NationsBank Corp. recently converted nearly two terabytes of customer data - equivalent to about 500 million pages of text - to a new storage system developed by EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, Mass.

The system will speed certain retail transactions, such as those done on automated teller machines, and improve the security of account data, according to Earl Roberts, vice president of storage management for the Charlotte, N.C., bank.

Two 540-gigabyte EMC disk storage systems were used in the data conversion, which was done on four weekends in May and June. (A terabyte equals 1,000 gigabytes.) They replace older devices made by International Business Machines Corp., Hitachi, and EMC.

Unlike other data storage devices, which require a bank's system to shut down while a data conversion is done, EMC's software let NationsBank keep its account data and ATM functions active during the conversion, Mr. Roberts said.

The conversion required disconnecting the older data storage systems from NationsBank's mainframe, connecting the old systems to the new EMC system, then connecting the EMC system to the mainframe.

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