New players enter SRM market

Posted on August 01, 2001

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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 Boston-based Aberdeen Group research and consulting firm. (For more information on SRM, see the Special Report in the June 2001 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 that 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. Founded in 1991, the company 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.


SRM functions as part of enterprise systems management.
Click here to enlarge image

"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."

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.

TeraCloud's SpaceFinder 4.0 enables automated SRM in OS/390 environments via an object-oriented architecture. It provides detailed views of physical and logical storage objects; interactive views of storage device configurations; 24x7 global monitoring; sorting, filtering, and drill-down capabilities; graphing, trending, forecasting, and predictive modeling; DASD, VSAM, SMS, HSM, and catalog monitoring and reporting.

SpaceFinder also includes catalog management and file management for OS/390 Unix files. Besides SpaceFinder, TeraCloud produces SpaceNet-a cross-platform SRM package that enables central management of distributed storage in heterogeneous environments.

TrelliSoft

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-end, Trelli Soft plans to release four other SRM products, in cluding Stor age Alert ChargeBack. Other products on Trelli Soft's road map include StorageAlert DB for Oracle and Microsoft's SQL Server, 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 that most SRM vendors are Windows NT-centric. "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," says Steve Donovan, TrelliSoft's CEO.

StorageAlert/OS is a Java- and Web-based SRM system for monitoring storage on both Unix and Windows platforms. The product identifies wasted storage space, allocates storage costs to users or departments, ensures data is backed up, enforces storage usage policies, predicts future storage use based on information it collects, predicts potential problems, and alerts IT about problems. It also identifies orphaned data and stale files (e.g., files of employees who are no longer with the company or those files that haven't been accessed in a long time). The software can create more than 200 reports detailing assets, file-server activity, user space consumption, file creation, disk capacity, and capacity planning. Pricing starts at $1,000 for a single Intel-based processor.


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