Storage Testing Gear on Tap

Shugart Technology Inc. is getting ready to roll out software and hardware to let IT managers monitor, identify and troubleshoot problems with disk arrays, tape libraries and storage area network (SAN) routers, switches and host bus adapters.

Shugart, initially incorporated two years ago but just recently operational, will announce two products this week that perform low-level testing to identify hardware failures, test performance, and assist in the installation, interoperability and configuration of SAN devices. Dubbed FIBREcalc and SCSIcalc, the products are software-only products that run on Windows NT networks. Shugart Technology executives claim they will port this software to Solaris, AIX and Linux by year-end.

"The products are designed to enhance vendors' field-service capabilities by more quickly and accurately gathering data and isolating the root cause of problems. Ultimately, users may benefit by using the tools for performance monitoring and predictive problem analysis," says Steve Duplessie, an analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group in Massachusetts.

FIBREcalc and SCSIcalc are among 18 products Shugart will introduce this year. The next two products Shugart adds will be FIBREscript and SCSIscript, which let IT managers write their own scripts to run tests and simulate workloads custom to their installations. FIBREcalc and SCSIcalc ship with a defined set of tasks.

The software for FIBREcalc and SCSIcalc is based on a calculator-type image. Future releases will offer applications for 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Universal Serial Bus (USB), Firewire and Infiniband. The company says it will also ship hardware-based protocol analysis and monitoring tools later this year.

Shugart Technology was founded by four individuals: Richard Brechtlein, Kevin Kelly, Edwin Barnes and Jim Fainer, who looked at the cost of managing storage and then approached Al Shugart at ASI about funding. Shugart is best known for founding Seagate Technology. About 75% of the employees at Shugart are engineers, and it is funded by Shugart Ventures.

FIBREcalc is $US3,300; SCSIcalc is $US3,000. Both are available now through Shugart's Web site.

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