IBM has released details of two key elements of its TotalStorage road map for automating storage allocation and management, as part of its wider vision of the on-demand operating environment.
Due for release in the early summer, TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) - previously codenamed Lodestone - is a network-based device which handles storage control.
TotalStorage Common File System (CFS) software for heterogeneous file sharing, also known as Storage Tank and codenamed Newport, is scheduled to arrive before the end of the year.
Other elements of the road map include a central common information model-based device management tool and more advanced storage management.
Jens Tiedemann, vice president of marketing for storage software in IBM systems group, said rapid growth in storage and the need for data availability for internet and access by partner companies meant total automation of storage handling was becoming increasingly attractive.
"With SVC we are actually cutting the umbilical cord from the server to where the data is stored for the first time," said Tiedemann. "This is the only way you can add more storage without taking the system down."
The TotalStorage SVC device, now in final beta, is a 1U high, rack-mounted IBM xSeries server containing four 2GBps fibre channel interfaces, dual Pentium IV 2.4GHz processors, a 4GB cache and a stripped-down Linux-based embedded operating system and software.
Multiple SVC 'nodes' plug into the storage area network (San), working in clusters to prevent any single point of failure. Servers 'see' the nodes but not the physical disks or how data is stored. This means maintenance and upgrades are non-disruptive.
Steve Legg, IBM senior architect for SVC, said benefits included the ability to guarantee performance and availability levels, and ease of installation.
Virtualisation also leads to data fragmentation over time but, because with SVC parts of every logical unit (LUN) can be combined to make a virtual LUN, the fragmentation does not occur, Legg explained.
Initially SVC will have limited disk support. Legg said this was because different disk types behaved inconsistently on failure, and so needed individual testing.
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