QLogic Corp., which makes storage switches and host bus adapters, last week rolled out software to help users manage both products at once.
SANsurfer Tool Kit will let customers administer QLogic switches and HBAs in a SAN (storage area network) from a single interface.
The tool kits set of APIs allows third-party developers to write hardware drivers to it, said Roger Klein, director of product management for the Aliso Viejo, Calif., company. Its free, available now and is being shipped as a standard part of QLogics SANbox switches and SANblade adapters. It can also be downloaded from QLogics Web site.
"There are some really good SAN management products in the marketplace, [but] theyre not for everybody, and theyre certainly not inexpensive," Klein said. "We see it as an enabler for our end-to-end story."
What the announcement doesnt solve is any significant vendor interoperability issue, according to one analyst. "QLogic has not had a heterogeneous SAN management tool" and still doesnt, said Arun Taneja, an analyst with Enterprise Storage Group Inc., in Milford, Mass. "Its positive, its good, but its relatively simple. You can make [logical unit number] masking smoother and easier" by using it, Taneja said.
Because QLogic is the only significant company that makes switches and HBAs—rather than just one or the other—its meaningful to its users to have common management interfaces, Taneja said.
SANsurfer supports Windows, NetWare, Solaris and Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Linux. It has features for failover capability, remote management and diagnostics, and static load balancing. In addition, while the prior separate interfaces for QLogics switches and adapters had features such as fabric distance extension and security, those features are easier to implement in SANsurfer. Some users didnt implement them in the previous tools because of its management complexity, Klein said.
The tool kit will also support APIs from the Storage Networking Industry Association, Klein said.
SANsurfer is designed to complement—but does not replace—mainstream SAN management tools from vendors such as Computer Associates International Inc., IBM, Legato Systems Inc. and Veritas Software Corp., Klein said.
Later this year, SANsurfer will get new features for failover; other sets of APIs, such as the industry-standard Common Information Model and Web-Based Enterprise Management; and support for new hardware products.