Storage outsourcing provider opens shop

Storage outsourcing provider opens shop

By Zachary Shess

With its eyes on a large, untapped market and aspirations of being the world`s largest storage purchaser, Waltham, MA-based Storage Networks Inc. (SNI) last month introduced a series of storage outsourcing management services. Targeting Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller data-intensive sites, SNI officials say the startup is the first services firm to provide pure storage outsourcing.

Over the next 12 to 18 months, SNI plans to provide design, implementation, and management services, as well as a nationwide Fibre Channel-based virtual private network (VPN) for companies looking to outsource their storage into consolidated warehouses. These warehouses, called StoragePOPs, will be located in large metropolitan areas, and will include EMC Symmetrix arrays and Connectrix connectivity devices, as well as other storage servers, tape storage systems, redundant power supplies and fire suppression systems.

SNI executives say that a variety of forces are driving the need for storage outsourcing, including exponentially growing data; the emergence of Fibre Channel; and robust network infrastructures.

"Fibre Channel and network infrastructures are the main technology enablers," says SNI co-founder and CEO Peter Bell. "As data is growing and being dispersed throughout organizations, users are telling us that they need to get better control of their data."

SNI plans to provide Professional and Network Series of services. Professional services offer storage consulting, which guides users in designing implementations.

Upon completion, SNI`s Network services provide assistance with connectivity, business continuity, data management and recovery solutions.

One early adop-ter of SNI`s services is a large, Texas-based oil and gas exploration company, which requested anonymity. The company contracted with SNI to help with several backup-related activities, including replicating Oracle databases, assisting with periodic offsite backups and disaster prevention measures, system upgrades, off-site data mirroring, and other data movement procedures

Company officials believe SNI will facilitate their storage area network (SAN) configuration.

"Part of my job is to keep an eye on upcoming technologies, and SANs were in the forefront, but taking it offsite brings everything together faster," says one official.

SNI has already rolled out its Professional and Network services in the Houston and New York City metropolitan areas. Professional Services will reach most major cities in 1999, with Network Services implemented in 2000.

For more information, visit www.storagenetworks.com.

This article was originally published on May 01, 1999