CA is trying to claw back lost ground in a growing storage market. It has launched 13 new products inside its integrated BrightStor suite as its storage revenues fell behind those of IBM and HP, making it the number five in the market.
IDC reports that storage revenues for the second quarter of this year were $1.85 billion with year on year growth at 16.9 percent. The growth was driven by demand for storage resource management (SRM) software, the very area that CA has been judged deficient in by the market. It's revenue share fell from 8.9 to 6.6 percent whilst IBM and HP both grew theirs to 7 percent (although IBM's actual storage revenue as assessed by IDC fell). EMC led the market with a 30.5 percent share, up 3.4 percent, and Veritas was second at 22.6 percent, up one percent.
IDC storage software research director Bill North said, "Device and SAN management software use grew by 36 percent compared with the second quarter of 2003. This dramatic growth, driven primarily by customer need to support larger and more complex storage networks, combined with a gradual decline in the more mature backup and archive software market, made storage resource management the largest of the storage software markets for the first time."
CA's exec VP of product development, Mark Barrenechea, said new BrightStor r11.1 releases would "protect the business and achieve regulatory compliance within existing resource constraints, enterprise customers have to bring a new level of precision, automation and financial discipline to their storage management processes."
CA is addressing some key issues with the releases, but hasn't addressed all of users' concerns. The company has said nothing about information lifecycle management (ILM), nor about the use of intelligent storage switches and nothing about storage as a utility.
At first sight, it looks as if CA had addressed the ILM market when it announced its first ILM product called Document Manager. This provides customers with document management technology that can be adapted to specific business processes and regulatory compliance requirements. By incorporating the open source Plone document management engine, CA said that BrightStor Document Manager enables customers to benefit from the expertise and innovation of the open source community.
Or, in other words the only ILM application product CA has is a document management engine that needs adapting to customer requirements, a long way from the offerings from the likes of StorageTek and EMC.
Is CA mising the ILM boat? "No," said David Liff, CA's VP for BrightStor product marketing, Brightstor will provide an automated and integration foundation of ILM operations, such as data moving, that specific ILM applications, like Document Manager, can use. In the new release BrightStor Process Automation Manager automates general storage processes in this fashion. About the new release in general, Liff said, "The whole point of this integration is to manage the complete information life cycle."
Compliance could reduce e-mail burden
CA partners, via its CA Smart program, with other suppliers to provide, for example, ILM applications such as e-mail archiving from C2C. Liff said that as businesses understand the needs of compliance they are changing their behaviour and processes to limit what can be put into e-mails, so as to moderate their compliance burden. This can reduce e-mail archiving needs to the point where specific archive products may not be needed.
He said that, "As and when ILM applications such as e-mail archiving become fundamental then we will have our own solution."
While CA has been improving BrightStor, Softek has introduced a storage performance analysis product integrated with its Storage Manager enterprise storage resource management (ESRM) suite. Performance Tuner profiles the performance of a storage environment on a daily or weekly basis. Server and storage network performance is first collected and a base line established. If performance subsequently falls outside the baseline range then management is alerted and actionable reports delivered to help solve the problem
Softek has also added new features and increased the scalability of the Storage Manager and SANview storage area network (SAN) management products.
Softek doesn't directly provide ILM features. Instead if provides the facilities, aka software levers, that ILM products can use to move stored data between the appropriate tiers of storage.
Veritas recently bought KVS to improve its e-mail archiving capability. Veritas' ILM strategy involves partnering with StorageTek, and also the concept of utility computing. StorageTek vice president and general manager Mark Ward delivered a presentation on the closing day of Veritas Vision 2004, and described how StorageTek's partnership with VERITAS addresses, "the next wave of computing" whose goal is to "drive cost out and efficiency in." This is accomplished through the utility computing building blocks of availability, performance, and automation.