Storage managers watching the gaggle of start-ups finally shrink are in for a surprise next week, when several new products will be unveiled at the Storage Networking World show in Orlando, Fla.
Some are from new companies, some are upgrades from existing startups and some are from older firms new to storage, but theyll all end up targeting mid-market users.
AppIQ Inc., Astrum Software Corp. and Candera Inc. are among the companies inaugurating their products at the Oct. 28 show.
AppIQ, of Burlington, Mass., is initially subcontracting its Common Information Model expertise to other vendors, through its CIM-IQ partner program, and in December will target users with its AppIQ Solutions Suite, which is application-centric storage resource management software for Oracle Corp. software and Microsoft Corp.s Exchange, said Vice President Doug Cahill.
For its part, Astrum will announce Astrum 1.5, with a browser-based interface and features for linking policies directly to storage devices and software, said Robert Infantino, founder and chief strategy officer, in Boston.
Candera will debut a network-based storage policy appliance, available early in 2003, said President and CEO Sundi Sundaresh. The product doesnt have a name yet, but itll perform both array- and application-centric management, said Sundaresh, in Milpitas, Calif. It uses an “in-band,” or direct, connection to the storage fabric, he said.
Theyll be joined by Motive Communications Inc., an Austin, Texas-based maker of remote support products to IT vendors. The company will show new storage features in its Enterprise Service Solution, officials said. Meanwhile, Paris-based Neartek Inc. will target its VSEngine, a tape virtualization product, to the U.S. market, officials said.
“Most of these companies are unable to distribute these products themselves. Some of the consolidation will be among them if they all fight it out in the marketplace through the channel,” said Mike Kahn, an analyst with The Clipper Group Inc., in Wellesley, Mass. “I think everyones aware of how fragile the opportunity is.”
: Storage Startups Target Mid-Market”>
Some enterprises have found success with startups. Shawn Mashino, infrastructure project leader at General Electric Co. division GE Plastics, runs Astrums software on almost 30 file servers, spanning 2 terabytes, and will soon install it on another 2 TB of an EMC Symmetrix SAN (storage-area network) and on an EMC Celerra NAS (network attached storage) system. Before taking a chance on the startup, “we put it through some really heavy testing on development servers and didnt have any issues with it,” said Mashino, in Pittsfield, Mass.
Astrum, he said, has been “very open and cooperative.” The product could use login security, script execution options and the ability to import users, he said.
“We have all the typical data that anybody would have to run a business, [but] weve stepped off the edge in several places,” said Roger Goss, director of IT for the Carolina Panthers, in Charlotte, N.C.
Besides business data, the National Football League franchise also stores game video. Its all on a 3-TB SAN from Storage Technology Corp., of Louisville, Colo., and on 3 terabytes of direct-attached storage. Goss used virtual LAN switches from then-startup Xylan Corp., a year before incumbent Cisco Systems Inc. legitimized that niche with its own products. The risk factor was alleviated when Alcatel SA acquired Xylan in 1999, he said.
Still, “the only thing we would gamble with on the storage side of things is if its redundant. We would be very cautious,” he said.