October 12, 2004
NEW YORK - International Business Machines Corp. countered Hitachi Ltd.'s September announcement by unveiling its own high-end storage server it claims puts it in the lead in that market.
IBM also introduced Tuesday a smaller storage server, based on a common architecture with the high-end device, the DS8000. This smaller server is aimed at the needs of medium-sized businesses and runs off the upstart Linux operating system.
IBM called the introduction of this family of systems its most important storage announcement in more than a decade.
Dan Colby, an IBM general manager, said the high-end device gives the company credibility in that market as it surpasses rivals' offerings, including Hitachi's TagmaStore, which Hitachi unveiled Sept. 7.
This "gives us the bragging rights" for top-of-the-line products, he said.
By having the high-end DS8000 share a common hardware and software architecture with the smaller DS6000, which is targeted toward midsize companies, IBM blurs the line between high-end and midrange products, Colby said. That means customers don't sacrifice reliability if they buy the DS6000, he said.
The two products are managed using the same software, unlike products made by Hitachi, EMC Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., Colby said, making the family more attractive to customers.
Both go on sale Dec. 3 for minimum prices of $97,000 for the midrange server and $134,000 for the high-end product.
When several midrange devices are chained together, they have a maximum storage capacity of 67 terabytes. The high-end product supports up to 96 petabytes.
Shares of Armonk, N.Y.-based computer giant IBM were at $85.78 in early afternoon trading Tuesday, down 85 cents, or 1 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange.
Stock of Japan's Hitachi, an electronics components and industrial equipment giant, was at $61.70, down 47 cents, or 0.8 percent, on the NYSE.