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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Small Business Servers: IBM Offers Stripped Down Tivoli to Businesses

IBM joins other small business servers and storage vendors to provide condensed software packages in order to attract small businesses to enterprise-style storage management. Late last week the company introduced a group of new software, including a trimmed-down version of Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). Called TSM Express comes with just backup unlike its high-end enterprise variety. Regular TSM offers back up to both disk and tape, whereas TSM Express only backs up to disk.

TSM Express also operates only Windows platforms instead of supporting 13 different operating systems that include HP-UX, Sun Solaris and Linux among others.

Although TSM Express lacks many of the features of its enterprise version, it is a great deal cheaper than the pricey expanded edition. It starts at $195 per processor instead of $620 for the full-featured model. The express version also offers continuous data protection for just $35 per laptop or desktop.

Many non-profits and other small businesses with tight budgets have agreed that cost has always been daunting for products like Tivoli provided by small business servers. Most still feel that despite the pared-down offerings of TSM express, it would help speed up the process of backing up files. The lack of support of TSM Express for programs other than Windows also doesn’t necessarily pose a problem, since most small businesses use that operating system exclusively.

IBM Tivoli Storage Systems spokesperson says that many smaller businesses are looking for storage programs that are low cost and easy to use, which is how the company decided to downsize the enterprise version of Tivoli. TSM Express is designed for firms that have no more than 25 storage servers.

IBM is not the first in the world of small business servers to create downsized packages. Symantec created Backup Exec last year. Backup Exec, however, offers support for more operating systems, including Unix, Linux and Windows. However, the price for this software is significantly higher than TSM Express at $795.

IBM plans to expand TSM Express offerings in the future to include broader support in its new release for Linux. The program will be available March 17.

Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg