IWave Storage Automator app released as a virtual appliance

IWave Storage Automator is now available as a virtual appliance, automating installation of the storage automation application.

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IWave Software today said it will deliver the latest version of its Storage Automator as a virtual appliance for easier deployment.

IWave also added support for Windows Active Directory, a more robust application programming interface (API), and a cost code capability for chargeback tracking to version 6.5.

Storage Automator helps administrators handle storage provisioning and tiering, reclaim capacity and extend block storage for Linux, VMware ESX Servers and VMware clusters, CIFS, and NFS volumes. The storage automation software matches application needs to the right storage tier, array, device group and type and data path, according to iWave CEO Brent Rhymes.

IWave Storage Automator supports EMC VMAX, VMAXe, VNX and Clariion, NetApp FAS, and Dell Compellent arrays. It also supports Brocade and Cisco switches, Windows and Linux multipathing and EMC PowerPath, and CIFS, NFS, and iSCSI protocols.

Version 6.5 is delivered as a virtual appliance that installs on a VMware-based virtual machine with an Open Virtual Architecture (OVA) file. The virtual appliance is preconfigured for installation.

"Before, the software was hard to install on the server and run. You had to load the software to do the automation," said Randy Kerns, senior analyst at the Evaluator Group. "Now it's a storage appliance installed as an OVA file, so you just load the application and it's all preconfigured. This is a relatively new thing in the storage arena. It's a very clever way to do it."

The latest version can also configure Windows Active Directory permissions on CIFS, and associates cost codes to provisioned storage.

Its enhanced API for file and block storage makes storage services available via a RESTful API that can integrate with private cloud orchestration tools, IT process orchestration platforms, and IT system management (ITSM) applications.

Automated chargeback/showback functionality allows administrators to assign charge codes with storage, and show allocation in third-party chargeback reporting systems.

"We enable chargeback or showback based on what is provisioned and allocated, not used storage," iWave's Rhymes said. "I'm not seeing (a lot of chargeback) based on usage; it's based on allocation. The only organizations that I've seen tracking chargeback allocation and usage are really big; some are household names."

IT administrators also can use a new software development kit (SDK) to add features to the storage automation application.

"Typically, an SDK allows you to create more code so you get new features," said Joseph Martins, managing director of Milford, N.H.-based Data Mobility Group. "You can extend capabilities of the product."

IWave is broadening Storage Automator support, planning to add Dell EqualLogic, EMC Isilon, Hitachi Data Systems Virtual Storage Platform, IBM XIV and DS Series and Hewlett-Packard 3PAR by mid-2013.

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