Feature/function matrix: Storage Resource Management (SRM) software

This document is a sample version of a complete report available on the Evaluator Group Web site for subscribers to the software section of the ES/OL database. Some areas of this sample report are intentionally blank. The actual report is updated regularly.

The Evaluator Group has published a series of storage hardware and software feature/function comparison matrices. These matrix charts cover topics such as disk array configurations, performance, data duplication functions, storage virtualization and more. This document is the sample version of the Storage Resource Management (SRM) software matrix. These feature/function matrices, along with individual product reports in the Evaluator Series Online (ES/OL) database, are provided to help quickly sort out various storage hardware and software capabilities.

SRM products included in this matrix:

  • InterSAN Pathline
  • Precise SRM StorageCentral
  • Sun StorEdge Resource Management Suite

Additional products are included in the complete matrix, available from the

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Evaluator Group

Types of items compared in this matrix chart:

  • General information: Version number, dates announced and shipped, operating systems supported, RAM and disk footprint, type of user interfaces provided, etc.
  • Storage usage reporting
  • Performance reporting
  • Charge-back
  • Policy management and policy-based automated actions
  • Sales information: Pricing methodology, support options, sales model

Vendor-independent education
Data from the complete matrix chart is included in the content of some Evaluator Group advanced education classes. These classes are held publicly and can be tailored for and presented to private audiences. The current seminar schedule is available at www.evaluatorgroup.com/education

These sample matrix charts are available at www.evaluatorgroup.com/charts

This document compares features of various Storage Resource Management (SRM) software solutions. It is subject to frequent updating.

BMC Software InterSAN Precise SRM[1] Sun Microsystems VERITAS Software
Product Name PATROL SRM & ASRM Pathline StorageCentral SRM Sun StorEdge Resource Management Suite SANPoint Control
Version[2] 2.1 1.3 5.0 6.1 3.5
Announced November 2001 July 2002 November 2001 May 2002 September 2002
Shipped December 2001 July 2002 November 2001 May 2002 September 2002
Software runs on:[3] Host Host Host Host Host
Product Components[4] Server (S), Agent (A), Console (C) Knowledge Modules (KM) Server (S)
Client (C)
Console (Con)
Server (S), Agent (A), Console (C) Server (S), Agent (A), Console (C) Server (S), Agent (A), Console (C)

Installation special features[5] Requires installation of PATROL Storage Console framework and SRM KM's - Cluster option, propagation[6] None Clients can be "pushed" out.
Server and agent can run on same host Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of agents required per host server 1 1 1[7] 1
Installation by End-user[8] End-user or vendor End-user End-user End-user
Installation method[9] Windows Installer, GUI and text-based InstallShield Windows Installer and SMS Installation Wizard Solaris: pkgadd
Windows: InstallShield

BMC Software InterSAN Precise SRM[10] Sun Microsystems VERITAS Software
Product Name PATROL SRM & ASRM Pathline StorageCentral SRM Sun StorEdge Resource Management Suite SANPoint Control
Minimum Requirements
Minimum disk space required[11] S: 50 MB
A: 335 MB (Win), 460 MB (UNIX) C: Depends on configuration
S: 110 MB
C: 65 MB
Con: 240 MB
S, A: 60MB, 200MB recommended C: 100MB, 2GB recommended S: 40 MB S: 120 MB[12]
C: 30 MB
Con: 90 MB
Minimum RAM required[13] S: 1 MB
A: 64 MB
C: Depends on configuration
S: 512 MB
C: 64 MB
Con: 256 MB
S, A: 128MB for Windows XP/W2K Pro, 256MB for Windows 2K Servers C: 256MB required; 1GB recommended 250 MB S: 64 MB[14]
C: 16 MB
Con: 64 MB
Minimum CPU speed[15] S, A: 800 MHz
C: Depends on configuration
400 MHz Pentium 200 MHz 700 MHz Intel: 405 MHz[16]
Solaris: UltraSPARC 5

BMC Software InterSAN Precise SRM[17] Sun Microsystems VERITAS Software
Product Name PATROL SRM & ASRM Pathline StorageCentral SRM Sun StorEdge Resource Management Suite SANPoint Control

Operating System support[18]

AIX A: 4.3 C, Con: 4.3.3 - A: 4.3.3 -
Apple Macintosh - - - - -
HP-UX A: 10.2, 11.0 C, Con: RedHat 6.2 or higher - A: 10.20,11.0 C: 11.0, 11.i
Linux - - - A: 6.1,6.2,7.0 -
Mainframe O.S. Collects from Mainview SRM (started task) - - - -
Novell NetWare - - Yes (through proxy) A: 4.0 -
Solaris (2.7 = 7, 2.8 = 8) A: 7, 8 C, Con: 2.6, 7, 8
S: 8
- A: 2.6, 7. 8 A: 2.6, 7, 8, 9
Con, S: 2.6, 7, 8
Tru64 UNIX - - - A: 4.0G, 5.0A. 5.1A -
Windows 95/98/Me - Con: Yes S, A, C: Yes - -
Windows NT 4 Servers S, A, C: Yes with SP6a C, Con: Yes S, A, C: Yes[19] A, S: SP6a A: SP6 or higher
Windows NT 4 Workstation A, C: Yes with SP6a C, Con: Yes S, A, C: Yes A, S: SP5, SP6a -
Windows 2000 Professional A, C: Yes with SP6a C, Con: Yes S, A, C: Yes A, S: SP0, SP1, SP2 Con: SP2 or higher
Windows 2000 Servers A, C: Yes with SP1
S: Yes with SP2
C, Con: Yes S, A, C: Yes A, S: SP2 A, Con, S: SP2 or higher
Windows XP Home or Professional - - S, A, C: Professional -[20] -
PDA/Handheld - - - - -

BMC Software InterSAN Precise SRM[21] Sun Microsystems VERITAS Software
Product Name PATROL SRM & ASRM Pathline StorageCentral SRM Sun StorEdge Resource Management Suite SANPoint Control
Graphical User Interface (GUI)

Web Browser (IE, Netscape) Yes Yes: JAVA Yes Yes (I.E. recommended) Yes[22]
Native platform application (MMC, etc.) No Yes Yes No Yes
Requires Java Run-time Environ. (JRE) Yes Yes No No Yes
Ships with JRE (version number) Yes (1.3) Yes N/A N/A Yes

Help and documentation

Online help available Yes Yes Yes Yes
Online documentation available (user guides, etc.) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Online "wizards" for specific tasks Yes

Yes Yes Yes

Command Line Interface (CLI)

CLI available No Yes Yes No Yes
includes interactive mode
CLI/GUI same commands N/A Yes Yes No Yes

Programmatic Interfaces

API available No Yes Yes Yes XML interface[23]
SDK available No No Yes No Yes23

Data Repository

Type/brand of database Oracle (imbedded) Oracle Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, Oracle 8i Microsoft SQL Server Sybase
Can coexist with another of same database type on same server Yes (if external) Yes Yes Yes

BMC Software InterSAN Precise SRM[24] Sun Microsystems VERITAS Software
Product Name PATROL SRM & ASRM Pathline StorageCentral SRM Sun StorEdge Resource Management Suite SANPoint Control
Storage usage reporting

By user Yes No Yes Yes No[25]
By file type[26] Yes No Yes Yes No
By directory or folder No No Yes Yes No
By size[27] - - - - -
By server - - - - -
By application[28] - - - - -
Frequently accessed files - - - - -
Obsolete files[29] - - - - -
Orphaned files[30] - - - - -
Vulnerable files[31] - - - - -
Wasted space[32] - - - - -
Disk health/defects - - - - -
Quota exceeded - - - - -
Total file system allocated capacity - - - - -
Total file system used/free capacity - - - - -
Total volume capacity - - - - -
Total volume used/free capacity - - - - -
Produces exception reports - - - - -
Produces historical reports - - - - -
"Top 10" reports[33] - - - - -
Can report the above for one server and aggregate across all servers - - - - -
Export report data to other formats - - - - -

