Fujitsu Softek Unveils Storage Suite

With Storage Manager 1.1, Fujitsu Software Technology joins a growing number of vendors rolling out heterogeneous storage management suites.

Fujitsu Software Technology Corp. is joining a growing number of vendors rolling out heterogeneous storage management suites.

Storage Manager 1.1, released last week, 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 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 midrange storage hardware, Fujitsu Softeks new product is best compared with 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 later this year.

Despite Fujitsu Softeks software focus, the vendors biggest differentiator—its role as a software-only subsidiary of a hardware company—could be a benefit and a detriment, according to analysts. By being separate, Fujitsu Softek can avoid the stigma facing the software suites from hardware makers, which is that the software is biased to their own products.

But the separation could also be viewed as a transparent coverup of such bias.

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 Windows or $2,000 each for Solaris, officials said.

WellPoint Health Networks Inc., in Woodland Hills, Calif., uses software from EMC, Hitachi and IBM to manage about 40 terabytes of data, said Carl Gage, manager of technical services. A storage-area network currently handles 17 terabytes of that data, with the company using hardware vendors tools to handle the remaining 23 terabytes, Gage said.

But Gage said he is having Storage Manager installed to enable management of all 40 terabytes.

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