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8 Key Players In Storage Virtualization

A thumbnail guide to the heavy hitters in this key storage arena.
COMPELLENT: The Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company's Storage Center software works with nearly any storage hardware to manage multiple disks as a single pool of storage. It also increases storage performance by scaling reads and writes across multiple drives in the pool. It supports any number of pools, each of which supports any number of volumes.

EMC: EMC Invista is a storage virtualization application that runs on intelligent SAN switches to allocate any storage to any application. The software is designed to increase application availability and storage utilization. It is tied closely to EMC's life-cycle management strategy. Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC put the product into general release in December 2005, but it is uncertain when top EMC partners will see it.

FALCONSTOR: IPStor from FalconStor, Melville, N.Y., is software that consolidates the capacity of multivendor storage devices including RAID, JBOD and tapes into a single storage network that allows access to block-level and file-level data via SCSI, iSCSI or Fibre Channel protocols.

HEWLETT-PACKARD: HP's flagship virtualization products include the XP, an OEM version of Hitachi Data System's USP, and a virtualization front-end appliance made specifically for the company by HDS. HP, Palo Alto, Calif., has also added virtualization to other products, including its own EVA arrays, virtual tape libraries and grid-based storage solutions.

HITACHI DATA SYSTEMS: TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform (USP), based on Hitachi Data System's disk array technology, allows up to 32 petabytes of storage from nearly any vendor to be connected behind it, including up to 322 Tbytes of internal capacity. HDS, Santa Clara, Calif., also offers the Network Storage Controller, which can virtualize up to 16 petabytes, including up to 72 Tbytes of internal storage.

IBM: SAN Volume Controller from IBM, Armonk, N.Y., is a fully integrated appliance with no internal storage, but instead connects to up to 2 petabytes of multivendor storage in a single cluster consisting of two nodes. Up to four pairs can be connected together.

SUN MICROSYSTEMS: Sun, Santa Clara, Calif., resells HDS's USP at the high end. The company also has its own midrange storage array, the StorageTek 6920, which can serve as the virtualization front-end for multiple Sun and non-Sun storage devices. Sun also produces virtual tape libraries.

DATACORE SOFTWARE: SANmelody software from DataCore, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., can be installed on any PC-based server to virtualize a pool of hard drives behind an iSCSI interface for Microsoft Windows environments. It has options for auto failover, high-availability and Fibre Channel.

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