Adaptec in Storage Virtualization Buy

Storage systems for network access got a little hotter with networked storage provider Adaptec’s agreement to purchase storage virtualization software maker Elipsan.

Adaptec said Elipsan’s storage virtualization technology would help boost the scalability and performance of its RAID subsystems, which are multiple drives that work in tandem to provide better fault tolerance and performance.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based Adaptec also plans to marry Elipsan’s virtualization and business continuity features with its own RAID subsystems in order to eliminate the need for a dedicated server or management software for remote network access. The new capabilities will also make data backup and recovery faster on Adaptec’s subsystems.

Bristol, U.K.-based Elipsan was established as an independent company in March 2003 through the spin-off of the IPSAN division of Eurologic Systems Group Limited, which offers networked storage systems to the OEM and indirect channel markets.

Elipsan’s last product release was the Elipsan Shared Storage Manager on Windows Server 2003, which integrates with Microsoft’s Virtual Disk Service to provide users with disk provisioning and management of their storage area network (SAN) .

One of the reasons virtualization has grown so popular is that the amount of data is growing. When stored data grows, enterprises have to compensate by adding additional devices, or RAID subsystems to accommodate the growth. The more machines a business adds to a network, the more difficult it becomes to manage the data.

In the Adaptec/Elipsan agreement, virtualization will be used to help IT managers capture and corral storage capacity in one interface. But there have been a handful of virtualization acquisition attempts in the storage space of late that don’t pertain directly to storage.

The most famous was EMC’s $635 million bid for server virtualization player VMware in December. VMware’s software allows such operating systems as Microsoft Windows, Linux and NetWare to run simultaneously on the same Intel-based server or workstation, all while shuttling live applications across systems with no business disruption.

Earlier this month, Veritas moved to acquire application virtualization provider Ejasent for $59 million. Ejasent’s technology allows IT employees to move an application from one server to another without disrupting or terminating the application.

EMC and Veritas see virtualization as a method to bolster their utility computing strategies to allow computing resources to be accessed by customers on the fly.

Enterprise Storage Group Analyst Steve Kenniston discussed the virtualization momentum with

“I think what we’re seeing is a lot of folks in the storage business who are trying to pay attention to enterprise-class features for the mid-tier at a price the mid-tier is willing to spend, so this is how companies are trying to differentiate their products from other products in the mid-range by adding enterprise-class features,” Kenniston said. “Virtualization has never been just a feature — it is a platform from to build on, where users can add remote mirroring and replication features to provide more capabilities than a volume controller can provide.”

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