SuSE Steps Up to Storage Management Plate

A new technology for Linux

SuSE Linux AG unveiled Monday a new technology for Linux to aid storage management duties. Logical Volume Management (LVM) will enable Linux users to manage storage space independently of physical devices.

Although the technology is not yet productized. LVM gives SuSE a jumpstart in participating in the growing storage virtualization arena. Storage Virtualization allows administrators to create virtual partitions on large arrays of disks, making it easy to consolidate enterprise data.

With mature Storage Virtualization products, administrators create virtual partitions on storage systems, and can add or subtract space based on changing enterprise needs. Because the virtual volumes are independent of the hardware, these tasks can be accomplished immediately, without taking the system down. In traditional storage management, an administrator often has to take a system down and add a physical drive in order to add more storage space.

SuSE’s LVM technology uses an abstraction layer to separate physical device characteristics such as blocks and cylinders from file system features such as partitions and volumes. The abstraction layer allows data associated with the partition to be spread across cylinders or even drives.

It is unclear how SuSE will market the LVM technology – it is possible that NAS vendors will be interested in creating Linux-powered devices for consolidating storage for a number of systems onto a single NAS. In addition, SuSE might create a distribution geared toward SAN management.

About the Author

Chris McConnell is Product and Technology Editor for Enterprise Systems.