EMC and IBM extend technology licensing agreement for IBM i interoperability

Infotech Lead India: EMC Corporation has extended its existing technology licensing agreement with IBM for interoperability with the IBM i integrated operating environment for IBM Power Systems by another two years, to 2017.

Under the agreement, EMC and IBM will continue collaborating to provide IBM i customers with jointly developed storage interoperability interfaces and technical support so that IBM i customers have the choice, flexibility and support to deploy a combinations of EMC storage with IBM Power Systems technologies. In addition, EMC announced the D910 interface, which was jointly developed with, and is supported by IBM.

“IBM i running on an IBM Power Systems server offers customers a highly scalable and robust architecture with a proven reputation for exceptional business resilience and low operational costs,” said Ari Kugler, IBM director Business Development, Power and z Systems. “The extension of this agreement with EMC to ensure broader storage compatibility and support is another example of the investments we are making to the future of IBM i as an important, strategic element in the IBM systems portfolio.”

The D910 provides EMC and IBM customers with a fully supported mechanism to use EMC FAST VP technology, while maintaining the benefits of a native IBM i device type and interface. With the D910 interface, IBM i customers have the flexibility to use high volume industry standard format Flash, Fibre Channel, SAS and SATA drives and to exploit the performance and efficiency benefits of these drive types in native IBM i environments.

EMC and IBM engineers worked together to develop the new D910-099 device type, which is a native 512 byte block FBA (Fixed Block Architecture) interface that is supported by hosts running IBM i 6.1.1 and later, as well as EMC VMAX 20K and EMC VMAX 40K storage arrays running VMAX Enginuity software (v5876 and later).

The D910 native IBM i interface eliminates the need for specially formatted 520 byte per block disks in the external storage array, without requiring the use of the IBM VIOS layer.

EMC and IBM have been supporting innovative technologies for IBM i customers. In 2005, EMC and IBM added cooperative support to the existing agreement, providing a mutual response to joint customer issues. Further in 2006, EMC and IBM extended the existing agreement to provide customers with access to a range of storage interfaces and functionality for the IBM i platform, and agreed to a mutual exchange of open-standards based interfaces for improved manageability and interoperability. In 2010, EMC and IBM again extended the existing agreement and began creating specifications for the new D910 device type and interface.

“EMC continues to drive innovation for the unique needs of mission critical virtualized data centers. By extending our agreement with IBM, we’re committing to continue innovating to bring even more value to Power Systems customers running IBM i environments,” said Peter C. Conway, vice president Enterprise Storage Division, EMC.

“This exclusive collaboration between EMC and IBM—with the development of technologies like D910—unlocks the ability for our customers to leverage all of the advantages of EMC VMAX storage natively in IBM i environments—helping customers to preserve and extend their mission critical investments in IBM i,” Conway added.

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