IBM, Datacore get virtual

To keep pace with the competition, IBM Corp. is releasing two storage virtualization products by the end of July designed to help existing customers derive better utilization of storage assets.

Dubbed TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller and SAN Integration Server, the appliance and the system, respectively, represent Big Blue’s initial foray into storage virtualization with its own technology. Previously Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM had licensed software from DataCore Software Corp., which released a new version of its SANsymphony virtualization software this week.

According to Jeff Barnett, manager of storage software market strategy at IBM, the market is just now ready for virtualization technology.

“Virtualization is moving from hype and fear into reality,” Barnett said. He explained that performance concerns are fading, and that IBM has performance numbers proving the viability of the technology.

Claiming 280,000 I/O operations per second, TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller scales to manage as many as 2 petabytes of pooled storage.

SAN Integration Server features two SAN Volume Controllers, a FastT storage array, and two Fibre Channel switches from Brocade Communications Systems.

Augie Gonzalez, director of product marketing at Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based DataCore Software notes the IBM offering is aimed only at helping customers running IBM storage systems. He argues that a true virtualization solution doesn’t care what servers, storage, or switches are deployed.

Last week DataCore rolled out Version 5.2 of its SANsymphony, building auto-provisioning, replication, storage resource management, and visualization in to one product — something “clearly absent from IBM’s road map,” Gonzalez said.