Users Seek Open Storage Management Tools

MONTEREY, CALIF. (06/23/2000) - Storage company executives at Network Storage 2000 here this week concerned themselves with storage-area network (SAN) standards and the emergence of storage service providers. But they might have been better off talking about how to make their products more manageable when they are brought together under one roof.

Philip Kilburn, a consulting systems engineer at Bank of America Corp. in Concord, California, said he doubts that storage vendors will develop a single tool for managing storage infrastructures with products from multiple vendors soon.

"I have 17 data centers across three continents that need to be managed," Kilburn said. "The industry hasn't made any progress [in managing storage products in a heterogeneous environment], and we as customers have to do that ourselves."

At Bank of America, Kilburn trimmed the number of suppliers of tape, disk, fabric, backup and system resource management products to one vendor in each category. For example, the company once used disks from nine vendors but now has only one disk supplier, which Kilburn declined to name.

EMC Corp. CEO Michael Ruettgers said the industry is making strides in developing open storage products. "Companies are growing an enormous amount of data, and they need a set of tools," he said.

Ruettgers noted that EMC has opened the application programming interfaces to its Symmetrix storage system technology and has released ControlCenter, which automatically manages storage. "Over time, there will be more solutions," he said.

Steve Duplessie, an analyst at Enterprise Storage Group Inc. in Milford, Massachusetts, said ControlCenter works with products from other vendors, but customers need to run EMC's Symmetrix.

"Companies are attempting [to develop tools], but for their own products," he said.

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