Fujitsu Joins Storage Management Fray

Fujitsu Software Technology Corp. joins the growing trend of rolling out heterogeneous storage management suites.

Fujitsu Software Technology Corp. on Monday joined the growing trend of rolling out heterogeneous storage management suites.

Storage Manager combines licensed virtualization technology from Datacore Software Corp. with storage management and monitoring from Fujitsu—also known as Fujitsu Softek—said Steven Murphy, CEO of the Sunnyvale, Calif., subsidiary of Tokyos Fujitsu Ltd. The product largely combines Fujitsus existing piecemeal products.

"Were bringing these mainframe products and the open systems products together under a common user interface," Murphy said. "Imagine if you could have 25, 30 percent better utilization of the existing storage assets on the floor today. Were going to start seeing a much more methodical approach to how storage is managed."

Because Fujitsu Ltd. makes high-end and mid-range storage hardware, Fujitsu Softeks new product is best compared to the recent suites from EMC Corp., Hitachi Ltd.s Hitachi Data Systems division, and Sun Microsystems Inc., industry watchers said. IBM also has a suite coming out this year.

Despite the vendors software focus, Fujitsu Softeks biggest differentiator—its role as a software-only subsidiary of a hardware company—could be a benefit and a disadvantage. By being separate, Fujitsu Softek can avoid the stigma facing the software suites from hardware makers, which is that the softwares biased to their own products. But the separation could also be viewed as a transparent cover-up of such bias, experts note.

Storage Manager starts at $15,000 to $20,000, or up to about $45,000 for a large-scale installation. The monitoring agents cost $300 to $500 for Microsoft Corp.s Windows operating systems, or $2,000 each for Suns Solaris, officials said.

Wellpoint Health Networks, in Woodland Hills, Calif., uses software from EMC, Hitachi and IBM managing about 40 terabytes of data, said Carl Gage, manager of technical services. A storage-area network handles 17 terabytes of that, and eight people manage most of it with the hardware vendors own tools, he said.

But Gage is having Storage Manager installed this week.

"Theres the simple display and management visibility, thats what were looking at Softek for," he said. "What Im really looking for is a consistent view of storage allocation and usage across the different platforms."