IBM enhances virtualization software

IBM this week trotted out the latest version of its storage virtualization software, which includes support for all EMC Symmetrix and Clariion storage systems.

Storage virtualization software allows users to view and manage various storage devices as if they were one, large logical storage unit.

“Being able to manage all of EMC’s storage was a big milestone for us, because it rounds out our ability to manage a greater number of storage environments,” said Roger Wofford, IBM worldwide product marketing manager for storage software.

In addition to EMC and IBM boxes, the virtualization software also supports all Hitachi systems and most HP storage. Wofford estimates the software supports more than 90 per cent of the storage devices from Tier 1 suppliers. IBM will continue to add support for other suppliers in later versions, such as HP and Sun arrays OEMed from Hitachi.

Peter Farquharson, manager of technology integration for the City of Saskatoon, Sask., has been using IBM virtualization software since last April. The primary reason for installing the software was flexibility, he said.

“We don’t have to do as much reallocation and reconfiguration of the physical storage devices with the virtualization engine in place,” he explained.

The city is currently an all-IBM shop, but the multi-vendor support might be useful down the road, Farquharson, said.

“As our storage needs grow, we’re going to be open to other vendors and other kinds of storage,” he said. “The more they do with other vendors, the more opportunity it provides us.”