IBM Announces New Seascape Storage Technologies to Manage and Share Information

Next-generation storage helps companies reduce overall storage costs and improve business efficiencies

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SAN JOSE, CA .. - 01 Jun 1998: ... IBM today announced the next major wave in enterprise storage based on IBM Seascape*^ Storage Enterprise Architecture. The powerful new hardware and software storage solutions will enable companies to transform the way they manage and share information throughout their organizations.

With businesses becoming more reliant on data-driven applications like e-business and business intelligence to maintain a competitive edge, they must have reliable and ready access to stored information. Today's new IBM solutions incorporate a range of technologies and storage designs that help reduce overall storage costs and improve business efficiencies for customers.

IBM Seascape solutions are designed around a common storage architecture. The architecture provides a blueprint enabling various elements of the storage infrastructure to work together creating a comprehensive enterprise-wide storage environment. Seascape solutions can help companies consolidate, centralize and connect storage resources, manage the entire storage enterprise from a single central location, contain storage costs and share data across their organizations.

The storage market is expected to represent an opportunity of more than $44 billion by 2002,++ according to projections from International Data Corporation and Dataquest, leading market research firms.

"More and more companies are realizing the strategic importance of managing their data by turning information from a static to a dynamic asset," said Dr. James Vanderslice, vice president and group executive, IBM Data Technology Group.+ "Instead of simply storing data, companies need to move information, share it, manage and secure it. We believe our Seascape blueprint is the most complete -- and compelling -- portrait of the storage environment of the future. Today's announcements show the power of Seascape solutions to meet the needs for next-generation information management."

Today's new storage solutions are designed to deliver the requirements needed for data-intensive applications in a connected world. They include:

IBM also announced it will introduce products that implement fibre channel technology for connecting servers with storage systems. IBM outlined its vision for Storage Area Networks (SANs), networks optimized for, and dedicated to, storage traffic.

One customer already riding the Seascape wave is Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines.

"Royal Caribbean International is constantly looking for ways to enrich the vacation experience for each of the guests on our ships," said Ron Sieman, vice president of Royal Caribbean's Information Technology Department. "Using IBM's Seascape storage technologies, we will be better able to determine what our more than two million guests each year want from onboard activities and port-of-call visits so that their preferences are built into our new ships."

IBM Delivers the Next Wave in Storage Innovation

IBM StorWatch Family

The StorWatch family is a powerful set of software products that allows companies to manage all the storage resources throughout their enterprise from a single point using a common interface.

The IBM StorWatch family lays the foundation to solve the problems of non-integrated storage management tools and reduce associated management costs. This new Seascape family addresses needs resulting from a history of unorchestrated industry development of storage hardware and software products. As a result, storage management tools have had little integration and operability, and broadly different interfaces. Administrators have needed to learn how to use multiple tools and develop specific skills for each new resource deployed. This has resulted in management costs that now far exceed initial purchase prices of storage hardware.

"Network administrators report two great personal benefits that derive from centralization. They are centralized backup and central administrative control," said Michael Petersen, president of Strategic Research Corp. "IBM's StorWatch family for enterprise storage resource management specifically addresses the needs of administrators operating centralized networks who want to achieve continuous operations." According to Petersen, a typical decentralized, distributed LAN-based business operates with 90% to 96% server availability. The resulting downtime costs range from $20,000 to $75,000 per hour.

StorWatch management across the mixed-server storage enterprise will include management of storage assets, capacity, configuration and performance. From a common point of control, an administrator will be able to plan and manage storage capacity from anywhere in the enterprise without disrupting operations. This helps to limit system downtime and ensures the most efficient use of storage capacity as user requirements shift.

IBM plans to ship several StorWatch products this year, with others introduced in 1999 and beyond. IBM is planning future releases that will include management of removable media storage products, like tape libraries, integration with systems management products like Tivoli* network systems management, and support of fibre channel attached products.

IBM Versatile Storage Server

As storage administrative costs continue to climb and management becomes increasingly complex, companies are consolidating their storage enterprises into more compact, manageable operations in record numbers. The IBM Versatile Storage Server is a Seascape solution of integrated storage building blocks designed to let companies more easily manage and share storage resources, and to give them more flexibility when centralizing and consolidating UNIX, Windows NT and AS/400 servers. The Versatile Storage Server also provides dynamic management of disk storage and allows true data sharing among like servers.

