SAN MATEO (05/26/2000) - Network management vendors have begun staking out some ground in the storage space, with companies such as Tivoli Systems Inc. looking to lend their management expertise to a storage market that is quickly outgrowing traditional rules in the era of e-business.
At the Planet Tivoli 2000 user conference in Philadelphia last week, Tivoli introduced Tivoli Storage Manager 4.1 and also revealed a partnership with storage giant EMC to integrate the product with EMC Corp.'s Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems and software, including EMC TimeFinder.
Analysts say these and similar storage moves by Tivoli competitors such as Computer Associates International Inc. and BMC Software Inc. signal a key role that network management will play in supporting inflating enterprises and the vast amounts of data being shared and compiled.
"I think the way that e-business uses storage could become a model for storage best-practices in general. The software that helps you manage it is an absolutely critical piece," said John Webster, an analyst at Illuminata, in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Bob Nicastro, a systems engineer at Westchester, Pennsylvania-based QVC, said he would love to find a solution to help him manage all his company's diverse system parts, but has not come close to finding one yet.
"I don't even know if it exists," Nicastro said. "Because of e-business, [many] infrastructures have outgrown current storage management products."
Tivoli Manager 4.1 includes automated network backup, tape resource sharing, and "adaptive differencing" technology to alleviate bandwidth congestion for mobile users during backup and recovery of remote devices. No price was given for the product, which will be available by third quarter.
Network management vendors that wield the clout and scalability of a framework system might have more of an advantage to bring cohesiveness to the SAN (storage area network) environment, said analyst Steve Widen at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Bolstered further by its Sterling Software acquisition earlier this year, CA offers its storage product line called ARCserve. The company has built SAN management features into its flagship management product Unicenter TNG and is working to integrate its predictive Neugent technology for SAN, officials said.
BMC will release Patrol San later this year, which incorporates SAN technology into its Patrol product line to oversee SAN at the application level, said Chris Gahagan, vice president of recovery and storage management group at BMC.
Not all storage vendors think a management marriage would work. "It's not a foregone conclusion that network management and storage management can be combined," said Mark Lewis, vice president of enterprise storage software at Compaq Computer Corp., in Houston.
Tivoli Systems Inc., a subsidiary of IBM Corp., in Austin, Texas, is at www.tivoli.com.
Lining up with Tivoli
Third-party companies pledged their support to Tivoli at the conference.
ASP 2ndWave Inc. will bring Tivoli's products to customers via the Internet.
Compaq Computer will sell, support, and outsource Tivoli Enterprise products.
Crossroads Systems combined its Fibre Channel storage router with Tivoli Storage Manager during a product demo.
Storage vendors tackle management issuesAt this week's SAN Conference 2000 in San Jose, California, nearly 100 dedicated storage vendors from Adaptec Inc. to XIOtech Corp. will convene to demonstrate both hardware and software SAN solutions.
The key focus of the conference will be SAN management across what are commonly multivendor networks, according to officials.
TrueSAN Networks Inc., one of the sponsors of the conference and a major player in SAN testing and deployment, will demonstrate its first SAN appliance at the show, the SAN Engine, officials at the San Jose, California-based company said.
Designed for complete storage domain management, the SAN Engine is a mixed hardware/software solution that plugs right in to a Brokade or McData network switch, allowing a single operator to view the entire network storage array as one virtual storage system, according to Tom Isakovich, CEO of TrueSAN Networks. The SAN Engine provides "anytime, anywhere SAN Management," he added.
Ancor Communications Inc., a Minnesota-based fibre management component builder for SANs, will demonstrate a working 64-port Fibre Channel director, the SANbox-64. The Ancor solution can be doubled to port 128 interconnects and still appear as a single point of information to the SAN management system.
To simplify the connection of a SAN to the main network, APCON, of Portland, Oregon, will give the first West Coast demonstration of its Fibre Optic Patch Panel, which manages connections between networks to provide easier point-to-point connectivity.
Organizers of the conference see today's SANs at a stage much like that of LANs 10 years ago, with the need to define architectures, standardize components, and simplify management being the core necessities.