Specifications for storage capacity planning products

Gauging storage needs over time is one of the biggest challenges faced by IT administrators, and a new generation of capacity planning tools is emerging to help forecast growth and utilization of storage resources, and even perform predictive modeling of the future storage environment based on historical data collected. The product snapshots in this chapter highlight key specifications for a cross-section of popular capacity planning software products.

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Gauging storage needs over time is one of the biggest challenges faced by IT administrators, and a new generation of capacity planning tools is emerging to help forecast growth and utilization of storage resources, and even perform predictive modeling of the future storage environment based on historical data collected. Capacity planning tools must include a thorough consideration of your applications while being interoperable across...

all of your storage systems, while still meeting all of your analytical and reporting requirements. The product snapshots in this chapter highlight key specifications for a cross-section of popular capacity planning software products. The following products were selected based on input from industry analysts and SearchStorage.com editors, and specifications are current as of February 2007.

The following specifications have been provided by vendors and are periodically updated. Vendors are welcome to submit their updates and new product specifications to Matt Perkins.

Go to the first product snapshot, or select the desired product below:

 

  • Aptare Inc.; StorageConsole software
  • EMC Corp.; StorageScope software
  • Finisar Corp.; NetWisdom software
  • IBM; Tivoli TotalStorage Productivity Center for Data
  • Microsoft; System Center Capacity Planner 2006
  • MonoSphere Inc.; Storage Horizon 3.1 software
  • TeamQuest Corp.; TeamQuest Model software
  • Tek-Tools Inc.; StorageProfiler software

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    Product Snapshot #1
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    Product: Aptare Inc.; StorageConsole software 

    Storage System Support: SAN, NAS, DAS 
    Data Analysis: Yes
    Key Features: Utilization optimization and predictive analysis 
    Management Features: Key features include browser-based console, personalized home page, dashboard analytics 
    Scalability: One server running the specified software can support approximately up to 8,000 clients being backed up 
    Reporting: Reporting includes backup and restore summary, file level detail, discovery of unprotected data 
    Simulations: Yes. The software identifies suspect backups and eliminates "false positives" by identifying partial backups that report as successful. 
    Operating System: Solaris, Red Hat Linux, Windows 2000 or 2003 Server 
    Standards Support: All information is transmitted via https protocols eliminating any need for proprietary ports. It supports all the popular browsers: Internet Explorer 5.5+, Mozilla Firefox 1.3+, and Netscape 7.1+ 
    System Requirements: Dual processor server with 8Gb memory with 200Gbs of RAID 5 Storage 
    Implementation: Deploys an agent on the master server, without any code on the clients or media servers. StorageConsole is agnostic to the underlying backup medium. 
    Interoperability: VERITAS NetBackup, IBM Tivoli, EMC Legato 
    Vendor Comment: APTARE provides web-based enterprise software that enables storage administrators to achieve maximum data protection across heterogeneous storage environments. The company's flagship product, APTARE StorageConsole, increases the reliability of protecting a company's digital assets by quickly identifying unprotected data, improving capacity planning, increasing performance and providing compliance with audits and legal discovery. 
    Availability: Currently available 
    Base Cost: Pricing is on a per unit basis with the average cost being around $100/client. 
    Detailed Specs: http://www.aptare.com/storageconsole_features.jsp 
    Vendor URL: www.aptare.com 

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    Product Snapshot #2
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    Product: EMC Corp.; ControlCenter software 

