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TrelliSoft SRM features give Tivoli a fresh look

The director of strategy for Tivoli's storage group says IBM's newly upgraded DB2 Content Manager can work with Tivoli Storage Manager to help determine where to store data on a network. Theresa O'Neil also elaborates on the benefits of storage resource management.

SOMERS, N.Y. -- Last fall, IBM Corp. completed its acquisition of TrelliSoft, a storage resource management software vendor. Since then, IBM has integrated the company and its StorageAlert event monitoring and reporting product with the Tivoli systems management software offerings. spoke with Theresa O'Neil, director of strategy for Tivoli's storage group and a former TrelliSoft vice president, about the outcome of the acquisition and the impact yesterday's upgrade to DB2 Content Manager will mean to Tivoli. Now that the acquisition has been complete for about six months, how would you describe the impact been on IBM and Tivoli?
O'Neil: IBM had been looking at storage resource management and where it fit into the storage management portfolio. Backup and restore has been a core part of the business for a long time, along with SAN [storage area network] management, and then storage resource management rounded out the portfolio. The reason why they invested in SRM is because it really is a good first step for organizations; you can see the whole storage environment across platforms, operating systems and databases. For companies that are moving from direct-attached storage to networked storage, they'll want to get an idea of what their utilization is by platform and how much they're growing by. SRM can deliver all those things, so it's a good fit for companies choosing to [do] things like consolidation or move to new platforms. Can SRM provide any other specific benefits?
O'Neil: It also allows for policies. For example, if a company wants to improve [storage network] utilization, it can prevent you from storing all your Grateful Dead music on the network. It can go out and find all your MP3 files, and then put policies in place so that you can't recreate the same problems you just got rid of. So SRM is a natural fit with SAN management. How will Tivoli's storage and network management products work with IBM's newly upgraded DB2 Content Manager?
O'Neil: The Tivoli Storage Manager, the backup and restore product, has been integrated with Content Manager for some time. The Storage Manager API is what Content Manager uses to determine which devices it will store data on. Through that API, it supports hundreds of different devices from many different manufacturers, and that's important for several reasons. One, it lets you leverage what you have in-house already; you don't need to buy a new device to implement this technology. Secondly, storage technology changes all the time. Some federal requirements, the FDA in particular, require you to keep records for 50 years. I'm pretty sure we're not going to be using the same devices 50 years from now. By having this open solution, the back-end storage is integrated, but it can be changed without putting your policies at risk. It seems like this is part of a broader IBM initiative to provide modular network and storage management products. Why is that?
O'Neil: A core part of what Tivoli is doing now is to make our products integrated yet modular. Of course, we'd love to sell you every piece of software we have, but in reality, you have some things you want to keep using, whether it's a certain switch or a certain storage device. We want to help companies leverage those existing investments and integrate around them. Does that theme also stem from a more competitive management landscape?
O'Neil: The competitive landscape is constantly changing. Just as some areas seem to consolidate, other areas have new companies starting up. Some technologies start to move toward commodities, and then someone will put an innovation on top of it. So I can't see a general trend either way, but it's always changing.


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