IBM Knocks Down Support Barriers for SAN File System

A new version of IBM's TotalStorage SAN File System enables customers to more easily apply policy-based management and share data files across mixed storage environments.

IBM announced on Tuesday that it is boosting porting capabilities in its SAN File system software to embrace a host of competitors storage devices while enabling customers to more easily apply policy-based management and share data files across mixed storage environments.

Available in late June, IBM TotalStorage SAN File System V2.1 incorporates virtualization to support all IBM and non-IBM SAN (storage area network)-attached storage systems, from competitors such as EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Network Appliance Inc., Hitachi Data Systems and Sun Microsystems Inc.

The enhanced products software layer has been built with no limit to the amount of storage that can be supported, shared or accessed. Version 2.1s autonomic features allow a customer to implement a centrally managed hierarchal-based storage infrastructure capable of storing data based on value and minimizing the need to create duplicate copies of data, said IBM officials.

In addition to improved user interface, security and availability features, OS support for the storage product will include Red Hat Linux Enterprise Server 3.0 and Sun Solaris 9.

Buoyed by the positive reception of utilizing a software virtualization layer to break down storage server support barriers for its IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller offering in April, analysts said IBM deserves kudos for staying on track with its software management and virtualization engine strategy.

"At the end of the day, what you have to see [in a mixed storage environment] is exactly what is supported, how much [storage] is required, and where it is," said Charles King, an analyst at Union City, Calif.-based The Sageza Group Inc. "Heterogeneous storage management has been something that has been discussed in the industry for such a long time. EMC is obviously IBMs biggest target."

While King said EMC does not currently have a comparable alternative to IBMs SAN File System, he did note that a number of different roads exist for Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC to achieve heterogeneous storage management across its product set.


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