CA makes its SRM more virtualization-friendly

CA upgrades its storage resource management (SRM) for open systems and mainframes, and gives the distinct applications a common management interface.

CA today upgraded its open-systems and mainframe storage resource management (SRM) software, adding support for virtualized environments and a new interface for single-view management of both SRM applications.

Although they're separate applications, customers can manage CA Storage Resource Manager (SRM) for open systems and CA Vantage SRM for mainframes from one console. In addition, Stefan Kochishan, CA's director of mainframe product marketing, said the products will remain on the same upgrade release cycle.

The biggest changes have come on the open-systems side, where CA has added support for VMware Inc. host virtualization and IBM Corp. SAN Volume Controller (SVC) storage virtualization. CA also provides guest-to-host mapping, virtual-to-physical logical unit number (LUN) mapping and capacity utilization reports for virtual hosts.

Bob Laliberte, an analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), said it's not enough just to have virtualization support. "The key to capacity utilization is having that view from the server level," he said. "The storage-level view can show how much raw storage you have and how much has been allocated. But to see what's been allocated, and how much of that has been mounted and used, typically requires that server-level view."

According to CA, both CA SRM and CA Vantage SRM can provide the server-level view.

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The latest CA Vantage SRM release provides expanded audit and status monitoring functionality, and adds support for IBM's Adabas database. The audit features help identify data sets that aren't backed up according to corporate policies. Status monitoring alerts administrators if conditions change and then threaten the availability of mission-critical applications.

The new user interface allows for cross-platform management of CA SRM and CA Vantage SRM.

"The synchronized release will give customers the ability to manage the whole data center's storage from a centralized management console," Kochishan said. "You don't have to be a platform or operating system expert; you just need to understand storage."

ESG's Laliberte said the common interface will make it easier for open-systems admins to take on the mainframe SRM application.

"There's a shortage of skilled and qualified workers [for mainframe systems], so if you know how to run the open-systems side, having a tool that you can leverage to do the mainframe side is a pretty cool feature," he said.

Laliberte added that integrated support for mainframes and open systems should help CA's competitive position among SRM vendors.

"[CA's] distinct advantage will be with those environments that have both mainframe and open-systems [storage] where customers want to have that unified view and visibility into both of those environments," he said.

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