A pair of software companies focused on virtualization are shifting gears and are developing products that include a number of other management capabilities beyond virtualization.
DataCore Software Corp., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is trying to attract storage users that are ready to move beyond first generation SAN management technology and looking for a higher level of control over storage networks, a company spokesperson said.
DataCore's Vice President of marketing, Ken Horner, said the latest release of its flagship software product, SANsymphony 5.0 represents a repositioning from a single software product to an integrated set of tools, including new automation, business recovery, performance and connectivity options.
Similarly, TrueSAN Networks Inc., San Jose, Calif., is breaking from its original virtualization-focused strategy with the introduction of Cloudbreak, which it calls a network-based platform for managing heterogeneous storage networks.
TrueSAN designed Cloudbreak to address the movement of storage management intelligence into the network, customer demand for interoperability and the emergence of automated, policy-based storage administration.
TrueSAN said the industry needs "a comprehensive platform for storage management, not a multitude of point utilities."
The Cloudbreak Storage Operating System combines virtualization, storage network and device management, storage resource management (SRM), and business continuance technology in a single, platform.
"There are aspects of what DataCore is doing that should make Veritas up and take notice," said Jamie Gruener, senior analyst for the Yankee Group Inc., Boston, Mass.
Gruener said the new software signals a move from virtualization into a wider scope of data management.
"Right now [customers] are buying all these different things from different vendors," said Gruener. In the future, he said, customers are going to want more than just a plain, packaged virtualization product.
Gruener said DataCore and TrueSAN's respective products are similar in concept. They both are trying to build a management platform that creates a service layer for storage as a resource within the enterprise.
TrueSAN is attempting to weave a collection of capabilities together around virtualization. The drawback, Gruener said, is that TrueSAN will have a difficult time accomplishing that task on its own.
"There's a limit to what they can do, he said. "They've learned a lot from watching storage service providers try to build a wider platform."
Gruener said the key to TrueSAN's success is dependent upon whether it can net some integration partners to add functionality to Cloudbreak.
The merger of storage and networking technologies is spawning a new set of storage management tools.
The overriding mood in the industry seems to be that point products and piecemeal management utilities only quell the individual pains suffered by storage administrators.
The search for a cure to chronic storage management problems condition is pushing vendors toward developing more consolidated, centralized and automated storage platforms.
"Customers like to buy very few products from very few vendors," said Augie Gonzalez, director of product marketing for DataCore. "They cannot afford to be grocery shopping for a bunch of little things."Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor
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