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Volume 11, Number 17 -- May 10, 2011

Crossroads Supports IBM i 7.1, NPIV with SPHiNX Storage Device

Published: May 10, 2011

by Alex Woodie

Crossroads Systems used last week's COMMON conference as its venue for announcing support for IBM i 7.1 with SPHiNX, its disk-based backup device for cross-platform environments. The vendor also announced that it's now supporting NPIV, or N_Port ID Virtualization, which bolsters the communication between IBM i and the storage device.

Crossroad's SPHiNX is a line of disk-based backup devices that protect data living within IBM i, Windows, and Linux servers, as well as PCs. The offering functions as either a virtual tape library (VTL) for midrange host environments or a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for open systems environments. It connects to servers via SCSI or Fibre Channel, and emulates the tape libraries they're replacing.

The SPHiNX devices, which scale from about 3 TB to more than 10 TB, provide continuous data protection (CDP) backup and hierarchical storage management (HSM) capabilities, and can also be used to IPL an IBM i server--a unique feature that gives SPHiNX an edge over some other VTL offerings in IBM i environments.

With last week's announcement, Crossroads is now supporting IBM i 7.1, the latest release of the i5/OS and OS/400 operating system family. IBM i 7.1, which is just over a year old, is still a bit of a rarity in data centers, but the more proactive and advanced Power Systems customers are beginning to adopt it.

In addition to IBM i 7.1 support, Crossroads announced that SPHiNX can support NPIV in IBM i environments.

NPIV support, which IBM introduced with the launch of IBM i 6.1.1 in October 2009, allows the operating system to link through native Fibre Channel adapters in a Power Systems rack or tower server and talk directly to the high-end DS8000 storage area network (SAN) or TS3000 series tape libraries. IBM broadened its support of NPIV with the recent enhancements to IBM i 7.1 last month, and now supports NPIV connections to midrange DS5100 and DS5300 SAN arrays.

Crossroads made several other improvements to SPHiNX, including support for CIFS volume limit settings and 8 Gb Fibre Channel connections. The Austin, Texas, company also says it made performance enhancements, and reworked the GUI to bolster tape-related tasks.


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