StorageTek Snaps Up Storability


StorageTek took another step in filling out its information lifecycle management portfolio this week, acquiring software maker Storability.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement, but StorageTek purchased all intellectual property, software license agreements and 40 customer contracts of Storability. Some 70 employees will join StorageTek, remaining in Storability's Southborough, Mass., headquarters and at the offices in India.

Storability makes Global Storage Manager (GSM), a software product that enables customers to improve the use of their storage environments by offering a centralized view of near-line storage, network fabric and switches, databases and backup applications.

GSM is also valuable for customers with heterogeneous storage infrastructure, because it manages thousands of storage components from several different vendors across large enterprises. The latest version of GSM, 4.0, provides business analytics that improve a user's ability to gauge data.

"GSM does a great job of attaching to primary storage arrays and identifying under-partitioned storage space and utilizing that," said Todd Rief, director of corporate strategy for StorageTek. "We think conservatively that we can free up a half to a third of people's primary storage assets with this tool."

Rief told owning the roadmap for Storability's products will aid StorageTek's ability to support the customers.

The product falls under the increasingly popular niche of storage resource management (SRM) software, which analysts say is a growing market, led by giants such as EMC and Veritas Software. According to research from IDC, SRM represents the largest functional market of storage software, growing more than 30 percent year over year.

"Effective storage resource management is the foundation for delivering an efficient, reliable, and highly available storage infrastructure ..." said IDC analyst Bill North in a recent market report. "Device and SAN management software use grew by 36 percent compared with the second quarter of 2003."

Rief said the purchase is a natural fit because StorageTek and Storability have worked together for more than two years. StorageTek acquired Storability's Storage Operations Center (SOC) in July 2002, using it to launch its remote managed storage service offering. StorageTek has since been Storability's leading reseller.

For StorageTek, well-known in the storage space for its tape back-up prowess, the ability to completely integrate SRM offerings into its product line pads its ILM strategy for managing content from the time it's created until its disposal.

Rief said Storability helps StorageTek's ILM strategy, because it bolsters the productivity of primary storage, makes data protection processes more reliable and less labor intensive, and facilitates archive and compliance systems.

Many storage vendors, including EMC, IBM and HP are hawking ILM as a key strategy to help customers cope with mounting compliance regulations.


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