Computer Associates will launch its storage portal technology in April at its annual CA World in the US.
Mark Milford, senior vice president and general manager storage management products for Computer Associates, said the BrightStor storage portal will be vendor-agnostic and provide IT professionals with the ability to manage storage enterprise-wide.
The solution uses functionality from the Unicentre product range, management predictive analysis tools and a new technology called iSponsor, which allows the solution to work with storage technology from other vendors.
"The solution integrates with all major vendors like EMC, Quantum, Storage Tek and also competitors like Veritas. It lets IT professionals get their arms around their infrastructure and manage all storage.
"We see it becoming the industry standard of storage management and a good differentiator from Veritas."
Milford said EMC and Hewlett-Packard want to move into this space, but "their challenge is that they can't be vendor-neutral as they are hardware competitors".
Milford said "100 per cent" of companies waste storage space. "In most companies only 50 to 60 per cent of their storage capacity is used; 80 per cent would be the optimum."
He said analysts report the cost of maintaining storage is three to five times more expensive than the cost of buying it and that "cost avoidance" is a very popular strategy within companies.
"There has been a deceleration in hardware purchasing since September 11. IT managers have been told to reduce total cost of ownership," Milford said.
Gone are days of a continual outlay on storage infrastructure, which Milford said really started with the advent of ERP systems.
"These applications generate a tremendous amount of data. Then the second wave came along with the dotcoms and B2B applications and Internet images."
He said the situation had been perpetuated by IT professionals being reactive and not being able to "get ahead of the wave".
"Companies have [now] taken a step back and slowed down their [hardware] purchasing. They are now testing and auditing their disaster recovery plans to ensure they work."
The resultant accelerating interest in storage software has been a boon for CA, he said.
"When customers have implemented our enterprise storage resource management solution, they found they could increase current storage space availability by 40 per cent and ROI has been as short as two months, but less than 12 months." Milford said the software has helped IT shops to see their companies have many duplicate data and redundant files.
"In one company, after using the solution it found it had 235 gigabytes of MP3s."