Management suites come up short


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Breakdown of IBM storage groups

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Application management Tivoli Software IGS
Management software Tivoli Software IGS
Storage resource management Tivoli Software IGS
Storage network management Tivoli Software IGS
Virtualization IBM Systems Group IGS
Device management IBM Systems Group IGS
IBM offers a number of different products to meet existing customer needs. The Tivoli Software group offers Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) software for backup and recovery and Tivoli Storage Network Manager for storage network management. The IBM System's Group StorageTank suite of products is currently in beta testing with users customers and is expected to be released this month.

Watch your step
Fujitsu Softek faces the daunting task of cobbling together a storage management suite from the pieces it obtained from Vixel (SANView) and DataCore (SANsymphony) with its own legacy Storage Manager software. While Fujitsu Softek's Svartz states the problem isn't actually doing the integration, but prioritizing what to integrate and when, it remains to be seen if and when Fujitsu Softek gets all of the pieces integrated and smoothly functioning as one.

IBM's task is no less daunting. It intends to come out with a new network-based virtualization engine running on Linux. An integral part of the package will be a file system that allows the open-systems file systems to work together. Users probably need to take a wait-and-see approach with IBM's plan to have two different groups responsible for developing a product that yet a third division will integrate into their environments.

The bottom line? Users need to roll their sleeves up, forget the PowerPoint slides, and conduct some serious research--and testing--before making a purchase. While all of these suites will achieve some level of integration at some point in the future, they aren't fully baked. So in the meantime, leave the illusions of integrated suites in the board room. Instead, pick the storage management software that you need now and that your staff can implement and use.

This was first published in June 2003

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