CA pushes out SAN management software

Computer Associates International is shipping a management application it boasts will centralize and simplify administering heterogeneous storage-area networks (SAN).

The Islandia, N.Y.-based enterprise management software vendor Tuesday announced the availability of its BrightStor SAN Manager, which promises to remove some of the headache of managing and maintaining storage networks. The product has an easy-to-use graphical interface that monitors systems performance and can serve up warnings in case of performance degradation or other events, said CA.

SAN Manager also can plug into a wide variety of hardware systems from assorted vendors, including EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and others.

Currently, most SAN management applications require highly trained and highly paid professional administrators, said Eric Pitcher, vice president of BrightStor brand management at CA. SAN Manager automates the processes and reduces that complexity so that lower-level operational staff can manage a SAN with the same tools and policies and can even troubleshoot glitches.

"We produced an enterprise-level solution that simplifies it [the process] enough to give ownership of management to the operational staff that are already doing day-to-day administration," Pitcher said.

The manager can autodiscover various devices on the network, and the interface then presents both the physical topology of the SAN and the logical connections. It even can associate a given piece of hardware with the line of business or process it supports, he said.

CA has a chance to become a leader in the burgeoning SAN management field, which is expected to receive more attention from IT departments in the next year, according to a recent survey from Boston-based consulting firm Aberdeen Group Inc. The topology mapping and self-discovery features that are in SAN Manager are especially appealing, said David Hill, an analyst at Aberdeen.

"IT administrators need to understand clearly how everything ties together, and people get more information out of well-designed graphic displays than they do from raw textual information," he said.

BrightStor SAN Manager is available now. The price is US$1,095 per Windows server and $1,495 per Unix server.

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