Storage management software, much hyped as a growth area, appears to have experienced its first ever decline in 2002.
Gartner estimates that worldwide licences totalled $US4.7 billion, a 6% fall from 2001. Carolyn DiCenzo, Gartner’s storage management software specialist, says the fall is due to the “tough economic climate and just-in-time buying”.
“The resulting price adjustments, especially for array-based software, will be long lasting,” DiCenzo told Computerworld, “but the growth in data recording on disk and tape continues and the market will turn around again and grow, but at a slower pace.”
That means infrastructure and data management software will remain under pressure, but device and storage resource management tools will continue to report growth, she says.
Meanwhile, moves towards an open standard for storage management software took a step forward earlier this month when the Storage Networking Industry Association released draft specification of its SMI (storage management initiative), which promises to make managing storage area networks easier.
The SMI will provide a common set of application programming interfaces for vendors to write management software to, easing interoperability.
A final version of the standard is expected in October, after feedback from the industry and some storage software vendors are already selling products that comply with CIM (common information model), one of two planks of SMI.
CIM is an object-oriented storage management framework and the other plank of SMI is web-based enterprise management, which will define an interface layer for sharing CIM data between different vendors’ products.