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IBM bombs world with storage blitz, but...

One's whelm is undered

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Comment Today IBM carpet-bombed the world with its storage showcase. Shock and awe it wasn't.

The flavour of the event, much of which was pre-announced, was given by a URL reference on the main release to "a full listing of all the products and services announced today." It was broken, with the IBM response page saying: "Our apologies...The page you requested cannot be displayed." It sets the tone.

What did we get?

  • First there is the Caspar project, a way of filing image and other data with fulsome metadata so that they can be displayed hundreds of years hence when systems have no idea what a CD or DVD or JPEG is. Thank you, Big Blue. It solves no problems today.
  • Then there is Project Quicksilver, already announced, with a 4TB SSD array producing 1 million IOPS, but it's just a demo.
  • Racetrack memory, already announced, could "within the next ten years" lead to far higher capacity storage devices. Yup, I remember Project Millipede and its nanoscale hammmers. Sorry but I'm not that impressed.
  • Power management for storage. Another 'not product'. Instead, new algorithms and models will be incorporated in IBM capacity planning tools.

This is beginning to smack a little of desperation.

  • Diligent de-dupe products - yes, yes.
  • Onsite and remote data protection offerings through the Arsenal acquisition. Find out more here. Oops, the link is broken. Ah, Armonk is full of teasers.
  • TS3500 library holding 3PB in 10 sq ft of floor space, almost twice as much as Sun's big library. This is described by IBM as: "a new high density tape storage library frame is being introduced ...More information on the TS3500 can be found here." But the 3584 tape library was renamed the TS3500 in May 2006! The hot link destination doesn't tell you anything that's identified as being new. If there is something new here it's being presented in a very odd way.
  • Upgraded DS8000 with RAID 6 and a 50 per cent capacity increase - but no SSD (solid state drive). How EMC will be laughing. Want to find out more? Go to this IBM-provided link and find out about the already-released DS8000 Turbo. What a tease that Big Blue is. No new meat here then.
  • Larger drives for DR550 archive tape+ disk store. Finding out the actual drive capacities involved is like pulling hens' teeth. I gave up.

Altogether, IBM announced "more than 30 new products and services" today. But this is less a serious product announcement than an agenda for a thorough customer storage overview session.

The actual big news today, gleaned from the four IBM press releases, is that IBM is not adding SSDs to its DS8000. The rest of it mounts to nice-sounding intentions, gee-whiz research blue sky stuff, could-be products and already-revealed products. There could well be actual new products and services here, like the Diligent and Arsenal items, but they are lost amidst the mass of other stuff.

Whoever planned this announcement bundle is well qualified to plan the George Bush re-election campaign. What's that? There isn't one? Exactly. ®

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