    Storage System Support: SAN, NAS, DAS, CAS 
    Data Analysis: Data analysis for databases, backup applications, volume groups, physical disks, hosts, arrays and files 
    Key Features: Key SRM and reporting solutions in the ControlCenter family include StorageScope for integrated asset utilization reporting across multi-vendor storage infrastructures, StorageScope File Level Reporter for file level monitoring and reporting for improved control, and Performance Manager for end-to-end performance resource management. 
    Management Features: Management features include ControlCenter StorageScope, ControlCenter StorageScope File Level Reporter, ControlCenter Performance Manager, ControlCenter SAN Manager, ControlCenter SAN Advisor, ControlCenter Automated Resource Manager (ARM), Symmetrix Optimizer, ControlCenter Symmetrix Manager, and ControlCenter NaviSphere Management Suite 
    Scalability: Managed object size is determined by the number of Managed Object resources (not the total capacity) 
    Reporting: StorageScope provides extensive reporting for host storage resources (databases, backup applications, volume groups and file systems). Any StorageScope report can be exported for customization; the data can also be accessed via XML or database views. StorageScope reports can compare planned vs. actual storage usage and provide input into the capacity planning process. StorageScope also assists in forecasting future storage needs. From a historical report, users select trend lines and the solution will forecast anticipated needs for a defined period of time and forecast future storage requirements more accurately. StorageScope also reports file-level summary details at the host and file system level allowing users to identify the largest files, directories, and most dormant files. 
    Simulations: Not provided 
    Operating System: AIX, HP-UX, Sun, Windows, Linux and Mainframe 
    Standards Support: EMC does exploit standards such as SMI-S and SNMP, and uses APIs 
    System Requirements: Not provided 
    Implementation: Not provided 
    Interoperability: Refer to the support matrix at http://powerlink.emc.com/km/live1/en_US/Offering_Technical/Interoperability_Matrix/DocLib/300-003-704_a05_elccnt_0.pdf?mtcs=ZXZlbnRUeXBlPUttQ2xpY2tDb250ZW50RXZlbnQsZG9jdW1lbnRJZD0wOTAxNDA2NjgwMjBkZmM0LG5hdmVOb2RlPVNvZndhcmVEb3dubG9hZHM_ 
    Vendor Comment: Built on industry leading automation building blocks of model based management (Smarts), application dependency mapping (nLayers Application Discovery Manager), and storage resource management (ControlCenter), this solution enables IT to more effectively deliver services across storage, network, server, and application domains. With this solution set customers can better enable CMDB & ITIL process automation, accelerate data center, server and storage consolidation, unify management of tiered storage, and optimize delivery of next generation IT services. 
    Availability: EMC ControlCenter 5.2 SP 5 and EMC ControlCenter SAN Advisor 5.3 both currently available 
    Base Cost: Contact EMC or reseller for pricing 
    Detailed Specs: http://www.emc.com/products/storage_management/controlcenter.jsp 
    Vendor URL: www.emc.com 

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    Product Snapshot #3
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    Product: Finisar Corp.; NetWisdom Enterprise SAN solutions 

    Storage System Support: NetWisdom supports Fibre Channel SAN 
    Data Analysis: Data analysis provides detail information at host, array and LUN level 
    Key Features: Provides end-to-end (e2e) bandwidth capacity monitoring and trending. NetWisdom uses dedicated hardware monitoring instead of a software agent that could cause incompatibility and be a taxing system resource. 
    Management Features: NetWisdom provides alarms based on user configurable rules. Rules can be based on throughput, latency or event within FC SAN. 
    Scalability: We recommend that our hardware solution be deployed on the storage ports of FC SAN. We can support 1000's of links with an unlimited number for hosts. 
    Reporting: Reports end-to-end throughput, latency, queue depth and event reports based on point-in-time or trending. Reports can be scheduled or event-driven. 
    Simulations: We do not have a predictive or simulation feature 
    Operating System: Our bandwidth capacity planning is OS independent. Our dedicate hardware collects data directly from the physical link. 
    Standards Support: SNMP and FC 
    System Requirements: Dual CPU Intel Xeon 2.4 GHz system, Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2000 or Windows XP, 4 GB of RAM, 100 Mb/s Ethernet port with TCP/IP configured, CD ROM drive, Administrator rights on the host computer (Portal and Client) 
    Implementation: Traffic Access Points (TAPs) inserted between storage ports and fabric; TAP output is routed to the ProbeFCX; NetWisdom portal server collects statistical data from ProbeFCX into a self- managed database; User accesses data from the portal server via client software or HTTP web interface. 
    Interoperability: Supports any storage vendor that adheres to the Fibre Channel standard 
    Vendor Comment: Finisar NetWisdom Enterprise solutions and services provide deep fabric visibility to quickly diagnose issues and prevent future problems in their SAN infrastructure thus enabling them to ensure critical enterprise applications have uninhibited, unrestricted access to the data, every time. 
    Availability: Currently available 
    Base Cost: NetWisdom Express, a software-only, entry-level solution is priced under $13K. NetWisdom Enterprise which includes 4Gb/s Fibre Channel hardware probes in addition to the management and reporting application is priced under $25K for 2-probes, while the full configuration of 8-probes is priced at under $50K. 
    Detailed Specs: http://www.finisar.com/index.php?file=product&var=product&div_id=smenu3&level=C&sub_sub_cat=6&dlink=NetWisdom 
    Vendor URL: www.finistar.com 

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    Product Snapshot #4
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    Product: IBM; TotalStorage Productivity Center for Data 

