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IBM has infiltrated deeper into EMC's storage line with a new version of its SAN (storage area network) Volume Controller software.

A number of organs mangled the news around IBM's fifth release of this software, saying this is the first time IBM's code has been able to manage EMC's hardware. Not true. In April, IBM released version 1.2 of the SAN Volume Controller product and was able to tap into all of EMC's Symmetrix boxes but only some of its CLARiiON systems. With the latest software, IBM can now cover the entire CLARiiON line as well, including EMC's relatively new CX700, CX500 and CX300 boxes.

IBM has been quite proud of its ability to manage systems from both EMC and Hitachi. It's a real leader in the heterogeneous storage market, don't ya know.

"IBM's Virtualization Engine Suite for Storage truly disrupts the storage industry by freeing technology and purchasing managers to leverage a multi-vendor disk hardware strategy without suffering many of the traditional management costs associated with heterogeneous storage," said Jens Tiedemann, a GM in IBM's storage software group. "With this announcement, IBM's SAN Volume Controller takes its place as the killer application in the storage industry and as the leading virtualization solution whether measured by performance, scalability or device interoperability."

The SAN Volume Controller software runs either on a low-end Intel-based server or on a Cisco switch. It gives customer a way to manage hardware from various vendors with a single software package and is aimed primarily at block-level tasks. IBM's SAN File System - code-named Storage Tank - performs similar functions for file-level tasks.

The SAN Volume Controller package starts at $60,000. ®

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