IBM SAN Volume Controller

IBM SAN Volume Controller

IBM SAN Volume Controller

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In computer data storage, the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) is a block storage virtualization appliance that belongs to the IBM System Storage product family. SVC implements an indirection, or "virtualization", layer in a Fibre Channel storage area network (FC SAN).


SVC is always deployed as a cluster of nodes. Each node is a 1U high rack-mounted appliance based on an IBM System x server (SVC machine type is 2145). Each node has at least four Fibre Channel ports and is protected by a dedicated uninterruptible power supply. A node runs a Linux kernel and a specialized Virtualization Storage Software environment, that provides proprietary clustering capability. Each node has a service controller which provides a 2-row display, and a 5 button keyboard used to configure, service and monitor status.

SVC is based on COMmodity PArts Storage System (Compass) architecture, developed at the IBM Almaden Research Center. The majority of the software has been developed at the IBM Hursley Labs in the UK.

The SVC is a gateway device, meaning it sits between the hosts and the storage arrays, presenting itself to hosts as the target and presenting itself to arrays as the initiator. All FC ports on the SVC are both targets and initators, and all FC ports on all nodes MUST be zoned to each other to allow communication between the...
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