New Storage Management Suites on Way

Second-generation SRM tools aim to come through on promise made a year ago.

Major storage software developers are gearing up for a spring launch of second-generation storage resource management products, finally delivering on much of the functionality that was promised for the technology a year ago.

New SRM suites, which offer management based on application and user priorities, will be announced this week from Fujitsu Software Technology Corp., or Softek, and next week from IBMs Tivoli division, said officials of both companies.

In current versions, "everyone was guilty of hyping the vision and did not anticipate the degree of sophistication the customer was expecting," said Steven Murphy, Softek CEO and president.

As a remedy, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company will launch Storage Manager 2.1 and Storage Provisioner 2.1, updates from 1.1 releases and due to ship in the second quarter. New in Storage Manager 2.1 is a chargeback feature, support for Linux and Solaris, and integration with Tivoli and Veritas Software Corp. backup applications. Storage Provisioner 2.1 requires fewer steps to set automated policies. It can also map data and network paths from applications to volumes and has high-availability features for long-distance data replication (see screen).

Storage Manager costs $39,000. Modules for file systems, Oracle Corp. and Microsoft Corp. SQL Server databases, and performance tuning start at $795 each. Storage Provisioner starts at $50,000 for dual servers, called Storage Policy Engines. Additional engines cost $35,000 each, with $10,000 more for snapshots and $5,000 more per volume. New replication and networking features will come by June, officials said.

But thats not all. The company is considering expansion through acquisition. "Were looking at expanding through acquisitions in the areas of physical array management [and] replication, especially around long-distance disaster recovery," Murphy said. Other acquisition targets are companies in workflow automation and chargeback, he said.