Storage vendors promise to ease management pain

System administrators have a smorgasbord of storage management software to chose from in a worldwide market which IDC predicts will be worth $US13.5 billion in 2006.

A key trend in enterprise-grade storage management software is the move to consolidation and virtualisation of often disparate storage systems. For example, Computer Associates released its BrightStor Portal management software making integration of multi-vendor backup products possible. Also, Fujitsu has introduced its Softek for grouping storage from different devices into a unified, manageable, group of data.

Common features of storage management software include wide support for client and server operating systems as well as devices and software from a variety of vendors.

A snapshot of vendor announcements in 2002 promising to ease the burden of enterprise storage management.

BMC Software

BMC Software's storage management offerings are divided into the Mainview and Patrol brands. Mainview is a suite of SRM (storage resource management) applications developed for OS/390. Mainview's features include integration of OS/390 systems, service level and workload monitoring, and data trending. Patrol is also a suite of SRM software designed for monitoring and optimisation. Patrol runs on Windows and Unix as well as integrating with third-party software such as Tivoli and Veritas.

BMC Software also has its Project Golden Gate Web-based console management application. Project Golden Gate features built-in intelligence to optimise performance and automate recovery and runs on IBM's OS/390, ZOS mainframe, Unix, and Windows NT. Linux will be featured in an upcoming version of the product. The management system can work as a stand-alone or as part of SmartDBA and BMC's Patrol and Mainview solutions.

Computer Associates

Computer Associates' storage management products come under the BrightStor range. There are a number of options for BrightStor SRM including support for Oracle, Tivoli, and enterprise backups. Other BrightStor applications are data availability, NAS, and SAN storage management.

Recently CA announced its BrightStor Portal management software, which has the ability to integrate multivendor backup products under a single management umbrella. BrightStor Portal offers storage monitoring and utilisation, 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 including BrightStor Enterprise Backup, BrightStor ARCserve Backup, BrightStor SRM and BrightStor SAN Manager.

EMC

EMC's ControlCenter covers a series of storage management applications ranging from provisioning and consolidation to database tuning.

ControlCenter is part of EMC's Automated Information Storage, or AutoIS, an open storage management product. The company's virtualisation strategy -- the ability to take storage resources from different vendors and combine them into a pool of data that can be managed from a single interface is a key aspect of its management software.

With storage virtualisation, users can pool storage media irrespective of vendors, size and configurations. Typically, pooled storage is seen as a single volume and all can be managed with a single piece of management software.

Fujitsu

Fujitsu Software Technology, or Fujitsu Softek, has recently added storage management software for multivendor storage networks.

Called Softek Storage Manager, the software lets IT managers group data from different storage devices into a common pool of data that can be controlled, configured and reconfigured from a single Web-based or command line interface. Softek Storage Manager also works with mainframe servers and a variety of storage devices.

The ability to predict capacity needs, provision storage and proactively manage it with Softek's management software and to be able to predict storage utilisation, migrate data from one server to another and backup and recover data irrespective of the server operating system are all features.

Hewlett-Packard

HP's StorageWorks software products handle volume management across numerous platforms including Windows 2000, HP-UX, Tru64, Solaris and Linux. Administration is performed via a Web interface.

For networked storage management, HP offers the OpenView and SANWorks products. OpenView Storage Area Manager manages storage resources across a disparate devices. SANWorks performs storage analysis and trending.

Hitachi Data Systems

HiCommand is Hitachi Data Systems' storage management tool for the company's Freedom Storage systems as well as Sun's StorEdge 9900 series. HiCommand allows integration of storage systems from different vendors including Veritas, Sun, BMC Software, IBM and Computer Associates.

Available under the HiCommand brand is Device Manager - the centralised management platform, and Tuning Manager - a Web-based storage reporting and analysis tool.

HiCommand will run on Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Solaris.

IBM

IBM's Tivoli software group develops Tivoli Storage Manager for enterprise storage management. The basic package handles data backups, restoration and archiving, whereas the extended edition is designed for networked storage arrangements. Tivoli Storage Manager Extended Edition has a centralised Web-based management interface and runs on Windows and Unix.

IBM has also developed Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS) for Linux which allows greater control over data storage.

Legato

Legato's DiskXtender is an automated data management tool that can consolidate and virtualise disparate storage. DiskXtender's centralised management can be administered remotely via a GUI or command line. Running or Windows 2000, Unix or Linux, DiskXtender integrates with other systems such as Tivoli.

Sun Microsystems

In addition to its StorEdge portfolio of storage resource and performance management tools, Sun Microsystems now has Enterprise Storage Manager for SAN management. StorEdge Enterprise Storage Manager (ESM) lets administrators view their storage environments from a single management interface. It incorporates discovery, device configuration, monitoring and diagnostics, as well as reporting into a single package intended to improve a company's service levels and uptime.

The ESM software is based on Web-based Enterprise Management and CIM (WBEM-CIM), which resides in the Desktop Management Task Force. Recently, a WBEM-CIM specification called the Bluefin specification for storage management of heterogeneous devices was submitted to the Storage Networks Industry Association for standardisation. It also allows management of Hitachi Data Systems, QLogic and Brocade devices from a single interface.

StorEdge ESM is based on the company's Storage One strategy and incorporated into Sun's Sun ONE environment. Solaris on SPARC is the only supported platform.

Unisys

Unisys now has a storage appliance that pools disk storage from various vendor products on a storage-area network and serves it up to clients or backs it up as if from a single source.

Unisys' Storage Sentinel is a RAID controller device that comes in a refrigerator-size cabinet with 2TB of internal storage. It features snapshot, striping and mirroring capabilities over multiple platforms and applications.

Storage Sentinel runs on Windows and Unix and can be managed from a single management dashboard using graphical user interfaces.

Unisys Storage Sentinel complies with the Storage Networking Industry Association's Common Information Model, a consistent way of mapping management elements in a network.

Veritas

Veritas Software, being a software-only company, has a suite of products that deal with storage management across a variety of platforms. Veritas Database Edition provides data management tools for DB2, Oracle and Sybase, SANPoint is used for centrally managing multi-vendor networked storage, and ServPoint which generates NAS environments from a variety of different storage systems. Veritas also has specialist storage reporting and volume management products.

Veritas' software will run on Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Windows 2000 and Linux.

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