MonoSphere Maximizes Storage

MonoSphere says it can save storage users a bundle.

The startup says its storage capacity management software, Storage Horizon 3.0, released this week gives companies a unified view of current and projected storage capacity usage, so IT organizations can develop storage capacity plans, maximize utilization of existing storage and reduce capital expenditures. The new version automatically matches storage demand with physical storage inventory.

“Mapping storage usage from application hosts down to the storage array is critical functionality that is long overdue,” says Arun Taneja, consulting analyst and founder the Taneja Group. “Now enterprises can make better purchasing decisions based on how much of their storage is used versus how much has been allocated for use, which is how most organizations manage storage capacity today.”

The difference between storage allocated and storage used is a big one, says Frank Kettenstock, MonoSphere’s marketing vice president.

Companies typically allocate 90 percent of their storage, but use only 36 percent of it, says Kettenstock. MonoSphere’s goal is to raise utilization rates to 70 percent or higher.

In an era of rising storage budgets, the difference can be significant.

MonoSphere did a survey in December of 140 storage professionals; 83 percent responded that despite falling storage costs, storage spending is increasing faster than the overall IT budget.

Qualcomm, for example, increased storage utilization from 40 to 62 percent using MonoSphere — and cut its storage expenditures in half. The company’s goal it to get its utilization rate up to 75 percent.

MonoSphere’s software not only finds under-utilized storage, but it also helps capacity planning by identifying storage that is nearing capacity and estimating when it will need to be replaced. By adjusting targeted utilization rates, users can adjust their storage spending to meet targets.

Storage Horizon 3.0 doesn’t require installation of software agents on application servers, so the system deploys in hours and collects storage usage data immediately.

Users will still need other management software to physically reallocate storage, but Laura DuBois, research director of storage software at IDC, says that’s part of a trend.

“Today we see a trend in the industry where end users are moving away from single storage management frameworks that try to solve every problem to focused solutions that solve specific pain points,” says DuBois. “These focused solutions tend to provide deeper capability and features around a specific storage management challenge and often provide a better return on investment. Storage Horizon is a great example of a focused solution for storage capacity management.”

MonoSphere charges about 5 to 10 cents for every dollar saved by its software, which the company says is as much as half the cost of other capacity management products.

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