BMC adds automation to SRM

Looking to distinguish itself from the pack, BMC Software Inc. recently announced it has added automation functions to its SRM (storage resource management) software via a partnership with Invio Software Inc.

Houston-based BMC signed an agreement to resell and integrate Invio’s process automation software with the future release of Version 3.1 of its SRM product dubbed Patrol Storage Manager.

The agreement comes while competition in the SRM market heats up as a number of storage vendors, including EMC Corp., AppIQ Inc., and IBM Corp./Tivoli, have recently made announcements revolving around enhancements to their own SRM software packages.

According to Dan Tolan, director of product management for Patrol at BMC, the partnership with Palo Alto, Calif.-based Invio will enable BMC to offer its customers more advanced tools for provisioning storage for applications and groups of users.

“It came down to build vs. buy,” Tolan said. “This partnership gives us faster time to market.”

In the agreement BMC will resell Invio’s Storage Practice Manager software as a stand-alone product and early next year will roll the software’s functionality into its existing Patrol Storage Manager software platform.

Additional terms of the partnership include access to Invio’s adapters (the interfaces used for communicating with and controlling heterogeneous system components) and active practices (the pre-built and reusable storage management modules), as well as the right to build future adapters and practices.

The next version of Patrol Storage Manager will initially support Brocade and McData switches, EMC and Hitachi Data Systems storage systems, and the Windows and Solaris operating systems.

The first adapter BMC will build with Invio’s automation process technology is a provisioning module that the company believes will dramatically shrink the number of steps required to provision storage for an application, Tolan explained.

“The process to allocate storage today can take days,” Tolan said. “With the automation component we can take 13 manual steps and compact them to two or three.”

Future adapters may include data protection and replica management, as well as topology management.