Its hunting season for storage management vendors, and the big boys are targeting the assets of smaller companies to augment their product lines.
The real winner, of course, wont be the company with the most acquisitions. Success will be determined by the speed and efficiency with which large vendors like EMC and Veritas can weave their newly acquired technologies into their product lines.
EMCs acquisition of Astrum Software allows it to add Storage Resource Management capabilities to its Control Center storage management offerings. Astrums file-level Active Policy-based management should make management easier for EMC customers.
Veritas big acquisitions of Precise Software Solutions and Jareva Technologies will expand Veritas capabilities beyond managing storage to managing applications and servers as well.
Plugging in these vendors technologies, while simultaneously entering the server performance and application management markets, will be a tall task for Veritas, but the potential rewards are too great to pass up.
What needs to be done?
First on the list should be tight application integration. New and old applications need to be able to communicate and share date easily.
Once management data is shared, these applications need to be able to work together to solve problems.
Storage management with todays DAS, NAS and SAN systems is extremely difficult because of the vast numbers of products out there and the fact that each of these products tends to have its own management interface.
It may sound really superficial, but I think a standardized UI should be a goal of all of these vendors. I like the fact that theyre making management tools available to their clients, but dumping a bunch of new tools in the laps of overworked IT managers (none of whom really want to learn yet another interface) is bound to fail.
Fujitsu Softec, for example, used to simply repackage and resell DataCore Softwares SANsymphony storage virtualization package, but when Fujitsu made a commitment to redevelop the UI to match its other products, it increased the overall usability of the package.
Just because the technology comes from various parts, that doesnt mean the final product should be allowed to look like Frankensteins Monster.
Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.