Sun Signs Storage Software Deal With AppIQ

AppIQ, Burlington, Mass. develops software to handle a full range of storage management functions across disparate platforms, including discovery of storage resources, zoning, logical unit number (LUN) masking, LUN security and resource management, said Tom Rose, vice president of marketing at the company.

According to Rose, most competitive software handling these functions are stand-alone products that do not offer an integrated approach.

The company's software is aimed at mission-critical applications, such as keeping an Oracle database running while changing a Fibre Channel switch, or provisioning new storage without disrupting operations, Rose said.

AppIQ has similar strategic relationships with two other vendors. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) signed a deal with AppIQ last fall under which HDS resells AppIQ software. SGI is OEMing some basic components of AppIQ's software for its own products and services, and reselling the full version to customers that use SGI products in multivendor implementations. In contrast,Sun is looking to integrate AppIQ's technology into its StorEdge storage product offering, Rose said.

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Derek Maxwell, manager of storage management software at Sun, said the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company expects to unveil storage products with AppIQ technology during the second half of 2004.

Sun and AppIQ forged Monday's OEM deal despite Sun's acquisition a few years ago of HighGround Systems, a company that also develops storage resource management software, Maxwell said. "About a year ago, we looked at in-house development, but also saw a lot of development going on out there as well," he said. "We looked for someone with storage management technology based on open systems and J2EE."

AppIQ depends on a small number of solution providers that, along with OEMs, account for about 80 percent of the company's revenue, Rose said.

One of those solution providers, Norcross, Ga.-based Solarcom, has worked with AppIQ for years, said Ed Gogol, Solarcom's director of enterprise systems.

Gogol said he will watch the new Sun-AppIQ relationship and how its offerings compare with those of another of his vendor partners, Veritas Software.

"[The OEM agreement] will give Sun a product that not only works through the network layer, but into the application layer," Gogol said. "You can get plug-ins for SAP, Oracle Financials, etc., to help monitor performance and give alerts. It will be interesting to see how the relationship plays vs. Veritas and its application performance monitoring software."