Startups tackle storage management

Network professionals could find managing their storage devices and applications easier with software from TeraCloud Corp. and InterSAN Inc., two start-ups that rolled out products last week that monitor and manage statistics gathered from heterogeneous storage resources.

TeraCloud’s SpaceNet lets customers automate policies, tasks and events for direct-attached, network-attached or storage-area network (SAN) devices. Today most of these tasks, such as backing up data, must be entered and triggered manually. InterSAN’s Pathline approaches management of storage differently – the software provisions, manages and monitors SANs by the applications running on them rather than on the storage devices.

TeraCloud’s SpaceNet storage resource management software creates a physical and logical view of the storage resources on the network and monitors storage equipment, letting the customers make decisions on capacity, performance, configuration, migration, policies and disk quotas, and set alerts for when thresholds are exceeded. The software runs on Windows NT, 2000, Linux, NetWare, Unix and OS/390 servers, and is managed from a browser-based interface.

Marvin Lloyd, director of technical support for electronic payment processor TSYS in Columbus, Ga., has used TeraCloud’s storage resource management software products on his IBM zSeries (S/390) mainframe.

“We use [TeraCloud’s product] for storage reporting, predicting storage requirements, and determining where growth and file cleanup has occurred,” Lloyd says. “I need to make my [staff] as productive as possible. This product helped me do that.” He says he hopes to extend its use to the NT servers on his network.

The market for Enterprise storage resource management software is expected to grow from US$1 billion in 2000 to $3.8 billion in 2005, according to Dataquest. SRM is a subset of a technology Gartner calls storage-area management, which not only monitors and manages storage devices and servers, but manages the relationship between applications and their storage.

InterSAN’s Pathline is an example of storage-area management software, says Robert Passmore, an analyst with the Gartner Group Inc. says. Pathline lets users automate storage provisioning, measure service-level agreements, and create and monitor policies. The software also provides automatic discovery and continuous health monitoring for heterogeneous storage networking components. Pathline runs on a Solaris server.

Chris Eidler, CTO at service provider StorageWay in Fremont, Calif., uses InterSAN’s Pathline to help him automate the provisioning of 130 terabytes of storage for his customers.

“Before we had Pathline, we developed our own tools and processes to do it ourselves – we had to learn all the point products from vendors such LSI Logic, Hitachi and Brocade,” Eidler says. “With Pathline, we were able to consolidate those [devices] to the applications on our network. From a corporate standpoint, I can take the people dedicated to [an application] and put them on an initiative that will generate additional revenue for us.”

A large number of vendors compete with both companies. Among SRM tools are Sun’s Highground, Computer Associates’ BrightStor SRM, Precise’s StorageCentral and EMC’s ControlCenter. A few of the storage-area management tools available are Veritas’ SANPoint Control, BMC Software’s Application-Centric Storage Management and Prisa’s VisualSAN Configuration Manager.

SpaceNet is available immediately starting at $40,000 per terabyte. Pathline will be available this month; pricing is based on the number of terabytes being managed. It starts at $40,000.

TeraCloud can be reached at and InterSAN is at

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