IBM Announces New Scale-Out Storage System To Access Billions Of Files

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ARMONK, N.Y., - 11 Feb 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new scale-out storage system that creates a virtual storage environment of all data across servers and storage systems, providing access to billions of files, no matter where they reside.

The IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS) system addresses clients' need to manage massive amounts of data common in emerging business models and services and also reduces costs for traditional applications and services.   

One example, as banks and financial institutions have merged over the past year, they are faced with integrating and reducing data centers to help realize cost efficiencies. This must be accomplished while supporting thousands of current and new clients.  The IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage system can help financial institutions consolidate many data centers into a few, by delivering technology to provide a common, centralized view of all data, optimize storage assets and personnel, while also allowing these institutions to rapidly scale as data needs continue to rise, ultimately increasing efficiency and reducing total cost of ownership. 

In today’s environment, once a traditional network attached storage device has reached capacity, IT organizations move to another device, ultimately and unintentionally creating isolated islands of data that over time become increasingly difficult to locate, and costly to manage.  Today’s announcement addresses these problems using technology that is massively scalable (up to 14.4 petabytes in a single system) and offers the capability to seamlessly add storage capacity.  It features powerful automated tiering technology, believed to be the most advanced in the industry, that is capable of scanning more than a billion files in a matter of minutes, while other technologies could take weeks to perform similar tasks.  It also provides policy-driven file-level tiering at immense scales that enables organizations to easily control where data is placed or migrated.  

These capabilities are key as data requirements skyrocket, and organizations need to store and access such diverse file media ranging from medical images, photos, video, and audio files in public and private clouds. 

“Every day, the equivalent of eight-times the information that exists in all US libraries combined is created,” said Doug Balog, vice president of disk systems for IBM.  “Companies not only need to cost-effectively store that data, but they need to rapidly locate it and provide ubiquitous access to it instantly.  SONAS addresses these needs and provides clients with the right scalable solution.” 

Business benefits of today’s offering: 

Better control of data -- Customers can consolidate islands of data while providing easy access to it from anywhere in the world, while also providing the ability to non-disruptively add storage capacity.  The technology helping clients better control data is partially enabled by GPFS, IBM’s industry-leading software powering supercomputers for more than a decade, as well Tivoli Storage Manager, and new customer-centric IBM Systems Software providing greater ease of use and control. 

Smarter use of resources -- Policy-driven automation and tiered storage management can achieve increased utilization rates in file management systems, allowing for automatic tiering, while enabling a company to define where data is placed, when it is created, where and when it moves to in the storage hierarchy, where it’s copied for disaster recovery, and when it will be eventually deleted. 

Reduces Operational Costs  -- Rapidly increasing storage requirements are causing both the complexity and costs of managing storage infrastructures to increase. SONAS addresses this by consolidating hardware to reduce capital costs and maximize return on investment.  It also minimizes ongoing administration and headcount costs and decreases operational expenditures by streamlining and simplifying the administration, backup, application and access to data. 

Today’s announcement is targeted at midsize to large enterprises in industries that need to store, access and manage the dramatic rise in file-based data, including financial services, insurance, banking, medical and life sciences, digital media and government. 

For more information about IBM System Storage and today news, visit

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