Storage Wares Abound

Unfortunately, said Carl Wolfston, director of Headlands Associates, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based solution provider, not much sounds exciting. Wolfston said it's easy to understand why there are so few new and interesting storage products. "If I'm a company, why would I want to try new products in these economic times? iSCSI is new, and it's still on the sidelines waiting to be adopted," he said.

>> A much-hyped interoperability initiative could provide the high point of this week's trade show.

Hitachi Data Systems executives plan to introduce on Monday the company's new Global Solution Services organization, which combines its professional services operations into a single worldwide group, said Phil Townsend, senior director of product marketing.

The organization's goal is consistency and standardization in services to ensure that global customers get the same support regardless of geography, Townsend said. Such services will be available through Hitachi, its partner, Sun Microsystems, and regional solution providers, he said.

At the show, 20 vendors,including EMC, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun,will set up a SAN to demonstrate multivendor interoperability using the Common Information Model, an industry standard that allows CIM-compliant storage management software to manage CIM-compliant storage hardware, regardless of vendor. While only a few products with early implementations of CIM have started shipping, most vendors have said they plan to roll out CIM-compliant products in volume in the first half of next year.

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>> 20 vendors demo CIM-based SAN
>> Hitachi Data Systems is moving its storage services into a single worldwide organization.>> IBM upped Shark's capacity, Brocade has new 32-port modular Fibre Channel switch, Crossroads has device to bring "orphan" servers into the SAN, CNT shows router to connect IP networks over thousands of miles
>> CA ships version 9 of ArcServe, BMC adds Invio technology to Patrol Storage Manager, Hitachi Data Systems adds CommVault technology to its arrays

Veronica Mendell, business development manager at Sigmanet, a Diamond Bar, Calif.-based solution provider, said interoperability is important and she welcomes the vendors' moves to work with standards such as CIM.

"I'm not a fan of sticking with one vendor," Mendell said. "I don't want to put my eggs in one basket. When [we are spending a lot of time on a particular case, it's good for us to have some [vendor flexibility."

For its part, IBM plans to unveil beefed-up Shark 800 and 800 Turbo storage arrays, with double the storage capacity to as much as 56 Tbytes, said Jim Kelly, vice president of marketing for the company's Storage Products Division.

Brocade Communications Systems, meanwhile, is fighting back against up-and-coming storage vendor Cisco Systems with its SilkWorm 3900, a 32-port Fibre Channel switch that allows solution providers to scale customers' SANs eight ports at a time, said Steve Beer, director of Brocade's volume hardware platforms.

BMC Software is using the conference to introduce technology licensed from Invio to automate storage management. That software will be available for BMC's Patrol Storage Automation - Provisioning in November, and should be integrated early next year, said Dan Hoffman, director of enterprise storage management for BMC.