford, senior vice president & group executive, IBM Storage Systems Group. ``IBM's ability to integrate industry-leading technologies from our research labs into our storage products, coupled with the momentum of our business results, confirms that we are on a path to leadership in the open storage networking marketplace.''

IBM led all companies with over 400 storage patents in the year 2000.

In addition to the disk and tape enhancements, IBM also unveiled today:

FICON Provides Unparalleled Speed
In December 2000, IBM was the first company in the storage industry to support native FICON for tape with the Magstar 3590 A60 Tape Controller. With the FICON support in both its tape and disk products, IBM offers a total FICON storage solution that helps customers enhance the performance, extend the distance, improve the sharing, and reduce the costs of their storage infrastructure.

The availability of FICON-based storage for mainframes allows customers for the first time to connect mainframes directly to the same open storage area networks (SANs) used by UNIX and Windows servers. This common SAN infrastructure can ease the administration of storage networks and enable customers to make rapid changes to their configurations to address business requirements.

``FICON will deliver a significant boost to the performance of many mainframe applications,'' said John McArthur, vice president of storage research for IDC. ``IBM's leadership in delivering FICON support, not only for Shark but also for its Magstar 3590 offering, will provide yet more drivers for IBM's fast-growing storage business.''

IBM announced further enhancements to ESS today with the announcement of a 24-Gigabyte (GB) cache option, providing customers with an additional, incremental choice of cache capacity (8GB, 16GB and 32GB also offered) to help them build a system that addresses their individual application and performance requirements. This complements the recent announcement that ESS now supports Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC) and FlashCopy functions for iSeries servers.

FICON will ship on September 28, 2001.

Copper Power: Reinventing Tape Storage
With two new IBM TotalStorage Virtual Tape Server (VTS) models, the B10 and B20, IBM is reinventing tape storage for the next generation of e-business computing. The new VTS models are the first virtual tape products to utilize IBM's innovative copper chip technology. In addition, the new VTS models integrate software technology from IBM's Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) mainframe technology, as well as self-diagnostic technology used from the ESS.

The VTS models are fueled by IBM's PowerPC microprocessors, which implements IBM's copper on silicon technology. Pioneered by IBM researchers, this technology allows the manufacture of microprocessors that are smaller, denser, faster and cooler than their aluminum counterparts.

GDPS is an IBM-developed technology that is designed to link data centers together and protect data by minimizing and potentially eliminating the impact of an unplanned disaster or planned site outage. The self-diagnostic technology from the ESS provides a diagnostic tool and a call-home feature to page IT administrators, who can then use the Web to determine a problem.

``Our data center was weighed-down with tape,'' said Don Veum, second vice president, information technology at Fortis, Inc., a financial services company and IBM tape storage customer. ``With our VTS installation, we've reduced our number of tape cartridges from 450,000 to 100,000, and expect that number to drop to 50,000 by the end of the year. This allowed us to gain valuable floor space and redeploy our staff to other projects.''

IBM Global Services can also provide customers with services to help implement performance management and capacity planning for tape libraries, in addition to VTS implementation services, migration services and installation services for the GDPS, as well as maintenance.

These technology innovations are the latest in a list of VTS enhancements since its introduction in 1997. In addition to offering robust solutions for enterprise customers, the new entry models will provide tape storage capabilities for the mid-sized market. They can also help reduce operation costs through transparent, effective use of tape resources and by reducing the number of tape cartridges, tape drives and automation systems required. Together, these benefits can help enable companies to automate a much larger portion of their data storage, while improving performance, minimizing floor space and reducing their total cost of ownership.

The VTS models will ship on August 31, 2001.

IBM is the world leader in storage systems, software, services and technology. IBM was the recipient of the National Medal of Technology for its contributions to hard disk drive and storage technology in the year 2000. IBM's open storage solutions are designed for the rigors of e-business collaboration utilizing next generation concepts for open storage by integrating modular technologies including disk, tape and optical storage media, powerful processors, and rich software. For more information on the products and enhancements announced today, visit

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IBM, ESCON, Magstar, PowerPC and Tivoli are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Enterprise Storage Server, FICON, FlashCopy and TotalStorage are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. Windows, Windows NT and Windows 2000 are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S., other countries, or both. The National Medal of Technology is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Other company, product or service names may be the trademarks or service marks of others.

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