By Heidi Biggar
Proof that competitive companies can indeed cooperate, IBM and Hitachi Data Systems last month announced that they have swapped key application programming interfaces (APIs) for their respective storage arrays.
According to the agreement, IBM has licensed to Hitachi APIs for its "Shark" Enterprise Storage Server in exchange for key APIs to Hitachi's Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 arrays.
The swap, explains Mike Harrison, director of business alliances at IBM, enables the two products to communicate in a way previously not possible and without any "re-architecting." "Users can choose to install a Lightning array in an IBM Shark environment without having to write new software [to support key functions], and vice versa," he says.
Specifically, with access to Shark APIs, Hitachi can invoke IBM FlashCopy, Multiple Allegiance, and Parallel Access Volumes on its Lightning series, and IBM can support Hitachi NanoCopy and ShadowImage on its Shark arrays.
"This allows users to make decisions based on what's already on the floor," says Harrison. "And it enables users to bring multiple data centers with multiple technologies together."