By Kevin Komiega
—IBM today announced a series of storage and server virtualization products, including the availability of the eighth release of its TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) virtualization appliance with a new set of replication services for heterogeneous storage.
IBM says SVC version 3.1 gives users the option of keeping their data copy services in the disk array or moving them into the network through the use of the product's virtualization capabilities.
The new replication features available in the SVC release will allow end users to set up cost-effective, tiered storage architectures through mixing and matching different classes of storage both locally and at remote sites.
The SVC combines the capacity from a set of disk arrays into one virtual storage pool, which can be centrally managed. According to IBM officials, the SVC allows for advanced copy services across heterogeneous storage systems from multiple vendors.
"We recognize that some customers have invested in scripting and tools around a particular vendor's replication and copy services," says Rich Lechner, vice president of TotalStorage for IBM. He says this release of the SVC enables customers to take advantage of advanced virtualization while protecting existing investments in infrastructure and management.
The 3.1 version of SVC also features more support for different server platforms, operating systems, and clustering software.
The announcement was part of a larger virtualization launch spanning servers, applications, and storage as IBM brings more of its mainframe management technology to the open systems world.
The overarching product line, dubbed Virtualization Engine, includes virtual tape and systems software offerings.
On the tape front, Virtualization Engine TS7510 software marks the company's first foray into virtual tape for Unix and Intel servers. The TS7510 moves data from primary storage to disk and ultimately to tape for archival and data-retention purposes. IBM says the TS7510, like all virtual tape library technologies, takes advantage of the speed of disk technology to improve performance and reduce the backup window.
"The value of virtual tape is that it increases performance and reduces the overall time required for backups," Lechner says.
IBM also made several announcements related to server virtualization and management under the Virtualization Engine umbrella, including the availability of a new set of virtualization wizards for configuring multiple partitions on Unix and Linux servers and a new version of the IBM Director systems management software for iSeries, pSeries System z9, and zSeries servers.
Also in support of its virtualization push, IBM began a new partner program called "Ready For Virtualization," which lets independent software vendors (ISVs) test and validate interoperability of virtualization hardware and software products with IBM's platforms.