InMage to Run on Brocade-Based SANs

InMage is creating an agentless version of its software for Brocade switches

October 26, 2007

4 Min Read
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InMage Systems is preparing an agentless version of its DR-Scout CDP-based replication solution to be sold as an add-on to Brocade-based SANs.

The product will be released as firmware for Brocade departmental and director switches at an unspecified time in 2008, according to John Ferraro, CEO of InMage. It also will interact with the host-based version of DR-Scout.

The plan is in line with the company's stated vision of providing both host-based agents that work with out-of-band appliances on a LAN, as well as in-band, switch-based solutions for SANs. Up to now, though, InMage has only implemented its host-based product, and officials haven't been specific about switch-based plans.

"We are hearing increasing demand for SAN-based solutions, even though the host-based approach is not going away," said InMage co-founder and chief strategy officer Kumar Malavalli in an interview with Byte and Switch last month. Though he did not divulge details of InMage's plans to port software to a switch at the time, he said SAN-based use of the InMage data protection software could benefit users who resist host agents. Also, a switch-based approach could be more scaleable and provide users a better way to manage storage in multiple locations.

While a Brocade spokesperson would not comment on the potential for any future add-on products from current or future partners, the potential for an integral InMage firmware agent for Brocade switches dovetails with Brocade's commitment to its Data Center Fabric strategy, announced this week. That plan calls for Brocade switches (some not yet released) to act as the linchpins for unifying and consolidating management of LAN-attached servers and SANs in a multiprotocol environment.InMage faces plenty of competition. EMC currently offers a Brocade switch-based version of its RecoverPoint software, which competes with InMage's DR-Scout. That product is sold by EMC for a list price of $80,000 -- smack dab in the middle of the price range InMage claims for most installations of its "high end of the mid-tier" wares.

InMage also competes with CA XOsoft, Double-Take, FalconStor (via its recently announced CDP Virtual Appliance for VMware), NetApp (via ReplicatorX, the product NetApp acquired with Topio in 2006), and Symantec.

All these vendors, like InMage, are aiming to capitalize on a growing trend toward use of replication and disaster recovery software that incorporates features like CDP and isn't tied to a specific vendor's arrays.

The news hints at ongoing progress for InMage, which company managers claim is headed for profitability within the next couple of quarters. The startup, which took $10 million in series B funding in July 2007, claims about 100 employees and 100 customers.

Among InMage customers of record are RJ Reynolds, Novant Health, CB Richard Ellis, and Energy Partners.The vendor claims to be building its customer roster aggressively. "We were adding two to three customers a quarter when I came on board in May 2006," says Ferraro. "In the second quarter, we added 29 customers, in the third quarter, 34. We hope to add more than 50 by the end of the fourth quarter."

InMage is also intent on building up its partner list, which now includes iStor, Quantum, and

Xiotech. The vendor also is said to have entered several data centers in league with Pillar, though a formal deal hasn't yet been inked.

While Ferraro declines to talk revenue amounts, at least one source outside the company estimates that InMage has scored some big deals and will likely make bigger money in 2008. "They may go public next year," says the source, who asked not to be named.

While all of this sounds promising, it's still up in the air. Much of InMage's future success depends on how well it can build on what seems to be solid momentum, particularly in light of its formidable competition. In the volatile storage market, success is never guaranteed.

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  • Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)

  • CA XOsoft

  • Double-Take Software Inc. (Nasdaq: DBTK)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • InMage Systems Inc.

  • iStor Networks Inc.

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Pillar Data Systems Inc.

  • Quantum Corp. (NYSE: QTM)

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • Xiotech Corp.

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