BMC To Discontinue Patrol Storage Management Line

The company, based here, last week confirmed it will discontinue further development of its Patrol Storage Manager. The latest version was released last month.

Dan Hoffmann, director of enterprise storage management at BMC, said that after recent internal meetings, the company decided that the distributed storage market didn't warrant further investment. "The distributed storage market is highly fragmented," he said. "Many players in this market are not making money."

Still, the discontinuation of Patrol Storage Manager doesn't mean that BMC is completely exiting the storage management space, since the vendor will continue to offer its Mainview Storage Resource Management application for mainframe storage management, Hoffmann said. BMC also will continue to develop storage-related Knowledge Modules for its enterprise management applications, he said.

One of Patrol Storage Manager's key functions is storage resource management, which allows for the discovery and monitoring of storage devices in a network. But Hoffmann said that market is too competitive, with most major players already offering or recently acquiring similar products.

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"It's hard for the small guys to make money in this space," he said. "I doubt that even the big guys make profits in this business."

But Don McNaughton, sales manager at HorizonTek, a Huntington, N.Y.-based solution provider, said vendors have yet to tap the potential of the storage resource management market. "They have to make their software work with all the devices out there," he said. "And they have to adjust pricing. They are charging $20,000 to $25,000 per Tbyte of data. It's tough to convince someone to spend that much money even before they purchase any storage."

The discontinuation of Patrol Storage Manager should have little effect on BMC's core business of managing an enterprise's entire network infrastructure, since BMC still has the technology to handle storage, Hoffmann said. "BMC's distinguishing characteristic is application-centric storage management," he said. "We focus on the mapping or correlation of business processes to storage assets, both hardware and nonhardware. Customers want more than just point storage management. They want management across the entire business process."