Unisys Retires Appliance

Storage sentinel ignited conflict with partners.

Unisys Corp. has discontinued its Storage Sentinel product after only two customers bought the Blue Bell, Pa., companys management appliance, which was announced last August and shipped in September.

"What we found was that the product, although it was what we called leading-edge technology, put us into too much conflict with our partners EMC [Corp.] and Veritas [Software Corp.]," Fred Hanhauser, director of storage program management at Unisys, said last week.

Unisys storage agenda

  • Sentinel appliance is discontinued
  • EMC software being resold
  • Veritas software to be added soon
  • New services for disaster recovery
The $200,000 product included 2 terabytes of internal disks, a 16-port Fibre Channel switch and virtualization software, all in a 36U (63-inch) cabinet. Officials last year said it could administer storage from EMC, Hewlett-Packard Co., Hitachi Ltd. and IBM.

Parts of the technology are being integrated into Unisys overall Sentinel product line, Hanhauser said. And its customers are still being supported, he said.

Unisys resells EMCs software, and a hardware deal was already in place. BMC Software Inc., of Houston, also recently made a similar move, discontinuing its Patrol Storage Manager based on poor sales and bringing in EMCs technology instead.

Unisys will announce a deal to resell Veritas products next month, Hanhauser said. However, since EMCs recent $1.3 billion Legato Systems Inc. acquisition makes it an even closer rival to Veritas, "we have to position things," he said.

In cases where Unisys works with EMC customers, Legato will be the preferred backup vendor, and in other cases Veritas, of Mountain View, Calif., will be used because of its much larger market share. "Were looking at becoming much closer to Veritas anyway," Hanhauser said.

On the services side, Unisys is moving in the other direction—closer to EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass.—added John Leggette, Unisys director of platform program management.

"What were adding is the business continuance planning services," such as recovery plan auditing and business impact analysis, Leggette said. "One of the key reasons were doing it with EMC is, replication is certainly the key component," which EMCs Symmetrix Remote Data Facility software is known for.

Aberdeen Group Inc. analyst David Hill, in Boston, last summer said the product was a good one, but the moral for users is "[vendor] size does not matter as far as the ability to manage storage," he said last week. Other brand-name newcomers in storage include Cisco Systems Inc. in switches, Microsoft Corp. in management and Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellisons $100 million investment in startup Pillar Data Systems Inc.