IBM debuts virtual storage solutions

IBM has made good on its storage software roadmap with the launch Thursday of its TotalStorage Virtualisation family.

Its first virtualisation solutions include SAN Volume controller - a storage virtualisation solution for integration in an existing mid-range to high-end customer SAN, a SAN Integration Server, and SAN File System.

IBM's senior sales specialist, storage, Garry Barker, said virtualisation set up an intermediate layer providing a pool of storage.

Storage virtualisation provides a single view of and easy access to all storage resources on a network to help companies maximise use of its storage capacity and ease use and management of multiple storage systems.

The business benefits of the solutions, which are built to open standards, Barker said, are less disruption, reduced errors, higher availability and lower cost.

He said the solutions, which have been in beta test in Australia for "some months" had produced positive feedback from a number of local IBM customers, but would reveal no other details.

He said solutions were especially suitable for companies with complex storage needs, and the greater the complexity, the better the returns would be. Barker said he believed small to medium size companies would be the early adopters with large enterprises slower to move.

Entry-level configurations of SAN Volume Controller will be about $US75,000 and will be available by the end of July.

The SAN File System, based on StorageTank technology from IBM's reseach, and built for open systems will allow policy-based storage management.

Barker said the system will put the "data in the right place", to reduce the pressure on storage managers.

"It will reduce people involvement, it will also reduce the cost of disks; some data can go to cheaper disks.

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