By Lisa Coleman
Claiming to be the first systems vendor to offer storage management software based on the Common Information Model (CIM) standard, Sun Microsystems recently released its StorEdge Enterprise Storage Manager (ESM) software.
ESM rounds out Sun's storage management software line by providing storage area network (SAN) visualization, topology reporting, device configuration, and diagnostics in a centralized platform, according to Steve Guido, product line manager in Sun's network storage product group. But relative to competing products, CIM compliance may be the primary differentiating feature.
"CIM is the basis for all of our open standards work, and it will [afford] long-term customer benefits in terms of scalability and rapidly accelerating device support by providing interoperability among various components in SANs and other topologies," says Guido. The software is also compliant with the Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) standard and is part of the Sun Open Net Environment (SunONE).
Steve Kenniston, an analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group, says that Sun's ESM is on par with other vendors' management software, but differs in its support for the CIM and WBEM standards. "It has all the features and function sets at a standards-based level to interoperate with not only Sun's management console, but also management consoles from [other vendors]. It really opens up what they'll be able to manage," says Kenniston.
StorEdge ESM is not to be confused with Sun Management Center 3.0, which is a systems-level management console for server-centric views, with only minor extensions into storage. ESM is Sun's first tool for visualizing and managing a SAN, says Guido.
Sun officials cite EMC as their main competitor, while acknowledging that vendors such as BMC Software, IBM, and Veritas also offer some of the same capabilities that ESM provides. But Guido says that CIM is the primary differentiator, at least for now. (Most of the major SAN management software vendors plan to support CIM.)
ESM is currently available only on Solaris. Pricing starts at $15,000, although capacity-based volume discounts are available.
Although Sun claims to be the first systems vendor to release CIM-based SAN management software, another company is also claiming to be first with CIM-based management software. StorScape, a joint venture of Eurologic Systems and Hermes SoftLab, is expected to release CIM-based storage management software next month.