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Commerzbank To Consolidate On IBM Storage Devices

The German bank also has plans to create a virtual storage system with 450 terabytes of capacity.

Commerzbank AG, one of Germany's largest banks, said Friday that it's consolidating its storage infrastructure, now spread out over more than 100 devices, onto 13 IBM DS8000 devices, to be managed using IBM's Productivity Center software. The bank also plans to create a 450-terabyte virtual storage pool out of these devices.

The setup, which is scheduled to go into production later this year, will allow different departments within Commerzbank to view the same information at the same time and utilize storage systems more effectively, said Peter Kraemer, head of IT production at Commerzbank, in a statement.

The DS8000s will replace more than 100 EMC Corp. and Hewlett-Packard storage devices. By consolidating onto a smaller number of devices from a single vendor, the bank can better manage data storage as well as make information more accessible, says Charles King, principal analyst at research firm Pund-IT. "Commerzbank took a look at its storage and decided the time had come to go from 100 devices down to 13 and gain a more integrated approach to storage management," he says.

It isn't clear how Commerzbank will create the virtual storage pool. It's "intrigued" by SAN Volume Controller, IBM's core virtualization product, and by logical partitioning, but hasn't yet decided to implement them, says Tom Hawk, IBM's general manager of enterprise storage. It could use virtualization products from other vendors but more likely will select IBM technology because IBM is expected to "further advance its virtualization capabilities," says Nancy Hurley, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Virtualization is a method of separating applications from the underlying physical storage by creating logical addresses. It enables tasks like device upgrades and data replication to be accomplished without impacting users. IBM this week said that 1,000 customers, mostly small and midsize businesses, have deployed SAN Volume Controller. IBM also revealed plans to extend its logical partitioning feature, which breaks a single physical device into two, to run data-intensive programs directly within the storage device instead of on a server.

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