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LSI snares tier one OEM for SAN SW

Who is the mystery SVM shopper? UPDATE: It's HP.

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A mystery OEM shopper has signed up to take LSI's SVM SAN virtualization software. LSI has just announced a major release for the software.

SVM was originally developed by StoreAge, a clever Israeli-based company which LSI bought in late 2006. Since then LSI has been re-architecting the product, adding thin provisioning and synchronous mirroring, and upping the number of snapshots and introduced role-based user domains.

SVM is enterprise-class SAN virtualisation software, and it's been a bit of a puzzle how LSI would sell it to enterprise end-users as its predominant business model is selling components to OEMs and through the channel. IBM's new DS5000 array, for example, is LSI's Engenio 7900 product. There is quite a lot of competition, such as IBM's SVC, HDS' USP virtualising controller and both FalconStor and DataCore software products, as well as EMC's InVista.

Asked how SVM is sold, Don Fautt, LSI's software marketing director, said: "We sell indirect to selected partners - high-quality storage system integrators who typically have relationships with storage OEMs. A tier one systems OEM has signed up to take SVM."

He wouldn't say who, but he did think that the OEM would rebrand SVM. That's a win for LSI.

Playing the guess-who-it-might-be game, we can rule out IBM as it already has SVC. We can also rule out HDS, as it has its USP product. EMC drops from the list because it's not a systems OEM. That leaves Dell, HP and Sun. Sun is fervently pushing its open source storage stack software concept and resells the HDS USP kit, so we can cross Sun off, leaving just Dell and HP.

HP resells the HDS USP kit, making it a slightly less likely option. Dell is an existing Xyratex customer, the EqualLogic PS arrays being Xyratex hardware, and it's a strong user of OEM-supplied product, such as EMC's AX and CX's Clariion. It has no block storage virtualisation product.

The likelihood is that Dell is going to provide its own brand SAN storage management product using the LSI SVM software. Dell has been asked to comment but wasn't immediately able to do so.

UPDATE: The mystery shopper is HP. It is producing a Storage Virtualization Services Platform which will virtualise several separate but connected EVA arrays into a single storage pool using the LSI software. ®

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