EMC, IBM extend storage strategies

EMC focuses on high-end arrays while Big Blue tackles virtualization software

EMC and IBM pushed ahead their respective storage strategies last week, with EMC releasing a high-end storage array system and IBM extending virtualization technology. EMC unveiled a juiced-up system with capability to store up to one petabyte of data. At the same time, IBM unveiled a virtualization engine and strengthened its relationships with several storage partners.

EMC’s Symmetrix DMX-3 increases processing power with reconfigured, faster internal bandwidth and new mirrored memory technology. As of release time, the new array will support a maximum of 960 disk drives and will be qualified to support up to 1,920 drives by the first half of next year, said Barry Burke, EMC’s director of Symmetrix marketing.

“By the second half of next year, the DMX-3 will support more than 2,000 disk drives,” Burke said. Although the DMX-3 is a high-end system, it will also support the LC-FC (low-cost Fibre Channel) disk drives expected to appear in 2006, said Burke.

EMC also introduced two new data migration tools last week. Open Migrator/LM is designed for Windows and Unix systems and LDMF (Logical Data Migration Facility) is designed for mainframes. LDMF allows the migration of mainframe data while applications are running, said Burke. EMC developed the product with Softek Storage.

IBM introduced its Virtualization Engine 2.0 software last week. Based on open interfaces, it uses a building block approach to virtualization, said Rod Adkins, IBM’s vice president of development for the systems and technology group. “Companies have adopted virtualization technologies slowly because of the large social and technical changes they bring with them,” he said.

IBM hopes to change that by taking a more open standards approach to its products, Adkins said. Virtualization Engine 2.0, for instance, will not just work with IBM systems, but also with software and hardware from Cisco, VMware, and Network Appliance.

IBM anad NetApp also said they would extend a partnership to cover virtualization. The companies plan to integrate IBM’s storage virtualization with NetApp’s V-Series and FAS storage systems.