IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC)

SVC integrates virtualisation, management and storage functions into a single point of control to simplify the implementation of virtual storage infrastructures. SVC provides an easy-to-use graphics interface for centralised management. This management interface helps administrators perform storage configuration, management and service tasks more efficiently for any number of storage systems regardless of the storage vendor. This means all storage devices have access to all the SVC storage services. An intuitive-to-use graphics interface is used to access storage systems and services regardless of the vendor software.

This is done by pooling all storage resources. After server virtualisation such as PowerVM, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere, storage virtualisation SVC is the one to choose on the way to Software Defined DataCenter. SVC combines hardware and software together to create an integrated modular, high-scalability solution. SVC data engines are always configured in HA clustered pairs. Up to four pairs can be connected to one single cluster system with up to 128 processor cores, 512 GB cache and 96 FC ports that can manage up to 32 PB virtualised storage capacity.

The SVC Real-time compression function supports hardware compression acceleration to increase effective capacity of storage systems up to five times. Easy Tiering provides automatic migration of frequently accessed data elements among tiers of storage. Combined with thin provisioning, this optimises the existing storage array. As a performance tier any directly connected SSD extension housings can be used via SAS3.

The IBM FlashCopy function creates a copy of active data at a defined time (e.g. a "snapshot") that can be used for backup or parallel processing. A maximum of 256 copies of data are supported.

The 99.999% proven reliability of the hardware and software used in the SVC is a decisive factor when implementing and deploying a virtualisation concept in comparison to many other software defined storage solutions.