Other criteria included in the complete SRM feature/function matrix chart

Types of storage managed

  • Direct attached (DAS)
  • Network Attached (NAS)
  • Storage Area Network (SAN)
  • Disk arrays supported
  • Clustering products supported
  • NAS products supported
  • Tape storage supported
  • Non-tape removable media
  • SAN components supported
  • Storage Virtualization solutions supported
  • Records storage asset information such as S/N, firmware level, etc.
Number of items managed
  • Maximum host servers
  • Maximum disk devices
  • Maximum file systems
  • Maximum users
Database storage usage reporting
  • Databases supported
  • Supports database on raw partition
  • By tablespaces
  • By datafile
  • By segment
  • Logs
  • Owner information
  • I/O activity
  • Show total allocated capacity
  • Show total used/free capacity
  • Show allocated not used space
  • Other
E-mail application storage usage reporting
  • E-mail systems supported
  • Server store
  • Private mailboxes
  • Public mailboxes
  • Stale or obsolete messages
  • Dormant mailboxes
  • Other
Performance features
  • Device performance
  • Filesystem performance
  • Real-time queries
  • Historical performance reports
  • Export performance data formats
Charge-back features
  • Included with base product
  • Available in separate product
  • Can generate bill or invoice
  • Can vary rates or service levels
  • Can create cost centers
  • Compatible with 3rd party chargeback systems
  • Export data formats
Analysis and prediction
  • Predict hardware failures
  • Predict out of space conditions
  • Predict access bottlenecks
  • Other
Filesystem features
  • Pointer or symbolic link translation [34]
  • Encrypted file identification[35]
  • Compressed file identification [36]
SRM internal functions
  • Requires full scan of file system for each run
  • Speed of scan [37]
  • Size of index built by scan [38]
Security features
  • User privileges
  • Secured communication between main server and agents
  • Database security, encryption
  • Other
Storage Metadata Collection
  • Control time and frequency of monitoring and collection
  • Schedule collection to run at same moment in all time zones
  • Schedule collection to run at same clock time in all time zones
  • Specify files, filesystems, servers or other groupings to include or exclude from data collection
General Policy Management
  • Pre-defined thresholds available
  • User customizable thresholds
  • Event logging
  • Alerting actions (email, pager, SNMP, console icons, etc.)
  • Check file type by file name
  • Check file type by examining file contents [39]
Policy-based automated actions
  • Delete files
  • Defragment disk volume or filesystem
  • Move files to secondary (slower) storage
  • Move files to faster storage
  • Compress/decompress files
  • Initiate backup/recovery to/from removable media
  • Provision or acquire new storage
  • Extend (grow) volume
  • Extend (grow) filesystem
  • Extend (grow) database
  • Extend (grow) email application data store
  • Enforce quotas
  • Extend (update) quotas
  • Run external scripts, batch files, commands, etc.
  • Other products from same vendor
  • Management frameworks
  • Backup solutions
  • SAN management solutions
  • Software
  • Documentation
  • Localizable
  • License Methodology[41]
Support Options
  • Standard[42]
  • Premium
  • OEM support
  • Web site downloads
Sales Model
  • Sold via
  • Demo/Trial versions shipped with other products

The Evaluator Series and Evaluator Series On-Line (ES/OL) are trademarks of Evaluator Group, Inc.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

[1] Precise SRM, formerly known as W.Quinn SRM, is a division of Precise Software. Precise Software acquired W.Quinn Software in September 2001.

[2] Version numbers shown in the form "x.y" (such as 1.1 or 1.2, etc.). Third-level version numbers such as 1.2.1 are assumed to have no new major features.

[3] "Appliance" is a specialized management hardware/software solution. "Host" is a general-purpose computer that may run several different applications together.

[4] For ease of comparison, the component names shown here are generic names. Some vendors give different names to these components, for example, "agents" may be called "clients" or "managed hosts".

[5] Installation special features can include automated or scripted "push" installation of agents, automated server or agent upgrade, etc.

