Migrating to IBM's newest storage platform just got a little easier. IBM has tapped software provider XOsoft Inc. to develop migration tools for its TotalStorage SAN File System (SAN FS).
This week, Burlington, Mass.-based XOsoft said it will work with IBM on tools that will let users migrate data without taking servers offline or rebooting systems, which will help reduce downtime and lessen the amount of lost data. XOsoft's WANSync product will serve as a non-disruptive data migration feature through its "soft-installation" technology, which allows administrators to deploy the software transparently. XOsoft will also port WANSync to IBM's AIX operating environment.
In addition to being able to use WANSync for data migration, IBM's users will be able to activate WANSync for disaster recovery and high availability for their servers.
XOsoft's CEO, Leonid Shtilman, said IBM chose his company's software because it was compatible with the TotalStorage SAN File System and, more important, the software does not disrupt critical systems during the migration process.
"We have an ability to install our replication software without rebooting and without restarting databases," Shtilman said.
IBM Global Services will migrate users to the TotalStorage SAN File System by downloading temporary licenses for WANSync. Once the migration is complete, the software will remain on the end users' servers, and XOsoft will enter those user environments to offer full software licenses to the end user, according to Shtilman.
WANSync synchronizes servers to remote replicas, keeping them refreshed and available with continuous, real-time replication. WANSync is also application-aware, providing versions tailored specifically for Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL and Oracle databases. WANSync supports Sun Solaris, Windows and Linux. WANSync also supports cross-platform capabilities for heterogeneous environments.
IBM's TotalStorage SAN FS provides common file services in a storage network with the help of a metadata appliance. SAN FS enables policy-based file provisioning, distributed file locking and file-based FlashCopy to help automate and speed information-sharing and data-management tasks.
Ray Paquet, an analyst who covers network and systems management for Gartner Inc., said that if IBM hopes to attract users to its new SAN FS, it will need migration tools like XOsoft's.
Paquet believes IBM will partner with software vendors who span the spectrum, dealing in applications, databases and individual management tools. "I am quite sure that IBM will encourage everyone that they can to work with the new file system," he said. "A failure to attract ISVs here will guarantee that the file system fails."
For his part, Peter Gerr, research analyst for the Enterprise Storage Group Inc., had good things to say about XOsoft: "XOsoft's replication technology is very flexible and granular, allowing services such as business continuity or WAN-distance replication to be deployed for recovery purposes. XOsoft has some very powerful yet simple to use technology. Their goal is to maximize functionality while minimizing the impact of the installation and, to that degree, I think they've succeeded to date."
Gerr agreed that IBM will recruit other independent software vendors to add features, functions and values to the TotalStorage SAN FS.
"The other benefit I see is that partnerships like this one with XOsoft make it easier for IBM to encourage customers to adopt the SAN FS, to move to this platform and to consolidate their data sets using the migration features of WANSync," he said.
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