With 4.5Mbyte-per-second channels, a line of 3990 disk controllers that provide four data paths and a mirror disk option, faster access 7.56Gb and 2.5Gb 3880 disk drives, IBM yesterday announced all that was expected of it, and for good measure threw in a compact 3380 that includes its own 3880 controller in a single unit. […]
With 4.5Mbyte-per-second channels, a line of 3990 disk controllers that provide four data paths and a mirror disk option, faster access 7.56Gb and 2.5Gb 3880 disk drives, IBM yesterday announced all that was expected of it, and for good measure threw in a compact 3380 that includes its own 3880 controller in a single unit. The downside is that while the faster channels and new disk drives will be available in October, the 3990 controllers needed to do them justice will not be available until a year from now. The new 3990 controller comes in three models, 1, 2 and 3, but only the Model 3, which can be also be fitted with 32Mb, 64Mb, 128Mb or 256Mb cache, supports the faster channels. The Model 1 is ef-fectively a replacement for the existing 3880 Models 3 and 23, using 80% fewer circuit boards, less power, and taking up less floor-space. It is field-upgradeable to the Model 2, which adds support for four separate channel paths, and the 2 is upgradeable to the Model 3, which offers the four cache options, and also the dual-write mirror disk facility and a battery-powered 4Mb area of cache for security. Data can be sent to this part of the cache at channel speed, eliminating the time normally needed to write data to disk. The 3880 Models 21 and 23 can be field-upgraded to attach to 4.5Mbps channels, and the Models 3 and 23 can be upgraded to support two strings of the 7.56Gb drives, but no date has been given for the upgrades. The new disk drives are the 3380J and K and the 3380CJ. The Js, coming in AJ4 and BJ4 versions store 2.52Gb but offer 33% better seek time thanks to improved head technology. The AK4 and BK4 store 7.56Gb, and Js can be upgraded to Ks. The new 3380 CJ2 with integral controller, out one year from now, stores 1.26Gb and sup-ports two 3Mbps channels from the same or diferent CPUs; the CJ2 supports up to three of the new BJ4 and BK4 drives in any combination to create a two-path string. It offers the lowest entry price into 3380 disks, and sounds as if it will be offered on top-end 9370s. No US pri-ces were available, but in the UK, the head-of-string AJ4 drive is UKP65,778, the BJ4 is UKP47,761; the 7.56Gb AK4 is UKP112,319, the BK4 is UKP94,104 – prices similar to the existing ones for the 5.2Gb 3380Es. The Direct Channel Attach CJ2 is just UKP50,346. The 3990 Model 1 is UKP40,536; the Model 2 is UKP74,181; the Model 3 with 32Mb is UKP135,010; with 64Mb is UKP222,328; with 128Mb UKP396,964; and with 256Mb, UKP746,236.