    Storage System Support: Supports SAN, NAS and DAS in addition to being able to view IBM 3584/3500 tape library assets 
    Data Analysis: Designed to help improve capacity utilization of file systems, databases, arrays, and tape libraries and to add intelligence to data protection and retention practices. It is also extremely useful in helping perform data classification/categorization for ILM purposes and Storage Assessment purposes. It may also be used to help with governmental regulation compliance. 
    Key Features: Improves storage utilization by identifying storage capacity allocated in storage subsystems that is not assigned to any server; highlighting areas where allocated capacity significantly exceeds used capacity; enabling redistribution of capacity; proactively monitoring and enforcing storage usage policies; archiving and space managing files; identifying inappropriate data; identifying orphaned data; identifying duplicate data 
    Management Features: IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center's new Topology Viewer employs progressive information disclosure allowing a layered drill-down that greatly simplifies daily administrative tasks. Detailing all storage resources in context, the topology viewer includes overlays that can show the health and performance of storage resources via color-coded indications and a mini-map in the corner of the screen showing where the topology that is being viewed resides in relation to the rest of the storage infrastructure. 
    Scalability: A single instance of IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center can handle over 50 storage arrays, approximately 85 switches representing several thousand switch, host and array ports and dozens of logical fabrics, and approximately 2500 host agents collecting file system and file-level reporting information. 
    Reporting: Provides over 300 enterprise-wide reports, monitoring and alerts, policy-based action and file system capacity automation in a heterogeneous environment. Data may also be downloaded in .csv file format to spreadsheets for further analysis. Key capacity analysis data may be consolidated in weekly, monthly or yearly aggregations for long term usage and other data (i.e. daily) may be discarded. 
    Simulations: Yes; The capacity information collected can be stored for historic reporting and used for automatic growth analysis. This predictive capacity analysis can be charted based on file system, server, group, or enterprise level. 
    Operating System: Supports AIX, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, Windows, Red Hat Linux, United Linux, SuSe Linux and 18 different file systems 
    Standards Support: Supports SMI-S 
    System Requirements: For requirements, see http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=1133&context=SS8JB5&context=SSWQP2&dc=DB500&uid=ssg1S1002815&loc=en_US&cs=utf-8〈=en 
    Implementation: Host Data Agents can be pushed and automatically updated from the IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center server. 
    Interoperability: See the compatibility matrix at http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=597&uid=ssg1S1003019 
    Vendor Comment: Not provided 
    Availability: Version is 3.2 is currently available 
    Base Cost: Tiered pricing; contact IBM or a reseller for more information 
    Detailed Specs: http://www-03.ibm.com/servers/storage/software/center/index.html 
    Vendor URL: www.ibm.com 

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    Product Snapshot #5
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    Product: Microsoft Corp.; System Center Capacity Planner 2006 

    Storage System Support: Supports SAN 
    Data Analysis: Capacity Planner is not a database or storage optimization tool, but it does recommend the storage required for an Exchange or Microsoft Operations Manager implementation. 
    Key Features: Efficiently plan deployments for Exchange 2003 and Microsoft Operations Manger 2005; Provide guidance for system sizing and architecture; Provide "What-if" analysis capability: hardware, software, topology. 
    Management Features: Supports infrastructure planning and optimization, proactive performance planning, and performance analysis and predictive reporting 
    Scalability: The only limits are in the topology: 95 branch sites and 50,000 users in the central site. 
    Reporting: Provides integrated reports showing the recommended hardware for the deployment, in a topology diagram. This diagram is interactive, and can be used to refine and further optimize the recommendations. It also provides reports on the effects of running the specified Exchange or Microsoft Operations Manager workload on the recommended topology, such as server utilization and end user response time. These reports can be exported to Excel or Visio. 
    Simulations: Yes 
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows – It is deployed as a standalone application on a Windows desktop machine. 
    Standards Support: N/A 
    System Requirements: .NET Framework 2.0 
    Implementation: It is deployed as a standalone application on a Windows desktop machine. 
    Interoperability: Works out-of-the box with a all common SCSI, SATA, ATA and RAID array configurations. Any custom configuration can be modeled, by using the hardware editor to customize specifications. 
    Vendor Comment: System Center Capacity Planner is Microsoft's recommended solution for planning new implementations of Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Operations Manager. It can also be used to optimize existing implementations, and run what-if scenarios to model changes to the environment. 
    Availability: System Center Capacity Planner (SCCP) 2006 is currently available 
    Base Cost: Available through TechNet Plus and MSDN subscription. List price for TechNet Plus Direct subscription is $349 
    Detailed Specs: http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/sccp/overview/default.mspx 
    Vendor URL: www.microsoft.com 

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    Product Snapshot #6
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    Product: MonoSphere Inc.; Storage Horizon 3.1 software 

