IBM has modified its network-based storage virtualisation management software to run on Cisco's network switches - a move likely to be copied by other switch vendors.
IBM's TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) software will run on Cisco MDS 9000 multi-layer intelligent SAN directors and fabric switches.
Steve Cliff, IBM's EMEA sales manager for storage virtualisation, said the appliance was vendor-agnostic but claimed the switch option would attract Cisco switch users and resellers.
"It is the very first switch-based virtualisation product to come on the market. For Cisco users it means everything is in one place, so it takes less space," he said.
Cliff added that the functionality was the same as the standalone product, with no difference in performance.
Paul Evans, technical services manager at Sagitta Performance Systems, which resells the IBM SVC, said: "There's a position for both products.
IBM's is more scalable and independent from the San, while Cisco's provides a single box with all the functionality, which is very attractive for a fresh installation."
Evans added that, while other switch vendors had made company purchases to develop virtualisation software in-house, the IBM software was already tried and tested.
According to Cliff, many IBM server resellers also supply Cisco kit, and work is progressing on identifying Cisco storage suppliers rather than working with ISPs.
IBM will start shipping version 1.1 of the software this week with Cisco, updating it in the first quarter of next year, Cliff added. The initial Cisco release, due to ship on 5 December, uses version 1.0 of IBM's software.
Cisco has developed a cacheing services module blade for the switch to host the IBM software. This includes two hot-swappable nodes, with dual Risc processors and 4GB memory. The total cost is about £67,000.
Telco also announced series of initiatives to drive digital growth in the UK
Nana Baffour opens up on Getronics' mammoth acquisition of Pomeroy
Analyst predicts SaaS will remain the dominant segment in the market as it grows 17 per cent in 2019
NSS Labs claims vendors are refusing to have their products tested effectively and are trying to restrict its access