BY LISA COLEMAN
As evidence of the growing importance of managing burgeoning storage capacity, two new players -- TeraCloud and TrelliSoft -- have entered the storage resource management (SRM) software market, a crowded field that already includes about 10 vendors.
Analysts tout SRM as the foundation for storage-related cost reduction because it allows enterprises to use their storage as a "resource" and manage it as such. SRM software provides functions such as data collection, capacity planning, asset management, continuity planning, and operational management techniques, according to the Aberdeen Group research and consulting firm, in Boston. (For more information on SRM, see the Special Report in the June issue of InfoStor, p. 28.)
SRM software manages storage assets, including both the physical storage and the logical volumes, files and data. As enterprises build out their infrastructures and leverage storage area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) environments, storage management complexity increases. SRM software helps decrease the complexity.
One company that re-launched itself into enterprise SRM for both distributed and mainframe environments is TeraCloud, which originally did business as Trilogy Software. The company was founded in 1991, and provided SRM software for OS/390 environments. In June, Trilogy changed its name to TeraCloud and released SpaceFinder 4.0, the newest version of the company's original OS/390 SRM product.
"The company was very small and focused on providing storage resource solutions for OS/390. But our customers asked us to broaden our solutions to also incorporate Unix and NT," says Robert F. Bingham, chief marketing officer for TeraCloud. "The disciplines we've applied on the mainframe side are the same functionality, capabilities and technologies that we've carried over to the newer platforms with an extensible agent."
TeraCloud claims to have more than 180 customers, according to Bingham. The company differentiates itself from its SRM competitors by addressing mainframe and distributed environments, as well as SAN and NAS. "System administrators manage systems, networks and storage. They wear a lot of hats. Storage administration is becoming its own discipline, and we're focused on providing tools that enable that storage admin task," states Bingham.
Another new entrant in the SRM market is TrelliSoft. The company was established by the original founders of Platinum Technology, which was acquired by Computer Associates in 1999. Launched in April, TrelliSoft is targeting Unix and Windows environments with its first product, StorageAlert/OS, which uses a tree-based interface to display the different functions of the product.
Before year's end, TrelliSoft plans to release four other SRM products, including StorageAlert ChargeBack. Other products on TrelliSoft's roadmap include StorageAlert DB for Oracle and Microsoft's SQLServer, as well as other databases. The company also plans to deliver NAS and SAN SRM software.
TrelliSoft is currently targeting Fortune 1000 firms that have both Windows and Unix environments. The company claims it is not having trouble competing against entrenched SRM companies because most of them are Windows NT-centric. "We looked at the SRM market, and we knew it was going to be huge," says Steve Donovan, TrelliSoft's CEO. "We wanted to attack this market with a tool designed for all environments, and give users a uniform look-and-feel in a browser-based application."