StorageNetworks inc., which was once at the top of the storage service provider heap, later this month or in June will roll out the first application in its push to productize its internal storage management software.
Peter Bell, CEO of the Waltham, Mass., company, said last week StorageManager 5.0 will be followed over the next few months by other applications that are now part of its StorOS foundation, which has layers for policy management, security and XML-based APIs.
The next application, data management, is due in about six months, but details about it are vague. Bell, a company co-founder and the chairman, said other functions, such as virtualization, are also planned, but he wouldnt say when.
StorageNetworks is betting that its experience in the storage service provider field will make the companys products attractive when they go on the market. However, that may be tempered by users views of the companys service provider niche as a failure.
In-house, StorageManager manages about 1.5 petabytes of information in 42 data centers, making it "the only one in the marketplace thats proven," Bell said. The company has used the tool to handle a 400 percent data growth over 18 months without a personnel increase, he said.
One user may cautiously consider the offering. Bill LHotta, enterprise engineer at Lucent Technologies Inc., said StorageNetworks pitch about its experience "would arouse my curiosity a little." However, that experience probably wouldnt be a selling point, said LHotta, in Naperville, Ill. Lucent runs systems from Compaq Computer Corp., EMC Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and Sun Microsystems Inc.
Bell declined to announce pricing for StorageManager 5.0, although it will be based on the number of connections, such as ports and devices. He also declined to say when StorageNetworks software revenue would equal its services and consulting revenue.
If StorageNetworks in-house experience and tainted reputation do balance out, the company still has an edge in "understanding the pains of the customer," said Arun Taneja, an analyst with Enterprise Storage Group Inc., in Milford, Mass.