With the Versatile Storage Server, companies can protect their existing storage investments by incorporating IBM 7133 Serial Disk Systems directly into the new solution when convenient. Centralized management is simplified with the IBM StorWatch Versatile Storage Specialist that lets companies use a standard web browser to directly monitor and define system operational characteristics and reallocate disk storage space. The Versatile Storage Server is the first Seascape solution to use two intelligent, independent storage servers within the storage/server complex. Two servers can improve performance by potentially doubling data throughput. The dual-server design can also increase the availability of data in the enterprise, as the second server provides a functional backup in case of problems.

A number of advanced features have been incorporated into the Versatile Storage Server to prevent data loss and data corruption. It is designed to preserve the highest levels of data
integrity available today with a one-of-a-kind function that verifies data accuracy at every operational step. Other features, such as automatic failover technologies, can help keep data highly available for business use.

Companies may order the Versatile Storage Server today for a wide range of open systems servers, including IBM RS/6000* and AS/400, Hewlett-Packard,** DEC,** Sun Microsystems,** and servers running Windows NT. It is planned to be generally available in August.

IBM Enhanced Virtual Tape Server

The IBM Virtual Tape Server (VTS) is a highly successful Seascape solution introduced in 1997 with over 500 units shipped to date. VTS is a completely integrated tape storage solution for S/390 Parallel Enterprise Servers server data. It integrates high-performance Magstar* tape drives and libraries with robust IBM storage management software, powerful processors, and fault-tolerant RAID disks into a storage server solution that maximizes customers' tape investments and improves tape processing operations.

By stacking multiple data files onto individual Magstar 3590 tape cartridges, the Virtual Tape Server greatly reduces hardware storage requirements. As a result, the floor space occupied by cartridges, tape drives, and automation systems is dramatically reduced, as well as the cost in operations handling to process the workload. In addition, the integrated cache and virtual drives/volumes greatly improve response times, while reducing batch windows.

Today, IBM is delivering significant improvements to the VTS that will give customers even greater improvements in performance and capacity, while lowering cost of ownership. Enhancements include a more powerful processor, additional ESCON* connection options and an increase in disk cache of up to 864 GB (with 3:1 compression).

IBM also announced plans to connect the enhanced VTS to UNIX servers. This will give companies broader use of their tape storage, and increased efficiency in managing storage resources.

Fibre Channel and Storage Area Network Plans

IBM Seascape architecture provides support for a wide variety of options for connecting servers to storage, including today's ESCON and SSA Storage Area Networks. IBM announced the intention to expand these options to include the emerging fibre channel Storage Area Network. Included in this are plans to attach to both IBM and non-IBM servers, using industry standard fibre channel technology to key Seascape-based storage systems and building blocks, including direct FICON attachment through fibre channel switches for the IBM Virtual Tape Server, and the IBM Magstar 3590 tape subsystem, as well as FICON and ESCON capability for the Versatile Storage Server family of offerings. IBM also plans to provide additional connectivity solutions for the IBM 7133 Serial Disk System.

Adding this support will enable companies to locate servers and storage at greater distances from one another (a requirement for remote operations), to improve sharing of storage systems and to increase data throughput for many applications. Storage Area Networks will help to move much of the data traffic off overloaded systems networks into dedicated storage networks.

In addition, IBM is announcing plans to provide fibre channel connectivity for both SSA and SCSI-based storage systems, and support for fibre channel hubs and switches. This will let customers protect their investments in the high-performance SSA technology. Availability for fibre channel-to-SCSI solutions is planned for the fourth quarter. IBM plans for the IBM RAMAC storage family, including the RAMAC Virtual Array with ESCON channels, to be supported through S/390 G5 enterprise server FICON channels using the FICON bridge feature for the IBM ESCON Director model 5 in the first quarter of 1999.

For more information about IBM Storage Systems Division, go to the Internet at


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* Trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

** Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

^ Seascape Enterprise Storage Architecture is the IBM blueprint for comprehensive storage solutions optimized for a connected world. The Seascape architecture outlines new concepts for storage by integrating leading technologies from IBM -- including disk, tape, and optical media, powerful processors and rich software function -- to provide highly reliable, scalable and versatile application-based storage solutions that support the range of servers from PCs to supercomputers.

+ IBM Data Technology Group comprises IBM Storage Systems Division, IBM Networking Hardware Division and IBM Printing Systems Company. These three divisions were organized under Dr. Vanderslice's management in December 1997 to further leverage the natural synergy of information storage and distribution for enterprise solutions.

++ Based on 1998 market projections from International Data Corporation and Dataquest.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., is a global cruise company operating two cruise brands, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises. The brands' combined fleet consists of 17 vessels in service and three ships on order, representing a total capacity of 38,000 berths by the year 2000. The ships currently visit Alaska, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, the Far East, Hawaii, Mexico, New England, the Panama Canal and Scandinavia.

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