Storage Management Vendors Hunt For Partners


Several smaller storage management software developers, including a number of startups, have introduced new products in the past few weeks and are looking to the channel to expand their businesses.

Okapi Software unveiled ipXpress, a software package solution providers can use to turn common servers into low-cost iSCSI storage devices.

IpXpress can be installed on an old PC, server or white-box server, turning the device into an iSCSI disk appliance and offering a low-cost SAN without having to learn Fibre Channel, said John Matze, CEO and president of the San Diego-based company.

While Mark Somerville, director of field sales at Chi, a Warrensville Heights, Ohio-based solution provider, has yet to try the Okapi offering, his company is already offering clients IP-based storage, including products from FalconStor. What's most exciting about IP storage is the ability to add a SAN to any network, Somerville said. "Just add pure storage, because of the IP connection," he said. "The biggest challenge is getting customers to grasp the concept of IP storage."

UltraBac Software, Bellevue, Wash., enhanced its data backup-and-restore application with the ability to back up data to any FTP server and to interoperate with IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager applications.

UltraBac version 7.0.2 can back up to any FTP server as long as the user has a user name, IP address, password and directory name, said Paul Bunn, CTO of the company. The application also compresses the data before sending it over the network, he said.

Storactive, Marina Del Rey, Calif., unveiled a beta version of LiveServ, a storage management application that compresses and backs up mission-critical data on a continual basis and shrinks or eliminates SMB backup windows.

Meanwhile, Netreon, a Mountain View, Calif.-based storage ISV, introduced version 1.6 of its SANexec Designer, which now automatically detects devices on a SAN, draws an accurate picture of the storage network using Visio and tests the devices for compatibility before they are installed.

And UniTrends Software, developer of the Backup Professional storage management software aimed at enterprisewide, cross-platform data protection, is expanding its channel business and has become a partner-only organization, said Eric Williams, worldwide channel manager at the Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based company.

As part of the move, UniTrends simplified its pricing, offering a software bundle featuring a fixed price per tape cartridge determined by whether a tape library has more or fewer than 500 cartridges, Williams said. The company also increased its market-development funds and has set up a lead-generation program. UniTrends also expects to recruit about 75 new partners in the United States in the next five months, said Williams.