TrueSAN Networks on Monday announced it has partnered with McDATA, adding another storage vendor to the growing list the startup is using to build its Cloudbreak storage operating system.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company is in a race to gather cross-license deals with key storage market leaders so it can implement those companies' APIs into Cloudbreak, a comprehensive, network-based storage management platform.
Besides McDATA, TrueSAN has announced cross-license agreements with Q Logic, Brocade Communications Systems and Hitachi Data Systems. The current partnership means TrueSAN becomes an OpenReady Developer and gets access to McDATA's Connectors--the company's comprehensive API initiative.
TrueSAN CEO and president Thomas Isakovich says TrueSAN now has access to 85 percent of the storage switch market. With all these deals, the company plans to design a storage management tool that centralizes storage virtualization, storage network and device management, storage resource management, business continuance applications and policy management.
Isakovich says the company is developing these relationships with little difficulty.
"We are an Independent Software Vendor; it helps," he says.
TrueSAN is part of a growing number of management software companies delving into the storage industry--an area that in recent months has experienced a number of venture capital investments. Isakovich advocates centralized intelligent management software, which many IT managers need to control heterogeneous hardware and software environments built in the last few years.
"[Centralized storage management can't come from a storage subsystem vendor. It has to come from an ISV," says Isakovich.
With this strategy, TrueSAN is competing with the likes of EMC, which is also attempting to build partnerships with storage hardware and software vendors to develop its own version of centralized storage management. The Hopkinton, Mass.-based company recently announced it has completed one of the three API modules to its WideSky middleware software tool.
Called the WideSky Storage Resource Management API, it is designed to give developers a standard common interface to write application-centric management software for host devices, according to EMC executives. This SRM API module will enable customers to manage, monitor and optimize storage from the logical to physical layers in a system.
EMC expects to release the Connectivity API Module, which manages switches and hubs, and the Storage API Module, which manages subsystems, later this year. Brocade, Qlogic and McDATA already have committed to WideSky, says Don Swatik, EMC's vice president of alliances and information sciences.
Analysts say EMC has had partial success with WideSky.
"Time will tell how successful that project is," says Arun Taneja, an analyst with Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Storage Group. "The problem is we don't have a common API and I'm not going to see one in my lifetime. "If vendors don't exchange APIs, then we will continue to have a problem for end users. Exchanging APIs is the only salvation, in absence of a common API."