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AppIQ Tackles Provisioning

AppIQ Inc. has a new strategy -- get basic. Its latest upgrade focuses on a key problem for SAN managers -- provisioning. The Burlington, Mass., startup is the latest vendor to focus on design and setup functions in its SAN software, an area that's been growing swiftly as more and bigger SANs are adopted.

AppIQ is adding a provisioning module to its StorageAuthority storage resource management product, which is geared to managing storage in heterogeneous shops. The upgrade will be sold by AppIQ and also go into SAN management software from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)
and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), which OEM AppIQ's wares (see Sun Shines on AppIQ and HDS Expands Software, Services).

The new software provides a GUI that lets administrators allocate SAN capacity from one screen. The provisioning window lets the administrator choose the array, host, volumes, LUNs, and fabric zones to provision. If the administrator makes a mistake during the process, a pop-up window is supposed to point it out.

For instance, the software makes sure the admin selects two HBAs on separate servers to eliminate a single point of failure. Once an admin picks a volume on an array, the software limits the admin to the hosts that are cabled to that array. The program allows provisioning jobs to be scheduled for off-hours.

AppIQ is also adding an application-specific module that allows administrators to check out SAN-related performance problems affecting Sybase Inc.'s Adaptive Server Enterprise. AppIQ already supports Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Exchange, NetBackup from Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS), and various file servers. Sybase support is key for winning accounts in the financial sector, AppIQ officials say.

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