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IBM Surpasses 1000 Customers With Data Virtualization Software

Staff Writer
Published: 2005-03-31

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IBM announced a watershed moment in the storage industry, surpassing 1,000 customers who have simplified their infrastructure with IBM's data virtualization software.

Customers such as IKON Office Solutions, Oakwood Healthcare System and the City of Saskatoon in Canada have helped increase their system utilization rates with IBM Virtualization Engine technology for storage.

Cisco Systems, is the landmark 1,000th customer to select IBM's storage virtualization software. Cisco will deploy IBM storage virtualization software in conjunction with the Cisco MDS 9500 Series of Multilayer Directors. The synergy offered by the combined technologies will allow Cisco IT to more efficiently manage pools of storage and multiple SAN fabrics.

Storage virtualization helps simplify infrastructures by managing the complexities of the underlying storage environments and is designed to help dramatically reduce costs associated with IT management using techniques such as creating a single virtual pool of information across the enterprise. Storage virtualization is a key component of IBM's Information On Demand strategy which is helping clients to integrate their business processes to better meet core functional requirements.

"IBM is delivering virtualization at every level of the system -- providing a holistic, end-to-end approach. IBM offers the industry's broadest range of storage virtualization capabilities from software to disk to tape solutions," said Andy Monshaw, General Manager, IBM Storage Systems. "No other vendor can match IBM's heritage in virtualization or unique approaches to simplifying our clients' infrastructures. Building on our broad set of Virtualization Engine technologies for servers, today's announcement marks a milestone in delivering innovation that matters for our clients and the industry."

With the announcement of its 1,000th customer using IBM's network-based storage software virtualization for data on either IBM or non-IBM hardware, IBM now has customers in more than 40 countries and 20 different industries.

IKON Office Solutions Inc. is the world's largest independent channel for integrated document management solutions and systems, enabling customers worldwide to improve document workflow and increase efficiency.

"We considered storage virtualization as a key differentiator to simplify our IT infrastructure and optimize our existing technology," said Jay Skibinski, CIO, IKON Office Solutions. "IBM's storage virtualization software and the SAN Volume Controller was one solution that gave us hardware independence to our various storage devices. With this technology, we are currently improving our system performance and storage utilization rates."

Another recent storage software implementation was completed by Oakwood Healthcare System. A network of more than four hospitals in Southern Michigan, the organization worked with IBM Premier Business Partner Logicalis to install IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization software. Oakwood Healthcare System is currently installing IBM TotalStorage SAN File System as part of an infrastructure simplification program to simplify file and data management by providing tiered storage pools that can be automatically managed.

"We felt that we were under-utilizing our storage infrastructure, and storage virtualization software can help us create virtual storage solutions that dramatically improve our utilization by more than 30 percent and simplify our infrastructure," said Brian Perlstein, Information Technology Technical Architect, Oakwood Healthcare System. "The combination of IBM's storage virtualization technologies has helped us create a granular approach in managing our storage devices and allows us to create tiered storage solutions that work across any hardware platform and help us achieve definite cost savings."

The City of Saskatoon, in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, is using IBM storage virtualization technology to manage the city's data storage within its SAN. Comprised of an IBM Enterprise Storage Server and an IBM TotalStorage DS4300, the data centre stores all the municipal government's data, from financial and land ownership records, to the water and electrical utilities' billing data. The centre will soon be physically divided into two separate locations, giving the city hardware availability in case of a power outage.

"Our data centre stores all our city's data and being able to move that data from one storage device to another is incredibly powerful," said Peter Farquharson, Manager of Technology Integration for the City of Saskatoon. "IBM's storage technology lets us pool our storage capacity and allocate it across servers as required. We load one set of drivers regardless of the physical storage device we use. The SVC just runs -- it's simple."

Virtualization Roadmap

IBM pioneered innovative logical partitioning or LPAR capabilities within select DS8000 systems to help reduce the need to have separate storage systems. IBM plans to introduce additional LPAR capabilities in the future allowing clients to take advantage of lower costs associated with scaling while increasing the security of separate, distinct storage subsystems. IBM also sees value in providing customers with applications running in storage system LPARs in the future to help increase the speed of backup and recovery.

In storage software, IBM plans to extend SAN File System's ability to achieve additional information lifecycle management efficiencies with the inclusion of tape support for additional transparent and non-disruptive file movement among storage pools.

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