AppIQ’s CIM Gamble Pays Off

AppIQ didn’t start out hoping to lead the storage world to CIM, a new storage management standard, but the company wound up doing so after
listening to its customers.

“When we were first building the AppIQ Solution Suite, we weren’t looking at CIM,” says Ash Ashutosh, CTO and co-founder of AppIQ. “But
our customers told us they didn’t want another proprietary solution, so
we took another look at CIM and decided that the specification was more
comprehensive than we had first thought. It was a gamble, but it turns
out we were clearly in the right place at the right time. Other vendors
offering storage management software that is not built on the SMI-S will
need to invest a lot of time and money to re-engineer their
products.”

For AppIQ, the gamble has paid off handsomely. Its high-powered partners
include Brocade, Hitachi Data Systems, LSI Logic, McDATA, Network
Appliance, and Sun Microsystems. The company also announced a $12 million
Series B round of funding a month ago, which resulted in an increase in valuation
and was led by Matrix Partners, the top-performing venture capital
firm.

The company began shipping its AppIQ Solution Suite in December and will ship
v1.7 soon. The release will coincide with AppIQ’s first announced customer.

The customer is the “first one willing to talk,” asserts AppIQ Public
Relations Manager Samantha Moulton. “We tend to have great traction in
the financial services community, which is notorious for being
tight-lipped.”

CIM Serves as Foundation for AppIQ Solution Suite

The AppIQ Solution Suite is built on CIM, or the Storage Management
Initiative Specification (SMI-S). The Common Information Model (CIM),
first demonstrated by the Storage Networking Industry
Association (SNIA) in October 1999, is an open, common interface for the
management of multi-vendor storage networks independent of operating
platform, transport, or storage hardware platform.

According to Moulton, CIM is a way for objects like devices and programs to provide a
definition of themselves, their properties, and their attributes in a
language/model that is independent of the object itself.

For example, a management application that is seeking information about
a device can make an inquiry in a standard, prescribed way without
having any knowledge of the device, and the device can offer the
information without any knowledge of the requestor.

Moulton contends CIM “is only one of the things that we think makes us
unique. For instance, the fact that we manage from the application to
the spindle is another differentiator.” Most SRM solutions only manage
as far as the file system level.

John Webster, senior analyst and founder of Data Mobility Group, sums up
AppIQ succinctly: “Good company. Good people.”

McDATA, AppIQ to Demonstrate CIM Next Month

CIM will get an additional boost next month when McDATA and AppIQ
demonstrate a functionally complete CIM implementation in SNIA’s CIM-SAN
interoperability lab
at Storage Networking World (SNW) in Phoenix, Ariz.

“CIM represents the most compelling delivery mechanism for open
management in today’s multi-vendor heterogeneous environments, and it also
promises to break down the barriers to SAN deployment,” maintains John
McArthur, group vice president for storage research at IDC.
“Collaborations on CIM development like the one announced by McDATA and
AppIQ quicken the transition to standards, and I applaud the efforts the
two companies are making to provide greater value to customers.”

Using McDATA’s enhanced application programming interfaces (APIs), the
new CIM interface will demonstrate rich functionality for McDATA
Intrepid Directors and Sphereon Fabric Switches that encompasses active
provisioning, event management, modeling, and reporting.

“McDATA is leveraging AppIQ’s unique expertise in CIM interface
development to deliver open standards more expediently to our
customers,” says Peter Dougherty, McDATA’s vice president of business
development and strategic alliances.

The new interface was first demonstrated at the “plugfest” hosted by
SNIA last month, and will also play a significant role in the upcoming
CIM-SAN-2 demonstration at SNW in April. At the SNW event, AppIQ will
demonstrate the CIM implementation with its AppIQ Solution Suite, and
the two companies will work together to validate the interface.

“CIM-SAN offers the most significant evidence of the value customers
receive when they operate a standards-managed SAN by demonstrating
comprehensive application-integrated storage infrastructure management
in a simulated heterogeneous production environment,” states Doug Cahill,
AppIQ’s vice president of business development and strategy.

AppIQ’s CIMIQ Enables Accelerated Deployment

McDATA has enrolled in AppIQ’s CIMIQ Partner Program, and AppIQ is one
of the first members of McDATA’s OpenReady Developer Program.

AppIQ’s CIMIQ is a software development platform and testing toolset
enabling accelerated deployment of CIM/WBEM/Storage Management
Specification-compliant products. CIMIQ is being marketed through the
CIMIQ Partner Program to independent hardware and software vendors
looking to shorten development cycles and reduce the costs associated
with developing CIM-compliant products. Vendors that need to acquire CIM
technology, as well as those with their own CIM products, can benefit
from the tools available with CIMIQ.

“By offering CIMIQ to the marketplace, AppIQ is giving other vendors the
opportunity to leverage its early development efforts while broadening
device support for AppIQ Solution Suite and advancing standards-based
solutions for customers,” says AppIQ.

Back to Enterprise Storage Forum

News Around the Web