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Overland Storage Refreshes Storage Resource Manager

San Diego's Overland Storage Monday updated its storage resource management software with features to make it more effective and help enterprises save more money.

Storage Resource Manager (SRM) 3 will allow IT staffs to tackles such projects as SAN/NAS planning, disaster recovery, server consolidations and cutting storage backup time and budget.

Overland SRM 3 features intelligent actions for all major operating systems to give organizations the ability to identify storage problems and take corrective action. Previous agents would run file scans in these operating systems, but not perform intelligent actions.

Overland SRM 3 includes application agents for Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Exchange that provide information about capacity and allows the IT staffer to set policies that warn users before they run out of disk space. Overland SRM 3, which installs in less than an hour, also gives the administrator tighter controls to automatically run external scripts and move files to less expensive storage alternatives.

Enterprise Storage Group Senior Analyst Nancy Marrone praised the product enhancements, noting SRM 3 did more than just report information about the storage assets, but actually took action based on the information gathered. Marrone said the smart automation will help customers streamline storage processes.

As important as storage resource management is to companies handling various amounts of critical data, it is just as important for storage software vendors to offer some sort of SRM product to compete in what is sure to be a lucrative, multi-billion dollar market, according to research firms such as IDC and Yankee Group. Why is this?

Storage infrastructures are becoming increasingly complex and large companies are using disparate storage techniques, including NAS , SAN and DAS and different standards, such as fiber channel and iSCSI . There is a strong value in aggregating this distributed picture through a single console, which can be used by IT administrators, IT managers and even executives. This centralization can allow the IT department to focus on more important issues, such as capacity planning and disaster recovery strategies.

Most of the major systems vendors, including IBM, HP, and Sun feature some degree of SRM, and it is common for these firms to buy whole firms such as Overland Storage to compete if they feel they are lacking. For example, Sun bought SRM provider HighGround Systems in December 2000, which was one of the larger SRM providers at the time.

2002 was a major year for SRM pickups, through acquisitions of entire firms or product lines. In August, IBM Tivoli bought SRM startup TrelliSoft for an undisclosed amount. EMC swallowed Prisa Networks for $20 million in September, repackaging Prisa's storage network management tool for its midrange customers. Veritas purchased NTP Software's storage resource management division in November.

Overland SRM 3 is now for sale through Overland's resellers. The software costs $20,000 per terabyte and can be purchased in increments of 100 gigabytes. Overland Application Agents for Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Exchange are sold separately for $10,000.

Users activate Overland SRM via an electronic license key that allows them to regularly expand the product's capabilities to keep pace with growth.