IBM launched an entry-level storage product on Tuesday to compete with Hewlett-Packard (HP) and EMC for customers in the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) sector.
Intended for businesses with 99 to 1,000 employees, the System Storage DS4200 Express offers many of the features and functions of IBM's high-end DS4800, but has lower performance and capacity in order to offer a price small enterprises can afford, says Harold Pike, a marketing manger for IBM, of Armonk, New York.
The new product can perform FlashCopy backup (also called point-in-time copies), VolumeCopy duplication (a clone of the entire data set) and remote mirroring, a process that creates a data backup in a remote location, Pike says.
It stores data on 500MB Serial ATA drives, scaling from two to 112 drives for a range of 1TB to 56TB total storage.
IBM plans to sell the system against products like EMC's Clariion AX150 and HP's StorageWorks 1000 Modular Smart Array (MSA 1000) and MSA 1500cs.
Drawn to the fast growth of the SME sector, technology vendors have launched an array of products for small enterprises in recent months, from laptops and desktops to CRM (customer relationship management) software and VoIP (voice over internet protocol) telephony services.
HP recently said it would expand its SME storage catalogue by launching a yet-unnamed product in September. That system will offer 1TB of storage for US$5,000, scaling up to a greater capacity for US$10,000.
By comparison, IBM will launch the DS4200 on August 25 at US$11,474, charging extra for storage. At US$900 per 500MB disk, a dual-controller 1TB system would cost about US$13,500 and a 4TB system would cost about US$19,000.