IBM readies software to monitor storage

Taking advantage of its August acquisition of TrelliSoft Corp., IBM Corp. this week plans to introduce storage resource management software that lets IT managers track usage of disk and tape devices made by multiple vendors.

IBM said the Java-based Tivoli Storage Resource Manager suite offers capacity-alert and end-user chargeback capabilities, plus 300 preset reports. The software can be used to monitor disk space and set usage thresholds on storage products from IBM and rivals Hewlett-Packard Co., EMC Corp., Hitachi Data Systems Corp. and Storage Technology Corp. It also supports disks built into Unix, Linux and Windows servers, IBM said.

The hardware-agnostic approach lets IT administrators define policies for managing storage across different devices, said Jose Iglesias, director of storage products for IBM's Tivoli Software unit in Austin, Texas.

Tim Masey, manager of IT infrastructure at the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., installed the IBM software's alert feature set last month. He said the technology has cut from hours to minutes the time it takes to measure disk usage levels on three Compaq StorageWorks arrays, 10 HP-UX servers and 60 Windows 2000 servers.

"I used to have a network administrator go out and do a study on each of the systems and report on them manually," Masey said. He added that he would like to see IBM add dynamic storage allocation capabilities to the software, so more space can automatically be made available when an application reaches a capacity threshold.

Masey said he paid less than US$100,000 for Storage Resource Manager. The software is priced on a per-processor basis and should cost an average of about $2,000 for each server, according to IBM.

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