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TrelliSoft and their competitors

How does TrelliSoft's StorageAlert stack up in the market and who would be some of their competitors. They are a new company and I am concerned about their ability to make it in this market. They seem to have a unique product that runs across all platforms.

Thank you for any feed back you can give me. This is an important decision for our company and your input is appreciated.


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While I am flattered by your question, I must insist that you do not base your final decision on what any pundit or prognosticator says ? including me. What I know about Trellisoft, I gathered from conversations with their booth reps at Storage Networking World. From the demo I saw, and the chit chat with their staff, it appears that the product will get you part of the way to where you need to go for good storage grooming.

If you are into Java, this Storage Resource Management (SRM) product is Java-based. Under the covers, however, it is designed to use agents and collectors to gather information from OS file systems and probably from SNMP management information bases that are articulated by some (but not all) storage devices, such as arrays.

If your storage is SAN-based, you may want to consider SANavigator, which I consider to be best of breed in that space. If your storage is mixed (SAN, NAS and server-attached/internal), you may wish to consider Tek Tools, which I believe addresses more storage platforms with an innovative XML-based approach.

If your enterprise is large, look at BMC Patrol, which among the best of the framework products that are out there from the likes of Computer Associates and IBM Tivoli.

My problem with products like Trellisoft is that storage itself is the focal point of what they do. I believe that a different approach is preferable. If you view infrastructure from the perspective of the application or business process, then use SRM tools to drill down into the issues you find, you will be in better shape than if you simply use an SRM tool in isolation. Management is more than clearing junk off of hard disks (though that is an important part of management). It is also deriving information about storage that can be used to help scale application platforms so that they don't run out of juice and so that the data can be used to determine how much money the business process actually costs the company to operate.

A lot of the folks running Trellisoft and developing products there are former Platinum Technology people. Now THAT is something that impresses me. I always found that Platinum provided some of the industry's best systems management tools (prior to their acquisition, that is) and promoted them as easier to deploy and more efficient to operate than the framework products like Unicenter TNG or Tivoli. Their Platinum pedigree says something. Time will tell whether lightning can strike twice.

One final thought. Look carefully at the financials of the software company from whom you obtain your SRM app. In these troubled times, it may be the case that the company that sells you mission critical software today won't exist tomorrow.

Hope it helps. And, if you go forward with a Trellisoft buy, please let me know how it worked for you. How users feel about the product once they have deployed it, is the only guidance that really has any worth.


This was first published in April 2001

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