IBM has announced a TotalStorage Productivity Center suite, which provides storage infrastructure management under new software called the TotalStorage Open Software Family.

On top of that, Big Blue has announced: Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM - Tivoli Storage Manager for Space Management); Archive Management (Tivoli Storage Manager and Storage Manager for Data Retention); and Recovery Management (Tivoli Storage Manager).

These four storage functions "talk" to storage devices through a storage virtualisation layer, the company said. IBM has essentially combined its existing Tivoli storage management products with its storage virtualisation offerings, such as its SAN Volume Controller.

The Productivity Center suite, which includes a freely downloadable user interface, includes:

  • Tivoli Storage Resource Manager
  • Tivoli SAN Manager
  • TotalStorage Multiple Device Manager (MDM)
The suite provides centralised management of multiple storage hardware entities, heterogeneous SAN management, error detection and analysis and storage resource management. It aims to improve storage capacity utilisation by locating and identifying wasted disk space. It will also track SAN storage device performance, monitor and manage SAN fabric components (zoning) and manage storage replication.

IBM says the suite is modular but integrated. Brian Truskowski, general manager of storage software for IBM, said Productivity Center "centralises and also automates storage infrastructure management, reducing the need for human intervention."

EMC already has its ControlCenter storage management offering. Softek has its Storage Manager offering. So in a sense IBM is late to the integrated storage management party.

MDM is a new product. It enables storage administrators to configure storage devices from a single console, monitor their performance, provide replication facilities, and manage them. The performance monitoring can provide what IBM calls "best LUN recommendations".

There are two separately priced features - the Performance Manager and the Replication Manager. Each of these has common core Device Manager code. Performance Manager monitors I/O rates and cache utilisation. Replication Manager can automate source-to-target pairing and setup in replication operations.

Single offering
IBM now has a single storage management suite offering which can manage storage hardware, maintain storage networks and analyse performance metrics. Productivity Center uses workflow techniques to automate storage processes. IBM claims that the workflows "combine best practices with autonomic, sense-and-respond technologies to adapt to changing conditions" - which can be translated as policy-based storage management automation.

There are two IBM sub-brands involved with this: Tivoli on the storage management side and TotalStorage on the storage infrastructure side. It appears that the Tivoli branding is being downgraded as the umbrella framework is called the TotalStorage Open Software Family.

The openness comes from support for the SNIA's Storage Management Interface Specification (SMI-S), so software can manage compliant heterogenous storage hardware. For example, Productivity Center can track and monitor the performance of SMI-S-compliant storage devices in SANs. IBM products that are supported include Enterprise Storage Server (Shark) and FAStT.

The Archive Management function will address regulatory and legal compliance matters, as well as archiving e-mail and other data.

The HSM part is possibly the foundation for a future information lifecycle management offering. Without it, IBM appears to have a weaker offering than either EMC or StorageTek.

IBM's Productivity Center will be available in May with US pricing starting at $5,000 (£2,745).