IBM SMB storage product competes with HP, EMC wares

IBM SMB storage product competes with HP, EMC wares

IBM is looking to capture some of the SMB storage market with an entry-level storage product that competes with offerings from Hewlett-Packard and EMC.

IBM launched an entry-level storage product Tuesday to compete with Hewlett-Packard (HP) and EMC for customers in the small and medium business (SMB) sector.

Intended for businesses with 99 to 1,000 employees, the System Storage DS4200 Express offers many of the features and functions of IBM's high-end DS4800, but has lower performance and capacity in order to offer a price small businesses can afford, said Harold Pike, a marketing manger for IBM, of New York.

The new product can perform FlashCopy backup (also called point-in-time copies), VolumeCopy duplication (a clone of the entire data set) and remote mirroring, a process that creates a data backup in a remote location, Pike said.

It stores data on 500G-byte Serial ATA drives, scaling from two to 112 drives for a range of 1T byte to 56T bytes total storage.

IBM plans to sell the system against products like EMC's Clariion AX150 and HP's StorageWorks 1000 Modular Smart Array (MSA 1000) and MSA 1500cs.

Drawn to the fast growth of the SMB sector, technology vendors have launched an array of products for small businesses in recent months, from laptops and desktops to CRM (customer relationship management) software and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony services.

HP said recently it would expand its SMB storage catalog by launching a yet-unnamed product in September. That system will offer 1T byte of storage for US$5,000, scaling up to a greater capacity for US$10,000.

By comparison, IBM will launch the DS4200 on August 25 at $11,474, charging extra for storage. At US$900 per 500G-byte disk, a dual-controller 1T byte system would cost about US$13,500 and a 4T byte system would cost about US$19,000.

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