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  1. Technology
September 12, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

The problem with offering your products on the OEM market as well as using them in your own machines is that you frequently find yourself competing with them in the market, and Waltham, Massachusetts-based IPL Systems Inc is embarrassing IBM with an answer to IBM’s new 9336 5.25 disk subsystem for the AS/400 that it claims is faster, 25% cheaper – and uses IBM’s own disk drives. IPL has adopted IBM’s new high-end 3.5 Winchester and built the 7636 Disk Array around it for AS/400 models B30 to B70. The array stores up to 1.8Gb, and is faster than the 9336 by virtue of the fact that it uses more disks so that more data can be accessed in parallel – and the company has priced it 25% below the IBM list price – IBM charges $39,000 for its 9336 unit with two 857Mb drives in it (see page two). The IPL offering is also available now, whereas some AS/400 users have to wait until March for the 9336. The 7636 connects to the 9406 CPUs via the existing 6110 feature and comes in three field- upgradable models, 600Mb, 1.2Gb and 1.8Gb, each with two 300Mb 3.5 disks for a maximum of six actuat ors against IBM’s maximum of four. It uses a 64Kb data buffer per actuator where IBM uses 128Kb; the 3.5 IBM disks used by IPL have 6.25mS latency and 12.5mS average seek time where the IBM 9336 has 6.02mS latency and 11.2mS access time. The IPL array comes in rack- mount and table top models and the former version takes three fifths of the rack space of the IBM unit.

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