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Issue of November 2003 

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IBM set to roll out Storage Tank

It has been in the pipeline since 1999 and will be unleashed in mid-November 2003. IBM is about to release its virtualized storage technology dubbed 'Storage Tank,' which is designed to speed information access, sharing and management. This technology will be incorporated into a product called IBM TotalStorage SAN File System.

Storage Tank technology virtually ties together storage servers in multiple locations over an IP network, and then presents those individual resources as a local file system that any server can access.

The IBM TotalStorage SAN File System is designed to provide a single, centralized point of control to manage files and databases, which can help simplify administration and result in lower TCO.

IBM said the SAN File System is targeted at transforming the economics of SAN storage by allowing customers to better use existing hardware investments through a software virtualization layer.

Built with autonomic and Grid technologies from IBM Research, the SAN File System has an architecture that can eventually support thousands of computers, petabytes of data, and billions of files. SAN File System incorporates technology such as policy-based file provisioning, distributed file locking, and file-based FlashCopy function. These features are designed to help increase performance when sharing information, and to improve productivity by automating routine data management tasks. For example, the policy-based file provisioning function is capable of automatically allocating space for files into storage pools using rules defined by a customer.

Two versions of TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller software will be released—a version for OEMs (including Hitachi and HP), and another version that will be designed into a Cisco MDS 9000 caching module.

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