StorageNetworks Unveils Portal for Storage Services

San Francisco

StorageNetworks Inc. has announced what it calls a secure Web portal to help customers monitor and manage storage resources.

Known as Virtual Storage Portal (VSP), the Web-based software gives customers access to storage resources at the company's storage points of presence (S-POP) data centers, said Bill Miller, co-founder, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Waltham, Mass-based StorageNetworks.

The portal offers a single graphical user interface that can be used to view data on the availability, utilization and performance of StorageNetworks' storage services, the company said. It includes an audit log that tracks all log-in/log-out activity and provides the ability to grant different access levels to users or administrators.

"We have no plans to sell the software (commercially) to anyone," Mil-ler said. "You subscribe to StorageNetworks, you get the software."

Within three years, StorageNetworks intends to advance the software to the point where users can deploy policy-based management, which will allow them to set policies so that storage can be automatically deployed as needed, Miller said. Inc. has beta-tested VSP. The Dedham, Mass.-based Internet start-up is establishing a portfo- lio of information technology-specific portals and expects to triple its current 1 terabyte (TB) of stored data to about 3TB by the end of this year, said Greg Strakosch, the firm's CEO.

"VSP has a very clean and simple interface," Strakosch said. "One of the worries IT guys have when you outsource your storage is whether you're giving up control. VSP allows them to have that control."

StorageNetworks currently has more than 100 customers, three quarters of which are emerging Internet start-up operations such as community-building site Inc. and Internet photo company Ofoto Inc., Miller said.

"They don't have the staff and the infrastructure; it's a natural fit," he said.

StorageNetworks already has 11 S-POPs in the U.S. and has opened its first international S-POP in London, with more to follow in Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Four more will be established in Asia in the second quarter of this year, Miller said.

StorageNetworks' ultimate aim is to build a worldwide dedicated storage network that will link the S-POPs via fiber-optic cable to customer locations.

The firm has also announced its StoragePort Access Channel, which is aimed at allowing StorageNetworks partners that are hosting service providers, application service providers or Internet service providers to offer their customers plug-in access to almost unlimited storage capacity. The goal is to make connecting to storage resources as simple as hooking up electricity or phone service, Miller said. Haney writes for the IDG News Service in San Francisco.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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