Data centre complexity drives automation

Configuration control capabilities

Symantec today announced new enhancements to Veritas Server Foundation, a product family which improves application availability, automates common server management tasks, controls configuration changes, and optimises server utilisation.

The latest release of Server Foundation is geared toward Symantec's vision for automation. New features include workflow automation and configuration control capabilities to help minimise downtime, automate and standardise execution of critical server management processes, and provide increased visibility across the data centre.

Symantec's server foundation product group vice president, Mark Lohmeyer, said data centres have experienced a dramatic increase in complexity due to the growing number of servers, increase in multi-tier application deployments, and the proliferation of virtualised environments.

"While systems and information management requirements continue to grow, tight resource constraints hold IT budgets and headcount flat, resulting in the need to automate critical IT processes that must be performed to maintain optimal service levels and availability across the data centre," he said.

The Server Foundation suite includes four products which discover in detail what is running on all servers in the data centre and ensure the availability of mission critical apps.

Veritas Cluster Server is geared toward high availability and disaster recovery while the Configuration Manager provides holistic application discovery, accurate dependency mapping and real-time change tracking.

Veritas Provisioning Manager automates the deployment and configuration of servers and applications including cross-platform patch management. Veritas Application Director provides runtime control of applications and virtual machines.

"Today's data centre managers are embracing automation to maximise agility and control of their IT operations," Lohmeyer said.

"With sophisticated workflow and expanded configuration control capabilities, the latest release of Server Foundation addresses the challenges of increased complexity across the data centre and represents a step forward in delivering on our vision for comprehensive data centre automation."

Lohmeyer said today's data centre managers need to execute complex processes consistently and efficiently across multiple IT groups.

He said these processes can range in scope from basic tasks like application deployments to full Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes such as change or release management.

"These challenges can result in errors that entail costly re-work, delays and outages caused by missed organisational handoffs, longer maintenance windows, and an inability to define or enforce IT policies consistently across the data centre," he said.

Server Foundation's new workflow engine addresses these challenges by coordinating notifications and providing user input between IT groups, enabling users to define and enforce IT standards while driving task automation at the infrastructure level.

All three layers of automation are easily controlled using a workflow modeler with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface.

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