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Big Blue keeps extending the competitive reach of its TotalStorage virtualization software for SANs (storage area networks). IBM on Friday said its TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller software now will manage all of rival EMC’s SAN arrays.

The software lets storage managers build complex, virtual networks of storage with products from IBM and other vendors.

That TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller can handle EMC Corp.’s arrays is not a new feature. With the spring release of TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller 2.1, IBM announced support for a number of EMC SAN units and for Hitachi Data Systems Corp.’s Lightning arrays.

At October’s Storage Networking World conference in Orlando, Fla., IBM said Version 1.2.1 added support for EMC’s Symmetrix DMX series as well as for Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Enterprise Virtual Arrays.

But with Friday’s announcement, IBM extends its virtualization engine to support EMC’s entire storage system lines, including the Clariion CX Series, which includes the CX300, CX500 and CX700 disk arrays.

Find out more about EMC’s rollout of its Clariion arrays in EMC Hardware Blowout on Tap.

IBM’s suite of virtualization products, including the Volume Controller and SAN File System software, will let storage managers “leverage a multivendor disk hardware strategy without suffering the traditional management costs associated with heterogeneous storage,” Jens Tiedemann, general manager of TotalStorage Open Software, said in a statement.

IBM said this latest version of its SAN Volume Controller has passed the Storage Networking Industry Association’s Conformance Testing Program, a certification of compliance with SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative Specification).

In addition, the latest release of the SAN Volume Controller improves the scalability of FlashCopy and Metro Mirroring replication services for large enterprise storage environments.

Meanwhile, IBM is due to ship in December its TotalStorage DS6000 and DS8000 series of SAN systems. According to IBM, the DS8000 runs six times faster than the current IBM Enterprise Storage Server 800 and can consolidate workloads that run on smaller systems.

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