Exits stealth with software that marries SRM with app performance management

January 18, 2007

3 Min Read
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Is there life beyond storage resource management (SRM)? That's the question startup Akorri, just out of stealth, hopes to answer for data center managers intent on optimizing application performance across storage and network servers.

Akorri will officially launch next week by unveiling BalancePoint, software that performs capacity planning, change management, and root cause analysis across storage, servers, and applications. The software will optimize the performance of databases, email, file systems, and streaming media applications, the vendor claims.

Can one system really do all that? After all, the storage graveyard is littered with the bones of companies that tried to do SRM only and failed -- let alone do SRM plus all the rest.

Akorri founder and CTO Richard Corley says BalancePoint is an extension of SRM, application performance management, and enterprise systems management rather than a replacement for those applications. For instance, it doesn't do traditional SRM features such as provisioning storage or providing a physical topology of the network connections. Instead, it does what it needs to do to achieve specific performance goals.

"Many SRM tools do broader things," he says. "We take the application performance view."Before founding Akorri in January 2005, Corley -- for better or worse -- sold his last company, virtualization startup Pirus Networks, to Sun for $165 million in 2002. (See Sun Beams on Pirus.) Akorri has raised $23 million in two rounds of funding over the past two years.

Corley says BalancePoint helps CIOs determine an application's workload; analyzes the infrastructure's ability to run the application; enables resource planning based on the application's performance; and provides recommendations for optimization. To make all these determinations, it collects information from storage arrays, LUNS, servers, operating systems, and applications.

BalancePoint cuts across several areas, touching on SRM, application performance management, and enterprise systems management products. It's a technique that's been adopted by several larger vendors, including EMC, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Opsware, and Symantec. All of these have network and storage management products and are in various stages of integrating them. (See Data Center Management Goes Virtual and EMC Casts Wider Net.)

Other suppliers specialize in some of the functions Akorri does. For instance, Onaro does change management and capacity planning, MonoSphere does capacity planning, and Aptare and WySDM collect and report on data across domains. (See Onaro Adds New Storage Views and Capacity Planner Grabs More Cash.)

"There are lots and lots of products that service their own domain -- storage domains, network domains, applications domains," Corley says. "These give you the domain information but they don't give you a holistic view of the system. We don't want to replace those tools. We want to be complimentary but we want to be the layer above that."Analyst Greg Schulz of The StorageIO Group says Akorri has a shot of succeeding if it can live up to what it is promising.

"Where they can make a difference is if they go one step farther than what's already out there and provide more information about activity such as I/O per second, response time, and latency," Schulz says. "There is a void out there to be filled."

BalancePoint is priced based on the number of operating systems it monitors plus storage capacity. It starts at $30,000 for one operating system and around 20 Tbytes, but larger enterprises will typically run into more than $100,000 to start.

Corley is joined by COO John Gavin, also from Pirus, at the 50-person Littleton, Mass.-based startup. The management team includes EMC veteran Tom Joyce as marketing VP, SVP Cynthia Gallant of Enterasys Networks, former Sandial CTO Paul Marichal as engineering VP, and former Onaro VP of business development Tom Riddle as VP of resellers and alliances.

Akorri's investors are Matrix Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, Globespan Capital Partners, and Bluestream Ventures.Dave Raffo, News Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Akorri

  • Aptare Inc.

  • BlueStream Ventures

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Enterasys Networks Inc. (NYSE: ETS)

  • Globespan Capital Partners

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Matrix Partners

  • MonoSphere Inc.

  • North Bridge Venture Partners

  • Onaro Inc.

  • Opsware Inc. (Nasdaq: OPSW)

  • The StorageIO Group

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • WysDM Software Inc.

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