Heavyweight storage vendors are arming themselves for a sustained assault on the storage management software market.
IBM, EMC and Sun Microsystems each pounced on start-ups in August and September, acknowledging that the centre of gravity in storage is moving from the device to the software that manages networks of devices.
IBM’s acquisition of TrelliSoft brings the company StorageAlert, a web-based tool for storage resource monitoring and reporting, and StorageChargeback, for calculating users’ storage consumption costs. IBM says it will plug the products into its Tivoli network and systems management range. Analysts at IT industry watcher Giga suggest the purchase was a smart move as the lack of a storage resource management tool had put IBM at a disadvantage when competing against the likes of EMC.
Not to be outdone, EMC strengthened its storage network management hand in September with the $20 million purchase of Prisa Networks, developer of the VisualSAN suite of network management and remote change management software. The move was EMC’s eighth software acquisition since 1999.
VisualSAN is used to manage, monitor and provision storage resources across mid-range storage area networks (SANs). Initially, the suite will be sold alongside EMC’s Clariion storage systems, reinforcing the company’s push into the storage mid-market. Prisa is also a close partner of systems vendor Dell Computer, which is now one of the biggest resellers of Clariion devices.
Meanwhile, Sun Microsystems has also fleshed out its SAN management portfolio with the purchase of Pirus Networks, a supplier of multi-protocol storage switches and storage networking software.
Currently, Pirus’ focus is on switches for moving data around different storage devices, but it also provides storage management software that enables organisations to take a virtual view of their networked storage resources. Bob Zimmerman at Giga points out that Sun currently uses products from Vicom for SAN connectivity and virtualisation, but it felt it needed to own the intellectual property that underpinned its storage strategy.