IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) Product Overview

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IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) is hardware that provides storage management and protection for data stored in a variety of systems and environments, including on-premises locations. 

IBM SVC integrates with multiple IBM enterprise products, including Spectrum Virtualize and HyperSwap. IBM SVC serves enterprises that not only need to automate their storage management technologies, but that also want to ensure they have multiple copies of data stored in remote locations. SVC was first released in 2003.

Learn all about using IBM SVC for storage management and disaster recovery in this review: 

A Closer Look at IBM SVC

What is IBM SVC? 

IBM SAN Volume Controller is a storage management device for controlling volumes of stored data and automating data protection. SVC integrates with IBM Spectrum Virtualize software, part of the Spectrum storage family, which provides data services, like copy services, encryption, and data reduction technology. Through its integration with SVC, it performs block deduplication.

SVC integrates with other IBM storage and data management software: its HyperSwap integration allows servers in multiple data centers to access data at the same time. IBM FlashCopy also provides up to 256 snapshots of active data for backup.

SVC is independent of storage type, so it can manage data from multiple systems and environments. For example, data from a cloud and a file storage array. 

Also read: Best Deduplication Software for Managing Data

IBM SVC Features

  • Support for container platforms Red Hat OpenShift and Kubernetes
  • Support for remote mirroring, a disaster recovery technology that creates multiple copies of data at different locations
  • Automated storage tiering through Easy Tier, including flash storage and multiple drive tiers 
  • 32 PB  of usable capacity
  • Six 9s of data availability
  • Improved availability by deploying SVC hardware in pairs 
  • IBM FlashCopy functionality that creates snapshots of active data for backups
  • Volume replication across three sites 
  • A variety of storage and server attachment options, including NVMe RDMA, iSCSI, FC-NVMe, and Fibre Channel
  • SV3 model with 2.4 GHz Intel IceLake CPU, 24 cores

The integration with IBM Storage Insights software also includes:

  • Network switch and fabric monitoring to identify problems that could affect storage performance 
  • A single management console to view all block storage
  • Analytics that draw from at least two EB worth of storage that is being managed 

Also read: Top Data Mirroring Trends

IBM SVC Benefits

IBM SVC helps enterprises:

  • Manage data from multiple storage systems: Over 500 IBM and non-IBM solutions are supported, IBM says. With SVC, enterprises can set controls for multiple storage types. 
  • Manage storage in a variety of environments: This is especially helpful for companies that are running on-premises servers, while also using cloud storage solutions. 
  • Protect stored data in case of an outage or data breach: Although SVC isn’t a full-fledged data protection solution nor a security platform, its disaster recovery features, like remote mirroring and support for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, provide multiple ways to retain critical data. 
  • Save costs by tiering data automatically: Enterprises are able to put data where it actually belongs by using flash and multiple drive tiers. This saves costs when cold data goes to a lower-cost storage system, for example. 

Also read: Top Storage Provisioning Trends

IBM SVC Pricing 

Potential buyers must contact IBM directly to receive a quote for SAN Volume Controller pricing.


For both enterprises that use IBM storage systems and those who don’t, IBM SAN Volume Controller covers a large amount of ground, including supporting hundreds of storage solutions and a variety of deployments. It doubles as a storage maintenance and tiering product and a disaster recovery and data protection tool. If your company already has IBM storage solutions or wants to implement protective features, like snapshots, high availability, and data reduction, consider IBM SVC.

Also read: Best Backup Solutions for Ransomware Protection

Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a staff writer for Enterprise Storage Forum and eSecurity Planet, where she covers data storage, cybersecurity and the top software and hardware solutions in the storage industry. She’s also written about containerization and data management. Previously, she wrote for Webopedia. Jenna has a bachelor's degree in writing and lives in middle Tennessee.

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