Storage Resources Easier To Manage Symantec Style?

Symantec has upgraded its Veritas CommandCentral 5.0 storage resource management (SRM) portfolio, making it the second pillar to the Storage United strategy the company unveiled in June.

SRM Software, which IDC consistently rates as one of the fastest growing storage market segments, is designed to help IT customers get a better handle on how storage in their computer rooms is being used.

SRM tools help administrators map the relationship between disparate servers and storage arrays, as well as the software running on them. SRM products also provide detailed reports to admins on storage utilization.

Symantec, which gained an SRM suite when it acquired Veritas Software a few years ago, argues that its CommandCentral 5.0 platform surpasses SRM tools, such as EMC’s ControlCenter, HP’s Storage Essentials and IBM’s Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM).

Veritas CommandCentral 5.0 is designed to help storage administrators accommodate the massive glut in information, which has been generated by MP3 files, video, e-mail and other unstructured data elements of the Web 2.0 world, explained Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of the Storage Foundation Group at Symantec.

While CommandCentral has long managed and monitored physical storage arrays from various vendors, Command Central Storage 5.0 now presides over virtual resources in computer rooms, including VMware, HDS TagmaStore and IBM SAN Volume Controller. This support lets admins manage storage capacity at an application level in virtual environments, Soderbery explained.

By analyzing storage consumption in both physical and virtual environments, CommandCentral 5.0 also addresses the low storage utilization rate in datacenters. For example, the software identifies “orphaned storage,” or storage that has been allocated but hasn’t been consumed by users. This enables companies to boost storage utilization.

“We can drive a 40 percent increase in utilization by giving customers the visibility to let them start down the path to optimize their storage,” Soderbery said.

CommandCentral Storage 5.0 also now provides management and reporting for some of the most popular storage replication products, including EMC’s Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF), Clariion SnapShot, MirrorView and Snapview; Network Appliance’s Snap Mirror; and HDS’ Shadow Image.

Moreover, CommandCentral Storage 5.0 has unparalleled scalability, with a single management server scaling up to 3,000 servers (up from 1,000 in CommandCentral 4.3), 12,000 switch ports and 6 petabytes of storage.

To get a better idea of how exactly storage resources are being used, Soderbery said CommandCentral 5.0 includes the Enterprise Reporter 5.0 option, a software add-on that provides business analytics and custom reporting capabilities.

Based on Cognos’ reporting tool, Enterprise Reporter sits atop CommandCentral Storage 5.0 and lets admins “roll” information from multiple data centers into one window view, which may be organized by application, business unit, geography or some other customized view.

Along those lines of adding value, CommandCentral 5.0 now offers IT process automation to storage processes through the Process Automation Manager 5.0 add-on. Process Automation Manager is designed to help businesses improve the efficiency of storage operations and manage service levels.

Software products in the Veritas CommandCentral 5.0 line are licensed per server. CommandCentral Storage 5.0 and Process Automation Manager 5.0 are available now, with CommandCentral Enterprise Reporter 5.0 available in the next 60 days.

With its new NetBackup 6.5 software and SRM suite, Symantec has provided the first two offerings of three-pronged Storage United. The company will provide the third leg — new archiving software — later this year.

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