Hitachi Limited, Hitachi Data Systems and IBM announce cross-licensing agreement

On June 6, 2001, Hitachi Limited, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and IBM announced a cross-licensing agreement for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for certain storage subsystem functions for the Hitachi 9900 storage subsystems and IBM ESS 2105 (Shark).

Hitachi has licensed to IBM the following APIs:

  • NanoCopy
  • ShadowImage

IBM has licensed to Hitachi the following APIs:

  • Peer to Peer Remote Copy (PPRC)
  • Extended Remote Copy (XRC)
  • FlashCopy
  • Parallel Access Volumes (PAV)
  • Multiple Allegiance

These licensing agreements include the current specifications for these APIs, and there is intent to continue these agreements for future versions of the APIs. Although each company will be able to provide access to all the functions described by their respective APIs, the actual implementations within each storage subsystem may differ. Hitachi may provide some of the features described above in its 7700 storage products, as well as its 9900 storage products, because they use similar internal architectures. The cross-licensing agreements were made public on June 6, 2001, but some of them were in place before that date.

Evaluator Group Comments

We applaud this agreement because

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it provides choices for both Hitachi and IBM customers. Customers will be able to extend their storage infrastructures with either the Hitachi 9900 family or IBM Shark, and be assured that their operational procedures can be identical for either storage platform, optimizing administrative and training costs. This agreement will keep customers from being locked into one vendor?s storage solution.

This agreement is similar in spirit to other interoperability announcements made by various storage vendors. This is part of an important trend towards true interoperability of storage solutions.

To view another analysis and commentary in this month's review series from the Evaluator Group, go to http://www.searchStorage.com/tip/1,289483,sid5_gci754317,00.html

The Evaluator Series and Evaluator Series On-Line (ES/OL) are trademarks of Evaluator Group, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

This was first published in July 2001

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