The figure of $250,000 is based on an average enterprise setting up 4,000 LUNs (logical unit numbers) a year, linking applications with storage devices. On average, an administrator earning $70 an hour takes 54 minutes to set up a LUN, according to InterSAN, which claims its software cuts this to a single minute.
The first iteration of InterSANs product, expected at the end of the year, will also provide basic service-level management, offering such things as uptime performance statistics for details on what paths went down and when. And the second version, due in early 2002, will go even further, providing response times for specific applications.
Right now the competitive landscape looks good for InterSAN, which might make it a tasty acquisition target. Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) and IBMs Tivoli division both offer device-centric management that provides discovery and topology rendering, but neither offers automated storage management or the ability to see which applications are using which parts of the infrastructure. Prisa Networks Inc.
and SANavigator Inc., two other startups in this space, are also only offering device discovery products.
If InterSAN doesnt get snapped up first, it will need to get the switch vendors and HBA vendors to support its software, but judging by the support its garnered so far, this shouldnt be a problem. Its also missing security and access control features, which are an essential part of any storage management solution.
Still, its done enough to secure $7.8 million in a first round of funding in April, led by Wit Soundview Ventures. Others in the round included Capital Alliance Ventures, Morgan Keegan & Company Inc., and storage luminaries such as Kumar Malavalli, co-founder and VP of technology at Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD). InterSAN hopes to win a second round in the first quarter of 2002.