SANavigator Acquisition Solidifies McData ESA Strategy


Fibre Channel director vendor McData recently announced its intention to acquire SANavigator, the SAN management software subsidiary of Western Digital.

"(The transaction) accelerates our time to market . . . and gives us the ability to provide open fabric management for multi-vendor fabric environments," says Jack McDonnell, CEO of McData.

This summer, McData announced its SAN management software strategy with the launch of Enterprise Solutions Architecture (ESA), a framework designed to simplify the design, installation and management of storage networks (see "McData breaks into storage network management," InfoStor, September 2001).

SANavigator's SAN management software will be positioned at the high end of ESA, explains McDonnell. "It will sit on top of our management console -- Enterprise Fabric Connectivity Manager (EFCM) -- and above Enterprise Operating System (EOS)." Unlike EFCM, which is limited to McData hardware, SANavigator supports heterogeneous devices.

"Managing SANs is necessary, but the tools available today are still pretty basic -- mainly because the device vendors only support some subset of the fields defined in the FibreAlliance MIB," explains Carolyn DiCenzo, chief analyst for storage management software and SAN appliances at Gartner Dataquest. The SNMP-based FibreAlliance Management Information Base (MIB) is a group of parameters that define and describe the status of a network of components, providing a common method for managing multiple, heterogeneous devices in a SAN. DiCenzo says that improved manageability at the SAN, or fabric, level hinges on broader API support among device vendors.

"McData is working on its API and that work can only benefit from a close working relationship with SANavigator," continues DiCenzo. "And (new releases of SANavigator software) would take McData device management to a higher level." McData is expected to tune a version of SANavigator to the specific requirements of its own hardware products.

SANavigator will be operated as wholly owned subsidiary of McData and will continue to operate in San Jose, CA. SANavigator software will be available from SANavigator and through McData channels. The acquisition is valued at $29.75 million.

This article was originally published on September 12, 2001