IBM on Tuesday announced product details for its long-awaited storage virtualization products, due this summer.
Virtualization is the management of disparate hardware as a single pool, but over the past few years has been limited to minor starts and stops, and perhaps more hype than could be fulfilled, industry pundits have said.
IBMs own products were delayed multiple times, but now, "Were not just coming out with a point virtualization product. There probably will be more," said Jeff Barnett, manager of market strategy for storage software, in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
The first product, SAN Volume Controller, will ship July 25, starting at $60,000, and will integrate with non-IBM storage later this year, Barnett said. It runs on an IBM eServer xSeries with Linux, he said.
The IBM SAN File System—better known by its research project name, StorageTank—will ship in December, Barnet said. "Its a way to aggregate file systems across the servers connected to a SAN. It uses IP connectivity for metadata communication for each of the servers connected to it," he explained.
Building StorageTank involved 10 patents, and as a result, it will have a up to a decade of shelf life, he said.
Both SAN Volume Controller and SAN File System/StorageTank communicate with other IBM software by using the evolving Common Information Model, he said.
IBM also announced SAN Integration Server, a bundle of SAN Volume Controller with either IBMs midrange FAStT storage or high-end Enterprise Storage Server (Shark) hardware, and with switches and cabling all pre-configured, he said.
SAN Integration server is available now, starting at $140,000. It also connected to IBM Linux servers.