IBM and Hitachi Data Systems, a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., on Wednesday said they will work together to extend interoperability between the two companies' storage servers.
IBM has agreed to license to Hitachi the storage application programming interfaces (APIs) for its Shark Enterprise Storage Server, the companies said in a statement. In turn, Hitachi has licensed two APIs to IBM for the Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 Series storage system. APIs are programming code or instructions that in this case are used to access and share data between storage servers and devices.
By having the APIs, Hitachi will be able to maintain compatibility with IBM's Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC) and Extended Remote Copy (XRC) and will now be able to support such functions as FlashCopy, Multiple Allegiance, and Parallel Access Volumes (PAV) on its Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 Series storage system.
IBM's PPRC and XRC services are data copy functions useful during storage-system disaster recovery. Flashcopy provides point-in-time replication of data. PAV and Multiple Allegiance work to boost the performance of data servers and mainframe computers.
IBM will gain APIs for the Lightning 9900 Series, which will give them support for Hitachi's NanoCopy and ShadowImage functions for the Shark server. NanoCopy allows making point-in-time copies and dealing with disaster recovery of data. ShadowImage assists with making multiple point-in-time copies within a single storage system, the companies said.
IBM and Hitachi Data Systems' announcement comes just two days after a group of six storage vendors, including the two companies, agreed to provide customers with cross-vendor, interoperable storage area networks (SANs) and greater support services. The companies working together are Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., EMC Corp., Hitachi Data Systems, IBM and McData Corp.
Specifically, the agreement calls for the vendors to give customers the ability to run a variety of storage system products off of a single, shared Fibre Channel. In addition, vendors will be able to contact each other and share information to streamline the troubleshooting of issues arising in multivendor storage environments. The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) assisted with the SAN agreement that took about six months to iron out.