IBM adds Bluefin to Shark server

IBM has made an early move to embrace a fledgling industry standard for storage management, announcing Monday that it will add a new software interface for its high-end Enterprise Storage Server (ESS).

IBM plans to deliver a Bluefin-compliant application programming interface (API) in February for the ESS system, better known by its former code name, Shark, said Jim Tuckwell, worldwide marketing manager for ESS at IBM.

Bluefin is backed by a long list of storage vendors who have agreed on a common interface for storage management software. The goal of the technology is to make it easier for administrators to access all of their storage hardware easily from a single console.

The new ESS API will work with IBM's ESS Model 800, Model 800 Turbo and Model F storage systems. Users will be able to perform basic tasks through the Bluefin interface, including the creation and masking of the LUNs (logical unit numbers) used to carve up storage space, Tuckwell said. The API will work with IBM's AIX operating system, Linux and Microsoft's Windows 2000.

The use of interfaces agreed upon by the industry should help to ensure that various software management packages can plug into a wide range of hardware. The storage industry is hoping to use the standards to erode barriers caused in the past by proprietary APIs.

In addition to the new API, IBM will give customers a performance boost to its high-end storage systems with the addition of new 72G-byte, 15,000 rpm (revolutions per minute) disk drives, Tuckwell said.

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