Seagate subsidiary XIOtech Corp., has taken virtualization "outside the box," or at least outside its Magnitude SAN box. The Eden Prairie, Minn.-headquartered storage company, has announced the third generation of its storage virtualization technology with REDI SAN Links and REDI SAN Links Replicator.
REDI SAN Links software allows heterogeneous servers attached to a Magnitude SAN (storage area network) to access storage volumes on remote Magnitudes, allowing for a scalable enterprise storage system that ranges into petabytes of storage capacity. The other offering, REDI SAN Links Replicator provides the same Fibre Channel connection as the first, but it packs an added punch with the ability to copy individual storage volumes from a local Magnitude to a remote Magnitude and remote mirroring capabilities.
"Most of the so-called virtualization that you see is aggregation, not virtualization," said Richard Blaschke, executive vice president of marketing for XIOtech. Blaschke added that the new virtualization software utilizes logical files as opposed to physical characteristics to achieve true virtualized storage. "[With our technology] you can mix and match drives, capacity and technology. The REDI SAN Links Replicator offers remote mirroring and allows Magnitude to become an initiator, or a target, or both," he said.
Blaschke explained that the scalability is possible through the use of Fibre Channel 'v-links.' "V-link is a pointer that expands the logical volume from one Magnitude to a second, to the nth."
According to XIOtech, the REDI SAN Links products are the next step in their push to develop a truly open, heterogeneous SAN that has true virtualized storage volumes across all operating platforms.
Blaschke pointed to XIOtech's recent membership in the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) as an indicator of his company's commitment to interoperable storage systems. "We want to drive what SNIA does. "Do I wish that our virtualization technology would become an industry standard? Yes. Do I think it will? Probably not," he said. "We intend to open [our virtualization] to other vendor's storage devices, it's already coded for that and is on the testing boards right now."
Future product rollouts will include support for all major platforms, including Linux. Pricing for SAN Links starts at $20,000, while SAN Links Replicator carries a $40,000 price tag.
"The core concerns of our customers are growth, availability, compatibility, and staffing shortages. Virtualization attacks all of these concerns," Blaschke said.