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Storage developers work together

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Five storage networking leaders have co-operated to jointly develop two storage area network (SAN) solutions designed to streamline storage management and offer multiple protective and data availability options through interoperability.

Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, Inrange Technologies, StorageTek and Veritas Software have combined products and expertise to develop the open SAN solutions, which consist of multivendor disk and tape storage as well as multivendor backup/restore software, all connected through a highly scalable networking fabric.

The solutions also support the Supported Solutions Forum (SSF’s) ‘competitive solutions set’ criteria because they contain competing disk and tape storage, and also represent a ‘companion solution set’ as they offer the choice of vendor tape backup/restore software as differentiators, according to The Enterprise Storage Group founder and senior analyst Steve Duplessie.

“This is the type of interaction that has been sorely lacking in the industry - players getting together to solve real customer problems,” Duplessie said.

“This is what will accelerate overall market demand.”

The new solutions, which have completed interoperability testing, can be expected to reduce complexity and lower storage costs by allowing users to consolidate storage islands and manage them with less effort, according to SSF chairman Marc Oswald.

“As data volumes explode and storage networks continue to increase in size and functionality, customers are demanding storage solutions that enable interoperability of heterogeneous storage systems, with the ability to provide application servers with storage capacity as needed,” Oswald said.

“Today’s announcement is evidence of storage vendors working together at both a business and technology level, for the good of the customer to provide interoperable multi-vendor storage networking options that have high value and solve real world business problems.”

Oswald said design highlights of the new SAN solutions include:

· A 192-port fabric, comprised of cascaded 64-port and 128-port Inrange FC/9000 directors;

· IBM Enterprise Storage Server and Hitachi Data Systems Freedom Storage Systems servers, configured in the same data zone;

· IBM 3494 Tape Library with 3590E tape drives, and StorageTek L700 Tape Library with 9840 and 9940 tape drives, configured in the same data zone;

· Veritas NetBackup and Tivoli Storage Manager software applications, tested as separate solutions, to perform LAN-free backup/restore of disk storage to/from tape libraries;

· Complete path failover, dynamic multi-pathing and load balancing for all disk accesses using Veritas Volume Manager with Dynamic Multipathing (DMP) disk storage volume-management software; and

· Sun and Windows-based servers configured with access to all storage targets, operating across both disk and tape data zones.

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