IBM announces mid-range deduplication appliance

Company's also adds policy engine to high-end SONAS storage system

IBM this week unveiled a new mid-range deduplication appliance that will be start at half the price of the its current low-end data reduction gateway.

At the same time, the company also announced enhancements, including a new policy engine, to its enterprise-class SONAS network-attached storage (NAS) array.

IBM's new mid-range 2U high (3.5-in) ProtecTIER TS7610 appliance sits between an application server and its primary storage array, such as the IBM XIV storage system.

The deduplication technology comes from IBM's acquisition of Diligent Technologies Corp. in 2008. In the fall of that year, IBM brought out the first ProtecTIER product based on Diligent technology.

And earlier this year, IBM released the ProtecTIER TS7680 gateway device for mainframes.

The ProtecTIER TS7680 carries a price tag of over $100,000, and features two-node clustering for up to a petabyte of storage capacity per system under one management interface. By comparison, the new ProtecTIER TS7610 has a starting price of around $50,000, and is available in 4TB and 5.4TB configurations, according to Brad Johns, manager for storage marketing at IBM.

IBM is currently taking orders for the ProtecTIER TS7610 and expects shipments to begin on Aug. 6.

The upgraded SONAS enterprise-class NAS array can provide both private cloud-based storage for enterprises and act as a cloud platform for SaaS providers.

The low-end model can scale from 27TB of capacity using 60 15,000-rpm serial-attached SCSI disk drives with 450GB each. A base model can start at 60TB using 1TB Serial ATA drives and scale up to 7,200 drives and 14 petabytes.

The list price for the SONAS NAS array starts at $500,000.

The new SONAS policy engine allows system administrators to set up business policies for placing data on tiers of disk. The policies are based on how often it is used. The policy engine can also be set up to migrate data to tape archive systems or to delete it after a set time period.

For example, you could set up a policy that would migrate data that's untouched for 90 days to tape, reducing disk space use and cost, Johns said.

The policy engine can simultaneously scan up to 10 file systems per node in order to migrate data from higher performance disk to lower-end drives or to external storage pools. Coupled with new IBM Tivoli backup software, the policy engine can also be set up to asynchronously replicate data over an IP network to a secondary site for disaster recovery purposes.

The policy engine software is free as an update for existing SONAS customers, but users will be required to pay for an additional license in order to use it with Tivoli software for offsite replication.

IBM is also offering 600GB capacity serial SCSI (SAS) drives in the array, which offer 25% more capacity than its previous 450GB drives.

IBM is also now selling its SONAS NAS system as a gateway device for its XIV storage array, enabling both NAS and SAN traffic. Perspective users can order the new SONAS NAS configurations today. IBM expects to begin shipping them Aug. 13.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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