By Zachary Shess
Last month, Vixel Corp. began shipping management software designed to help storage administrators monitor and manage heterogeneous storage area network (SAN) components, including Fibre Channel switches, hubs, and host bus adapters (HBAs).
Through a single console, SAN InSite 2000 provides device discovery and a topology map that displays how devices are connected and their respective health. The Java-based, Web-enabled software also provides device zoning and error notification capabilities.
Company officials claim that SAN InSite 2000 is the first software application to enable heterogeneous device management by using the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) management information base (MIB) 1.5 specification. For more robust management, administrators can launch specific vendors' management suites from the console.
According to Brett Oxenhandler, Vixel's senior software product marketing manager, heterogeneous SAN device management has generated interest "because OEMs don't want to re-invent this technology."
Industry analysts believe Vixel is taking an important step toward solving heterogeneous SAN device management issues and alleviating some problems now faced by IT managers. "While the amount of storage is increasing rapidly, head counts are essentially level, so you have to manage the growing amount of data with the same amount of people," says Dan Tanner, an analyst with the Aberdeen Group, in Boston.
By next month, Vixel officials say SAN InSite 2000 will support Vixel's Fibre Channel switches and hubs, as well as devices from Agilent, Ancor, Brocade, Chaparral, Crossroads, Emulex, Gadzoox, Interphase, JNI, and QLogic. The software also integrates with management frameworks from vendors such as BMC Software, Computer Associates, Hewlett-Packard, and Tivoli. Supported platforms include Windows 2000 and NT 4.0, HP-UX, Solaris and Linux. Pricing starts at $2,995.