This week it was StorageNetworks. Before them, it was Hitachi Data Systems and the new Hewlett-Packard. And before them, it was IBM, Veritas Software, EMC and Computer Associates.
So many vendors in the last few weeks have stepped forward with their plans and goals for storage software, an area that is garnering more attention than the fact that Hitachi has come out with a new storage subsystem that scales up to 75 Tbytes with five frames and up to 4,000 logical connections to servers and disk arrays.
The size of disk drives. The capacity and throughput levels in disk arrays. Speeds and feeds once reigned supreme in storage. Now it's about who has the best software to manage all that hardware. It makes sense. Corporations have tightened the screws on IT spending. Administrators and managers now need better accounting methods to determine how efficiently they are using all that storage they have accumulated.
Moreover, customers are forcing storage vendors to play nice. At least, in some instances. Just last week, Mark Lewis, former general manager of Compaq's storage enterprise group and now head of worldwide marketing and solutions at HP, said Compaq exchanged APIs with EMC only because customers asked them to do it.
"We are not friends," says Lewis.
According to research firm Gartner, EMC is number one in the overall storage management space, capturing 30.4 percent of the market. Next in line is Veritas with 19.8 percent of the market, followed by IBM with 14.2 percent and Computer Associates with 4.1 percent.
If you take out the numbers for array-based software, the figures change. Veritas takes the lead with 30 percent of the overall market, while IBM comes in second with 17.7 percent, followed by EMC with 11.9 percent and Computer Associates with 6.2 percent.
If and how these figures will change in the months to come is best left to analysts. But here is a recap of some of these vendors' software strategies. Generally, most vendors are voicing support forthe CIM (Command Information Model) standard still being developed by the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA). But at the same time, many are developing their own "open standards" software in hopes of capturing market share so their software becomes the de facto standard: