SGI teams with LSI on virtualization platform

By Kevin Komiega

—SGI this week unveiled a virtualization appliance and software that provide a vendor-agnostic way to migrate data in any storage environment without application downtime.

The SGI Virtualized Storage Migration Solution (VSM) is an appliance that plugs into a SAN infrastructure and moves block-level data between heterogeneous arrays. The appliance is based on LSI StoreAge's Storage Virtualization Manager (SVM) platform and software and allows users to migrate data by indicating a source volume and a destination storage pool.

The split-path, fabric-based appliance consists of control path modules (CPMs) and data path modules (DPMs) that run the LSI StoreAge SVM software and aggregate available capacity into centrally managed storage pools. It allocates sized volumes to servers and allocates additional capacity to servers on-demand.

The out-of-band architecture separates the data migration functions from data management and, as such, does not affect performance.

The appliance is equipped with rollback capabilities that allow IT administrators to recover from any migration until the point at which they are satisfied that data has transferred successfully.

Because it provides a single common toolset across multiple heterogeneous storage platforms, the VSM allows for data migration from any storage device to any other. At the same time, users can choose how much of their current environment they want to migrate, deploying as much or as little new storage as necessary.

Ken Won, SGI's director of enterprise data management, says the interoperability of the VSM can save enterprises significant up-front costs by not having to invest in large-scale, Tier-1 storage platforms.

"In the past, customers were often focused on one big vendor and found that they were getting locked in with no flexibility to go with a competing vendor," says Won. "We simplify migration in an environment consisting of arrays from multiple vendors and allow users to respond much faster to business requirements."

Won claims the VSM does more than just move data from one array to another. "It creates the foundation for additional data services, including disaster recovery, snapshots, and backup—services typically available only with high-end arrays," he says.

Services such as replication, mirroring, disaster recovery, and rapid restore can be centrally managed via the LSI StoreAge software.

The price of a VSM implementation varies widely based on the complexity and size of the environment. For example, an entry-level implementation with 15TB of capacity, the VSM hardware appliance, software, licensing, and services costs approximately $120,000. Users can scale up on a per-terabyte licensing model.

This article was originally published on February 13, 2008