[6] When installed on a Microsoft SMS server, the installation can be propagated out to specified servers across the enterprise.

[7] Some hosts require installation of a small agent.

[8] Requires a dedicated, default PATROL User Account at installation. The PATROL Agent and the PATROL Console use the PATROL User Account.

[9] Installation of some products may require anti-virus software to be temporarily disabled, or some accounts/processes to be given special privileges.

[10] Precise SRM, formerly known as W.Quinn SRM, is a division of Precise Software. Precise Software acquired W.Quinn Software in September 2001.

[11] Space required for installation may vary depending on operating system. A variable amount of additional space may be required for event logs, etc.

[12] Minimum sizes are for Windows 2000. Solaris minimum disk requirements: Server - 450 MB, Client (agent) - 120 MB, Console - 100 MB.

[13] Higher amounts of RAM may be recommended depending on the number of components managed or other factors.

[14] Minimum sizes are for Windows 2000. Solaris minimum RAM requirements: Server - 196 MB, Client (agent) - 128 MB, Console - 128 MB.

[15] Minimum CPU speed may vary by operating system and processor type. Vendors often recommend a higher speed for optimal performance. Agents may be able to operate adequately at slower CPU speeds.

[16] Minimum CPU requirements are for SANs up to 128 switch ports. Larger SANs require faster CPUs and more memory and disk space. Consult the Release Notes for details.

[17] Precise SRM, formerly known as W.Quinn SRM, is a division of Precise Software. Precise Software acquired W.Quinn Software in September 2001.

[18] Some products may require specific operating system patches, service packs, etc. Consult product installation guide or release notes for details.

[19] Requires Windows 2000 console or SAK Web UI to manage any NT 4.0 machines.

[20] Planned for a future release.

[21] Precise SRM, formerly known as W.Quinn SRM, is a division of Precise Software. Precise Software acquired W.Quinn Software in September 2001.

[22] Optional web browser interface available, requiring Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher, or Netscape Navigator 4.76 or higher.

[23] The "VERITAS Enabled" program provides development partners with access to VERITAS APIs.

[24] Precise SRM, formerly known as W.Quinn SRM, is a division of Precise Software. Precise Software acquired W.Quinn Software in September 2001.

[25] User and file level reporting is expected to be integrated into SANPoint Control with the acquisition of NTP StorageReporter, announced in November 2002.

[26] Usage of the term "file" is equivalent to "data set" in mainframe environments.

[27] Size reporting can include size of individual files or aggregate size of files within a directory, file system, volume, server or other grouping.

[28] Grouping by application includes groups of all files, directories or other groupings that are associated with one particular application, across multiple host servers if necessary.

[29] Obsolete files are those that have not been accessed in a specified period of time.

[30] Orphaned files are those created by a person who has left the organization or by an application no longer used.

[31] Vulnerable files are those with no current backup copy.

[32] Wasted space indicates exact duplicates of one or more files.

[33] The "Top 10" refers to the ability to show the ten highest-ranking items in any of the reports (10 largest files, 10 most frequently accessed files, etc). Some solutions provide a different number (20, for example) and for some the specific number of items is customizable.

[34] File pointers or symbolic links are an entry in the file system that does not contain data but is a pointer to the data in an alternate location. UNIX systems refer to "symbolic links", Windows 2000/XP includes a similar feature called Distributed File System (DFS).

[35] Some operating systems can store files in an encrypted format.

[36] Some operating systems can store files in a compressed format.

[37] Some vendors make claims about how quickly their tool can scan a file system.

[38] Some vendors make claims about the size of their internal index relative to the number of files in the file system.

[39] Some SRM solutions can examine the contents of files to determine their actual type, even if they have been renamed.

[40] List pricing is not available from all vendors. Pricing terms may differ depending on specifics of sale.

[41] Licensing methods describe how the vendor prices and sells the software. Some sell by capacity managed, some by number of host servers managed, some by client-access-licenses, etc.

[42] "Business Hours" generally refers to Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The specific times and number of hours vary by vendor.

This was first published in November 2002

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