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IBM: Give hard drives the boot?

The company announced this week a new storage technology, called iBoot, that lets PCs and servers use computer networking to designate remote disk drives as their primary repository for data, instead of relying on internal hard drives.

Aside from allowing access to greater storage capacity, IBM researchers say using centralized storage instead of internal drives can help companies cut PC maintenance costs, saving on procedures like software upgrades for PCs. And, they say, iBoot could eventually boost server performance by letting manufacturers build thinner, diskless servers that can be stacked more closely together in a rack. iBoot also lets companies remotely boot PCs, without making changes to Windows or Linux software.

Developed by researchers in IBM's Haifa Research Lab in Haifa, Israel, iBoot uses the relatively new iSCSI networking standard, which takes advantage of standard Internet Protocol, to create a link between the PC and the remote disk drive. The PC then uses the remote drive to store all of its data, instead of storing on its own internal drive.

The iBoot technology is similar in philosophy to that used in mainframe computing. But while it centralizes some aspects of a PC, it differs from mainframes or other centralized computers, such as Windows terminals, in several ways, said Kalman Meth, manager of the lab's Network Attached Storage Group.

News source: ZDNet News - IBM: Give hard drives the boot?

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