IBM creates entry-level Gateway

IBM Corp.'s customers kept saying that the company's network-attached storage (NAS) solution costs too much for many of their needs, and IBM officials have listened, introducing an entry-level NAS Gateway 500 priced some 40 percent less than the previous starting point.

Users can now start with a single processor version for just less than $32,000 and scale over time with no change in the footprint to an eight-processor system.

"Once they install the entry-level version the customer doesn't have to do a thing to upgrade," said John Foley, IBM's marketing director for the Gateway 500. "All the software functionality they need is already there."

Customers pay for the added per-processor licensing and whatever hardware is needed, he said.

The previous two-processor entry-level system costs more than $57,000 and the four-way processor system comes in at $90,915. Each upgrade includes processor, memory, Ethernet and Fibre Channel adapters, redundancy with engine clustering and operating system mirroring, and data mirroring over IP and storage-area networks.

Along with the new system announcement, IBM also included three types of data mirroring: asynchronous and synchronous modes and what the company called Mirror Write Consistency (MWC).

MWC, which IBM officials say is unique to the Gateway 500 NAS systems, writes data to the local disk at the same time it's sent to a remote backup site, and the write is considered complete only when the remote site sends an acknowledgement that the backup has finished.

MWC is faster than synchronous mirroring and more reliable than asynchronous, company officials say.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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