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XIV gets SONAS booster shot

NAS gateway for block storage

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IBM has given its XIV block-access storage array product a SONAS gateway to enable it to store files. Big Blue has also created a low-end Diligent ProtecTIER deduplication appliance.

IBM's SONAS, which stands for Scale-Out Network Attached Storage product, targets very large NAS environments with the NetApp-based N Series being sold by IBM to mainstream NAS customers. SONAS is a development of IBM's GPFS (General Parallel File System) and can now be bought as a software gateway using XIV storage as its data store. In effect it is a NAS head for XIV and XIV thereby gets a kind of unified storage moniker.

SONAS now also provides policy-driven movement of files between disk storage and TSM-managed tape storage, a feature announced six months ago when SONAS was first publicly outed by IBM. This is carried out using a policy engine.

Each SONAS node can execute policy engine searches at a rate of ten million files per minute and flag files for movement across storage tiers - fast SAS to slower SATA to really slow tape - or other actions. Files moved from disk to tape have a stub left behind for access.

SONAS has an added asynchronous replication facility, on top of the existing synchronous capability, to send files to remote SONAS installations. It now supports 600GB SAS drives in its own hardware, complementing the 450GB ones which were previously offered. There is a hint by IBM Senior IT Storage Consultant Tony Pearson that SONAS might allow mixed drive types in its storage enclosures in future.

Elsewhere in its storage line-up IBM has introduced the ITS7610 ProtecTIER Deduplication Appliance Express, which is a low-end version of its Diligent-based deduplication technology. It is a pre-configured, bundled system with server, storage and ProtecTIER deduplication technology that can support up to 135TB of backup data. ®

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