IBM has claimed a storage management victory over EMC, saying it can now control its leading competitor's entire line of storage arrays with the latest version its SAN Volume Controller appliance.

IBM said its virtualisation device, SAN Volume Controller Version 1.2.1, can now manage EMC's mid-range arrays, the Clariion CX300, CX500 and CX700. Mid-range systems are the fastest-growing segment of the storage market, according IDC.

"With this announcement, we have made IBM's SAN Volume Controller the killer application in the storage industry and the leading virtualisation solution, whether measured by performance, scalability or device interoperability," Jens Tiedemann, general manager of IBM TotalStorage Open Software, said in a statement.

In May, IBM announced that it could provision storage from EMC's high-end Symmetrix array and its Clariion CX200, CX400 and CX600 arrays. Two weeks ago, Big Blue then said it had added EMC's newest high-end Symmetrix array, the DMX. This is on top of HP's and Hitachi's line of storage arrays.

Virtualisation is the ability to create a layer of abstraction between application servers and the storage that supports them, allowing capacity from multiple storage boxes to be served up as if from a single pool. The technology reduces management interfaces and allows a storage administrator to control a larger portion of a company's storage resources.

"It makes perfect sense for IBM to support Clariion, the industry's leading mid-tier networked storage system," an EMC spokesman in response to the announcement.