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IBM slays Shark, intros Power5 storage monster

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IBM has hit out against EMC and Hitachi with a pair of new storage systems meant to revitalize the high-end of its product line.

Come December, customers will be able to start purchasing the DS6000 and DS8000 systems - IBM's marketing department clearly pays little attention to the storage side of the house. These boxes will replace existing Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) or "Shark" systems and give users an option between a type of pay-as-you-go system in the DS6000 and a plain monster in the DS8000. IBM is looking for the new kit to help it compete against Hitachi's TagmaStore system, announced in September, and EMC's latest Symmetrix released in February.

The smaller DS6000 can scale from just 580GB on up to 67TB. The box runs on IBM's older Power4 chips and is meant to go up against systems that sit on the midrange/high-end borderline such as EMC's CX700 and Symmetrix DMX800.

The dual-controller system can hold 16 drives in a 3U case and replaces IBM's own FastT900. The DS8000 is a more advanced box that ships with IBM's latest Power5 processors and partitioning technology for carving up the box to handle different tasks. IBM will ship a couple different versions of this box with the biggest, baddest one handling up to 192TB of data. The system is a direct replacement for the Shark and has all the virtualization goodies in IBM's arsenal. It's initially being offered in two-way and four-way controller designs, but IBM will scale these configurations up over time.

IBM would only say that the new boxes start at $97,000 for a fairly basic configuration.®

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