RealTime IT News

HDS, Sun Virtualize EMC Systems

Hoping to take advantage of EMC's influence on the storage market, Hitachi Data Systems and Sun Microsystems have added virtualization support for EMC storage systems.

Hitachi said in a statement its TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform virtualization software will run on EMC Symmetrix DMX 800, 1000, 2000, 3000 and Symmetrix 3000, 5000 and 8000 storage systems. The company will offer support for EMC Clariion CX systems by the end of January.

Sun's StorEdge 9990, which is Sun and HDS' co-branded version of the HDS Lightning 9900 series and which features virtualization capabilities from TagmaStore, also now supports the exact same systems.

Virtualization technology allows customers to harvest storage from several machines in one farm, or pool of data that can be easily accessed through a single console. Its appeal lies in its ability to create business operating efficiencies by consolidating systems and provisioning resources appropriately in a network.

HDS' TagmaStore, for example, appears as a Fibre Channel Standard interface to all storage devices connected via Fibre Channel . No API exchanges are required. EMC customers can use the virtualization software layer within TagmaStore to perform asynchronous remote copy and logical partitioning on Symmetrix and Clariion systems.

Yoshinori Okami, general manager of storage systems development at Hitachi, said clients can take a Clariion system and virtualize it to store mainframe data on SATA disks.

Customers might also take a DMX system, attach it to a TagmaStore and virtualize it as part of a logical partition, assigning resources to an application. Users could also shuttle data from Clariions to Symmetrixes and vice versa, mimicking a similar capability HDS has achieved between its Thunder and Lightning system lines.

IBM's SAN Volume Controller and SAN File System also support EMC systems. Developing software that is interoperable with EMC hardware has become popular because EMC does not yet offer virtualization capabilities to customers. Competitors like IBM and HDS are hoping to take advantage of EMC's gap.

However, the Hopkinton, Mass., company will offer a Storage Router early this year, promising significant virtualization features.

Research firms like Enterprise Storage Group believe storage virtualization will re-invent storage networking based on the tremendous value it brings by reducing cost and complexity, allowing customers to pool resources from several machines onto one.

Vendors like IBM, HP and HDS have been busy answering customer requests for such perks the last few years. By porting TagmaStore and StorEdge 9990 to EMC hardware, HDS and Sun believe they can offer more choices for customers.

In addition to supporting EMC, the Universal Storage Platform works with HP StorageWorks XP Disk Arrays, IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server, and Sun StorEdge systems. Other storage devices will be added in 2005.