Prisa refocuses on SAN software

By Dave Simpson

Next month, Prisa Networks hopes to complete a company turnaround by shipping the first module in its storage area network (SAN) management software suite. Formed in late 1994 as a Fibre Channel-specific vendor of host bus adapters and associated software for Silicon Graphics platforms, the company exited the hardware business about a year ago after the SGI market dried up. Prisa is now focused solely on software, and the fruits of that transition are expected next month with the delivery of VisualSAN Network Manager.

The Java-based software is expected to compete with other SAN management suites from large vendors such as Computer Associates, Tivoli, and Veritas, as well as smaller players such as Connex and Vixel.

VisualSAN Network Manager was announced at last month's Storage Networking World conference. The software provides a number of service level management functions for heterogeneous storage networks, including:

  • Graphical visualization of the storage network through an automatic discovery process.
  • Automatic rendering of interconnects and devices, including multi-vendor switches, hubs, routers, HBAs, and storage systems.
  • Real-time polling of device status, and alert generation (via SNMP traps, e-mail messages, or pages).

Other functions include event correlation and filtering, event log compilation, and fault detection and isolation.

Prisa is focused solely on OEMs, and will provide application programming interfaces (APIs) for integration of its modules with other management software suites.

Compaq is one OEM that is showing interest in Prisa. The two companies announced a joint development agreement this summer to develop SAN management software that is in part based on Prisa's VisualSAN code.

The software will run on Compaq's SANworks Management Appliance. In addition, Compaq joined a number of other investors (including Intel Capital and GE Equity) in Prisa's most recent round of funding, which totaled $11.8 million.

Following the release of VisualSAN Network Manager, Prisa plans to ship VisualSAN Performance Manager software early next year, according to Ted Chen, executive vice president at the San Diego-based company.

Performance Manager will provide functions such as real-time performance monitoring, graphical visualization of performance across the storage network topology, and error-rate monitoring.

Prisa's SAN management software is currently tailored to Fibre Channel environments, but Chen says the company will adapt the code to iSCSI (IP-based storage) and InfiniBand as those markets develop.

This article was originally published on November 01, 2000