IBM 2008 February 12&26 announcement of 1st quarter storage updates, new N-series products and other items

In DR550, DS8000, IBM, N-Series, N7900 by Administrator

IBM’s announced new z/OS storage capabilities, new N series hardware and functionality enhancements, new channel ready packaging for DR550, new director class switch, and support for ½ height LTO-4 drives in their lower end tape automation products.

DS8000™ and z/OS announcements

IBM continues to enhance mainframe storage.  The IBM System StorageTM DS8000TM under z/OS 1.10 will support volume sizes that can expand past the  64K cylinder cap called Extended Access Volumes.  In addition, IBM HyperPAV complements this by extending normal Parallel Access Volume services to support more I/Os against these larger volumes.  It is expected that VSAM applications (CICS and DB2) will be the first to use these new volume sizes and this support will be eventually rolled out to other data set types/access methods.  Fewer and larger volumes help reduce the administrative burden to manage storage.

In addition, IBM Extended distance FICON, another new feature is designed to eliminate much of the need for special purpose FICON channel extenders for DS8000 z/OS global mirroring (XRC) and allow the use of more standard FICON channel extenders for long distance.

Additional z/OS storage enhancements include:

  • IBM z/OS Global Mirror (XRC) System data mover processing savings by offloading this activity to zIIP processors
  • IBM GDPS HyperSWAP in a 3-site z/OS Metro/Global Mirror configuration will support faster resynch with new incremental resynch capability that only transmits changed data rather than resynching the complete volume after site swaps
  • IBM Basic HyperSwap single site volume failover is now provided with z/OS using IBM enterprise disk systems and IBM Metro Mirror

N series announcements

IBM together with NetApp their OEM partner, have rolled out 4Gb/s FC support across the N series product line as well as support for 1TB disk drives.  In addition they have implemented dual core processing in the N7900.

They also announced new SnapManager support for MS Office SharePoint content management systems.  The new SnapManager allows N series Snapshot to backup and restore SQL SharePoint content databases and restore database sub-components.  In addition, N series can now protect multiple SharePoint server portals from a single management console.

DR550, SAN Switch, and Tape announcements

Two new channel ready packages for DR550 have been created the DR1 and DR2.  DR1 supports up to 37TB of capacity while the DR2 goes up to 168TB and includes a HA option with synch and asynch replication.

IBM has introduced the SAN768B director class switch, the latest version of Brocade’s data center backbone switches, in a one-frame version for their market.  The new switches include onboard 8Gb/s and support a high port count (384 FC ports).  The SAN768B supports interoperability with both McData and Brocade switches as well as FICON and FCIP support.

IBM’s first-to-market half height LTO-4 SAS tape drives can now be used in the TS3100 and TS3200 tape automation products.  LTO-4 tape technology supports hardware encryption, WORM, 800GB native capacity, and 120MB/s throughput.

Announcement significance

The mainframe is still a moneymaker for IBM.  They continue to enhance hardware and software services to try to make the mainframe a platform of choice for new applications.  N series announcements continue to advance the hardware platform and introduce new integration with popular MS applications driving storage consumption.  The other storage announcements were

  • New DR550 packages to enable better channel penetration.
  • New SAN switch product to enable the next generation of protocols/performance
  • New LTO-4 half-height tape drive attachments to provide better more economical tape storage.

One could argue that the half-height drive should have attached to the tape automation from the start but here it is finally.

A PDF version of this can be found at

IIBM 2008 February 12 & 26 announcement of 1st quarter storage updates

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