IBM to roll out new virtualization offerings

IBM Corp. is set to release new capabilities in storage and systems management software that the company said Monday will improve performance and also speed data backup and recovery in complex IT environments.

The cornerstone of the upcoming releases will be Virtualization Engine TS7510 software, which will connect to Unix and Windows systems, rather than just mainframes, said Pete McCaffrey, director of Total Storage for IBM. The software will allow systems managers to back up data to a virtualized tape library on the server and then offload the data to tape storage later. That process can speed the time needed to back up and restore data, according to IBM.

A single-node, entry-level 5T-byte configuration starts at about US$175,000, with a dual-node maximum configuration that can handle up to 46T bytes of data starts at about $695,000. The TS7510 will be available worldwide Oct. 28.

A couple of weeks later in mid-November, the company will release TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller version 3.1 for a starting price of $43,000 for a base configuration. The updated version will scale to support four times more servers than the previous version, so more than 1,000, with a performance boost of 50 percent, McCaffrey said.

The new version will allow customers to keep their copy services in the disk arrays or move them to their networks. In past versions, customers had no choice but to use the copy services that are part of the SAN Volume Controller.

Also on tap is IBM Director 5.10 systems management software, which will be generally available Oct. 26 for customers who have xSeries and BladeCenter servers, and will be available in the fourth quarter for those with iSeries, pSeries System z9 and zSeries servers. IBM expects to announce at the end of this month that the software will be capable of monitoring and managing non-IBM, Intel-compatible hardware, the company said.

Available as of Monday are new IBM Advanced Cabling Technology switches, priced in the U.S. starting at $1,999. The switches can be installed, upgraded and downloaded remotely through an Ethernet connection and are meant to enable management of complex IT environments from a single control point.

The Ready for Virtualization partner program also launched Monday. ISVs (independent software vendors) will be able to test and validate virtualization software on IBM’s eServer systems.

The program complements the Ready for Grid program IBM announced last week. ISVs will be able to obtain information about the program at IBM’s Web site, the company said.

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