Softek Lays Out Plan for Storage Space

Two-year development and licensing plan will meet the growing demand for automated, open, policy-based management software.

Fujitsu Software Technology Corp. is laying out a two-year development and licensing plan to meet the growing demand for automated, open, policy-based management software.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., company, also known as Softek, will begin rolling out its plan this week with the launch of Softek Virtualization 1.5 and Softek SANView 4.0, according to President and CEO Steven Murphy. Virtualization features network-managed volumes, a proprietary version of iSCSI support, customizable storage domains and storage priority setting. The software is available now, starting at about $50,000.

SANView 4.0 is based on Softeks April acquisition of parts of Vixel Corp. and adds resource grouping, an improved interface and deeper support for Brocade Communications Systems Inc. switches. SANView, released this week, starts at $12,595.

Softek must negotiate its road map through an industry crowded with more-established competitors, from ISVs such as BMC Software Inc. to hardware makers such as Sun Microsystems Inc., both of which will unveil products over the next few weeks.

IT administrators said that while theres a place for newer companies such as Softek, they still prefer to buy tools from vendors with entrenched storage user bases, even if those tools arent as comprehensive. Softek was spun off from Fujitsu Ltd. in March of last year.

Howard Stuart, of Southern Ohio Medical Center, counts on third-party tools, including vertical-specific products, to manage EMC Corp. systems. Stuart, manager of radiology IS and picture archival communication systems for the Portsmouth, Ohio, business, runs a 3-terabyte SAN (storage area network) on EMCs Symmetrix. "Were getting ready to sign for 11 [terabytes] more," probably as used equipment, Stuart said. "We are using application-specific tools" before trying EMCs own, he said.

Murphys team also plans several other products for release over the next two years, including the Virtual Storage Administrator, an auto-provisioning, policy-based tool debuting this fall; Backup Manager, due within 18 months; Mirror Manager and Recovery Manager, both expected within two years; and a performance management application, code-named Gidgey, also about 18 months away.

Bob Venable, a storage administrator at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc., uses BMCs software on an EMC SAN. Venables at nearly 50 terabytes and is adding 10 more. To aid users such as Venable, in Chattanooga, BMC this fall will upgrade its Patrol Storage Management product to Version 2.2, adding expanded applications support, mirroring, clustering and customized dashboards, with policies and automation coming soon after, officials of the Houston company said. Version 2.2 pricing starts at $23,750 per quarter-terabyte.

Sun, of Palo Alto, Calif., will roll out four offerings this week, said Mark Canepa, executive vice president of the Network Storage Products Group. SAN 4.0 is an end-to-end, 2GB, Fibre Channel system, supporting 16- and 64-port core switches from Brocade, the 64-port director switch from McData Corp., and the 16-port switch and PCI-based host bus adapters from QLogic Corp.

Canepa said Sun will also unveil StorEdge Diagnostic Expert, which will monitor Suns storage and that of Hitachi Ltd., which Sun resells; StorEdge Resource Management Suite 6.0, with new features for predictive trending and custom reports; and StorEdge Availability Suite 3.1, which expedites data replication across data centers. Pricing for the offerings was not immediately available.