Overland, ADIC diversify core businesses

Posted on July 01, 2002

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Overland partners with leading ISVs, ADIC acquires virtual tape company

By Heidi Biggar

As a testament to the times, both Overland Storage (formerly Overland Data) and Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC) recently announced plans to broaden their storage portfolios with the introduction of new storage management software capabilities.

Overland Data last month shipped, under its own label, the first of what is expected to be a family of storage management software products for mid-tier users. The company, which has been renamed Overland Storage to reflect a broader market focus, has reportedly been developing its software strategy for more than a year.

The decision to separate into two business units—tape and software—was made more than 14 months ago, says John Cloyd, vice president and general manager at Overland. "Our original intent was to acquire, not partner, with vendors of storage management software; however, [in the end] we decided we didn't need to."

Instead, Overland opted to partner with Astrum Software for two of its product families (Overland Storage Resource Manager and Storage Area Network Planner) and with Prisa Networks for the third (Storage Area Network Manager).

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While the initial versions of Storage Resource Manager and Storage Area Network Manager are very similar in capability to existing Astrum and Prisa products, respectively, Cloyd says its relationship to these vendors is not as OEM, but as co-developer. Overland's Storage Area Network Planner is being co-developed with Astrum and is due in the October/November time frame.

All three products are being designed for small to mid-sized enterprises looking to manage 1TB to 25TB of storage capacity in departments running Novell, Windows NT/2000, Unix, or Linux (see chart for specific support). They are hardware-agnostic—meaning they support mixed storage environments—and are being positioned to compete against software from vendors such as InterSAN, TrelliSoft, Tek-Tools, TrueSAN, and Veritas. Overland says it plans to sell the suite exclusively through its indirect channel of 250 resellers.

"They're not trying to compete with BMC, EMC, Veritas, etc., but rather are trying to bring value to the mid-market," says Carolyn DiCenzo, chief analyst, storage management software, at Gartner Inc. "It's a win-win situation for both Overland and the channel and certainly a win for Astrum and Prisa."

ADIC, meanwhile, says it is preparing to launch a disk-based backup capability. The product, which leverages software acquired through its May acquisition of Sutmyn spin-off V-Stor, will reportedly enable users to realize the performance benefits of disk backup without requiring them to overhaul their existing backup environments. Product shipment is expected by year-end.

Similar to technology from Alacritus Software, the V-Stor product will make disk-based storage look and act like tape to traditional backup applications. This announcement follows the launch of ADIC's StorNext Management Suite this spring (see "ADIC merges disk, tape management," InfoStor, May 2002, p. 13). The two products are expected to share code.

"The StorNext suite takes disk and tape storage and makes it all look like generalized storage," says Steve Whitner, director of marketing at ADIC. "The V-Stor technology is going to make everything look like tape, even when it is on disk."

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