Computer Associates International Inc. announced this week a storage management application that discovers devices on a storage-area network (SAN), automates backups across multivendor platforms and works from a Web portal -- giving it the ability to consolidate the management of remote office storage environments.
Some analysts are calling CA's new BrightStor Portal management software almost unique in its ability to integrate multivendor backup products under a single management umbrella. Islandia, N.Y.-based CA's product uses a browser interface to let storage administrators access and control their networked storage resources across a variety of platforms and operating systems.
"It operates as a centralized management console that allows me to manage my local data center as well as my remote sites, and that's really important," said Mike Peterson, president and senior analyst at Strategic Research Corp. in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Peterson categorizes storage management software into five classes: storage network management, which includes topology and discovery; performance management tools; service management; resource management, which includes capacity and utilization; and security management.
BrightStor Portal offers storage monitoring and utilization, topology discovery, management of resources and backup automation.
CA uses an XML-based interface it calls iSponsor/iGateway technology to integrate with storage management applications from Network Appliance Inc., StoreAge Networking Technologies Ltd., Fort Hill Systems Inc. (formerly CacheWare Inc.) and LXI Corp., as well as CA's own BrightStor storage management applications, including BrightStor Enterprise Backup, BrightStor ARCserve Backup, BrightStor SRM and BrightStor SAN Manager.
Michael Dortch, principal analyst at Robert Frances Group Inc. in San Francisco, said enterprise storage ecosystems, like the desktop computing environments of years ago, increasingly resemble Noah's Ark, with "at least two of every different thing."
"CA's BrightStor Portal can help bring significant order to such chaos and help IT executives and storage managers prepare more calmly and effectively for future change and growth," Dortch said. "Also, BrightStor Portal is based on CA's CleverPath Portal technology, which should make it more flexible and easy to use than many competing storage management offerings."
Pricing for BrightStor Portal starts at US$35,000, which includes a license for up to 50 concurrent users.