SRM powerhouse WQuinn goes on steroids
By Alan Earls
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Already well enthroned in the storage resource management (SRM) market, W. Quinn Associates, Inc. (WQuinn), out of Reston, Va., has been acquired for $35 million by Massachusetts-based Precise Software Solutions (Nasdaq: PRSE), a leader in application performance management. WQuinn, a privately held company, is a well-known player in storage resource and performance management solutions and currently supports the Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 platforms.
"My take on the recent bout of storage software acquisitions is that the developers of these single OS or narrowly focussed storage software products need to gain critical mass if they are to remain in the game," says IDC analyst Graham Penn. "In this respect, the acquisition of WQuinn by Precise will provide greater exposure and a wider market opportunity for a market-leading product that had been focussed on the NT/2000 market segment," he says. Graham notes that the SRM market really came to be recognized as a key segment when Sun snatched HighGround from under Compaq's nose. "It is really just one more piece of the total storage software puzzle," he says.
David Hill, an analyst at Aberdeen Group in Boston notes, "I think that it provides WQuinn with the financial resources of a larger company, which is a good thing."
Looking at the SRM market as a whole, Hill says he sees steady progress by several storage software companies in offering SRM. "SRM demand can only increase in the future especially as IS organizations strive to get more for every dollar spent."
Steven Toole, vice president for marketing at W Quinn, says the times are particularly favorable for SRM vendors. "More than ever, people are putting money into management products because in this economy it doesn't make sense to put more money into hardware purchases when you can get an 8:1 ROI in the first month with software," he says.
1. How has SRM software helped other industries?
In 1993 AmSouth Bancorporation managed less than half a terabyte of mainframe storage with one employee. Today the bank manages nearly seven terabytes of mainframe storage with one employee. The secret, according to Wayne Rylee, the Birmingham, Ala.-based bank's storage manager, is effective use of storage resource management (SRM) software.
2. How does TrelliSoft's StorageAlert stack up in the market?
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.
See what else storage expert Jon Toigo has to say about TrelliSoft and other SRM vendors:
3. Where should I start when researching storage management software?
I would advise the buyer to use caution when seeking storage management software advice from hardware vendors. Although this is starting to change, hardware vendors have typically failed to see the benefit of managing storage with anything but a hardware solution. Storage expert Steven Toole presents his own checklist to ask storage management ISVs in his answer to this user-submitted question:
4. What impact will iSCSI have on management software applications?
In his answer to this user-submitted question, storage networking expert Marc Farley describes the three areas that need to be managed in storage networking and gives his opinion on how SRM may be integrated into the management picture.
About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer residing in Franklin, Mass.