Veritas Bolsters SAN Management Software

BOSTON (06/02/2000) - Storage administrators will have an easier time managing their resources and Fibre Channel hardware with software Veritas Software Corp. introduced this week, the company claims.

Dubbed SANPoint Control, the software lets managers allocate storage space to particular servers, monitor hardware devices on the Fibre Channel storage-area network (SAN) and manage user access to storage.

Veritas' SANPoint Control 1.0 will discover storage devices, map their topology and position in the SAN, and identify their status and characteristics. The software will identify the physical and logical relationships between devices so a storage administrator can manage them more easily. Among the devices SANPoint Control will monitor are disk arrays, JBODs (Just a Bunch of Disks), tape libraries, host computers and Fibre Channel hubs, routers, switches and host bus adapters.

With the market for storage equipment exploding, analysts say the cost of managing the equipment is seven to eight times the cost of the storage itself.

"Storage management software has four parts: data protection, data placement, storage administration and storage resource management. If you are going to manage the SAN you are going to need all this software," says David Hill, an analyst with Aberdeen Group in Boston. "And you want a company to provide it that is hardware neutral and will manage all types of servers and storage devices. Veritas is that company - they are on the right wavelength."

Rich Walters, a technical specialist with utility company Southern California Edison in San Onofre, has Solaris, Sequent, Windows NT, NetWare and Hitachi servers, as well as Compaq StorageWorks storage and Brocade switches configured in a SAN. "They all use the SAN and will be pretty useful when we can do volume management from a single console with this software," he says.

SANPoint Control operates with Solaris servers connected to any type of storage device or array. Veritas has completed interoperability tests with a number of servers and Fibre Channel devices including EMC Symmetrix arrays, Hewlett-Packard NetServer and N Class servers, StorageTek tape libraries, a variety of host bus adapters from Emulex and JNI, Crossroads' routers, and Brocade, Vixel and Gadzoox Networks switches.

The software conforms to several standards specifications including Sun's Jiro, the Storage Networking Industry Association Common Information Manager Object Manager and the Fibre Channel Alliance Management Information Base. Subsequent versions of the software expected to be released in the fourth quarter of this year and the first part of 2001 will extend capability to NT and Win 2000 as well as HP-UX and AIX servers. These upgrades will include the ability to automatically set policies for the operation of the SAN, enforce thresholds and perform root-cause analysis of detected problems.

SANPoint Control 1.0, available in the third quarter, starts at about $50,000 for a Sun Solaris 5000 server configuration.

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