IBM Plans Big Push Around New Storage Resource Management Acquisition


TrelliSoft fills gap in Tivoli's storage applications


IBM's solution providers figured big in the vendor's move on Thursday to acquire TrelliSoft, a 30-person developer of storage resource management software based in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Mike Twomei, vice president of business development and channels at IBM Tivoli, said IBM's customers and solution providers have been pushing the company to ready a storage resource management offering. "Our strength with our channel partners with our storage management line will help us move on this fast," he said.

IBM sent a letter to solution providers about the acquisition, and next week plans a Webinar for partners on the subject, Twomei said. By mid-September, IBM will start in-house training with solution providers. "We want to quickly get this to our business partners," he said.

The terms of the deal, which closed Thursday, were not revealed.

Storage resource management provides a set of automated tools to monitor and assess multiple aspects of a storage infrastructure, including management of capacity, availability, events, performance and assets.

The TrelliSoft organization is being integrated into the IBM Software Group. The company's software application is already available via IBM Tivoli, based here.

IBM was developing its own storage resource management application but decided the acquisition would be the fastest way to come to market with this type of product, Twomei said.

"We think storage resource management is the next level of storage management our customers need," Twomei said. "It is the fastest-growing part of the storage market, with some analysts predicting a CGR [cumulative growth rate of 30 percent per year in the next five years. So we have been committed to this. The question was, do we acquire or develop? We figure we saved 12 to 18 months by this acquisition."

IBM plans to keep the TrelliSoft software as a stand-alone offering, and by fall plans to integrate some of its own storage resource management development into the product, Twomei said. The company also has started integrating the TrelliSoft application into its Tivoli Storage Manager and SAN Manager, and expects some level of integration by this fall, he said.

Stephen Donovan, CEO of TrelliSoft, will become vice president of storage resource management at IBM Tivoli.

IBM is the second major storage vendor to acquire a storage resource management developer in the past year. In December 2000, Sun Microsystems paid about $400 million for HighGround Systems.