BMC Stops Patrol Storage Manager Development

A source, who requested anonymity, says the company stopped all work on the 3.1 version, though company officials publicly stated it would continue to support the current 2.2 version.

"Why in the hell would you exit so early from such a promising young market?" asks Steven Murphy, president and CEO of Fujitsu Software Technology, an SRM competitor to BMC.

PSM is a storage resource management (SRM) product,a tool many view as a central piece to developing broader storage-management software in the distributed market. And in the past year, the industry has seen a flood of companies jump into the SRM market. Some are pure-play SRM companies; others like EMC, Computer Associates and Veritas Software include it as part of their software portfolios. BMC executives, however, say PSM was dropped because they "concluded that the investment made in distributed SRM was not justified," says Dan Hoffmann, BMC's director of the enterprise storage management division. "The SRM market is full of competitors. And we believe very few are profitable."

BMC, with a history in the mainframe arena, will continue to invest in its Mainview Storage Resource Manager, which provides capacity planning, performance optimization and other features for OS/390 environments. Moreover, it will continue to invest in developing Patrol Knowledge Modules (KMs) for storage devices that will be used in the company's enterprise-management tools, mostly concentrated in the database, network and systems management. But what BMC won't have is an SRM product in open systems. "What made us unique," says a source within the company, "was that we have a top view of the storage network. You could drill down to the exact spot on a disk and see where an application is residing. Everybody is buying a solution to get where we are."

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In 2001, BMC had a 4.2 percent share of the storage-software market (not counting array-based software), according to a Gartner Dataquest report. It had been in the distributed space for about seven years. Fujitsu's Murphy concedes that his company is making the bulk of its revenue from the mainframe space. But Fujitsu sees its SRM product as an investment. "[BMC] killed its baby," he says. "It's wrong to think you are going to make money on your open-systems product in its first-release cycle. You are in pure investment mode."

At least one analyst agrees there are too many SRM players right now. Arun Taneja, a storage expert based in Hopkinton, Mass., predicts many of the weaker players will go away this year. "I think the phenomenon already has begun," he says.

But BMC, Taneja says, had a fairly good position in this area. And any company looking to be a heavy-hitter in the overall storage-management market needs the SRM piece. "I have a hard time imagining that you don't want the SRM part," he says. "It's the first part of the pyramid."