    Storage System Support: Supports all three disk based storage technologies; SAN, NAS, and DAS 
    Data Analysis: Supports data analysis for databases (Oracle, Sybase, and SQL), email (Exchange), hosts (Windows, UNIX, and Linux), arrays, and filers. Supports Veritas and native volume managers and EMC BCV and SRDF analysis. 
    Key Features: Agent-less Discovery and Collection; Storage Demand to Supply Mapping; Storage Planner; Advanced Analytics; Advanced Forecast Engine; Alerts and Notifications; Management Reporting; Administrator Defined Grouping. 
    Management Features: Since Storage Horizon is agent-less, there is no need for agent management. Other management features include user password management, end user roles management, Storage Horizon database backup and restore, and log dumps. 
    Scalability: Scalability will vary due to the number of volumes on each host, but typically Storage Horizon scales to 4,000 – 5,000 hosts and 200 – 300 storage arrays per Storage Horizon instance. 
    Reporting: Storage Horizon provides 20 out-of-the-box analytics reports that administrators can utilize to understand the important aspects of their storage environment. These out-of-the-box reports can be modified based on differing organizational needs. 
    Simulations: Provides industry leading forecasting for both application hosts and storage subsystems. Data is gathered through agent-less collection, stored in a database, and then analyzed for predictive management and automated capacity plans. 
    Operating System: Windows 2003 Server operating system. 
    Standards Support: Industry standard protocols, such as ICMP/Ping, WMI, SSH, and SNMP. 
    System Requirements: Dedicated system/blade: Dual-CPU Pentium 4 or Opteron, 3 GHz+, 4 GB DDR2 (533+ MHz) memory, Windows 2003 Server; Disk: high speed disk (SATA, 7200+ RPM), min capacity of 100 GB; 100 BaseT [Ethernet] network connectivity. 
    Implementation: Installs in less than 15 minutes on a Windows server and does not use proprietary host or storage resident software agents. It uses industry standard protocols, such as WMI, SSH, and SNMP, as well as vendor provided interfaces, to perform automatic data collection to deliver information for all storage assets. The initial out-of-the-box configuration and analytic storage reports makes sure you have a fast start and can immediately get a baseline view of your current capacity and potential utilization trouble spots. 
    Interoperability: Supports storage systems from EMC and NetApp. HDS, ONStor will be supported in Q2 2007; IBM and HP will be supported in Q3 2007. 
    Vendor Comment: Mapping storage usage from application hosts down to the storage array is critical functionality that is long overdue; and only Storage Horizon provides it. Now enterprises can make better purchasing decisions based on how much of their storage is used versus how much has been allocated for use, which is how most organization manage storage capacity today. 
    Availability: Currently available 
    Base Cost: The price of Storage Horizon is based on the number of TBs of storage under management. Base pricing starts at $50,000 USD. 
    Detailed Specs: http://www.monosphere.com/products/index.html 
    Vendor URL: www.monosphere.com 

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    Product Snapshot #7
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    Product: TeamQuest Corp.; TeamQuest Model software 

    Specifications are not currently available

    Detailed Specs: http://www.teamquest.com/solutions-products/products/model/index.htm 
    Vendor URL: www.teamquest.com 

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    Product Snapshot #8
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    Product: Tek-Tools Inc.; StorageProfiler software 

    Storage System Support: Profiler is able to monitor and report on all SAN, NAS, and DAS devices with added features for EMC, NetApp, IBM, HP, HDS, Sun/STK, Xiotech, SGI, Fujitsu, Teradata. In addition, Profiler provides monitoring and reporting for a wide array of backup software vendors. 
    Data Analysis: Profiler provides complete data analysis on hosts, arrays, databases, file systems, with information on file types, file sizes, file ages, file ownership, etc. 
    Key Features: Automates file analysis, capacity planning, and performance monitoring across file systems. Proactively monitors, alerts, and acts on storage utilization levels to avoid system outages and ensure data usage polices are properly followed. Reporting is done in both real time and historically to manage and forecast storage growth. Profiler supports multiple arrays in heterogeneous environments, and gathers data from the entire storage stack, presenting it in a single "pane-of-glass" view. Custom grouping of assets, arrays, hosts, and file systems create a unique interface that maps technology to business structure. 
    Management Features: Provides a full range of storage management reports detailing how storage is being utilized. In addition, Profiler offers lightweight ILM features for active management functions such as move, delete, and copy. 
    Scalability: To date, Profiler has not hit a ceiling on the amount of data it can report on. 
    Reporting: Provides a full range of reporting features including more than 250 pre-defined reports as well as a fully customizable reporting engine. Reports can be scheduled and automatically delivered. Key reports for storage and capacity planning include: capacity, RAID group configuration and usage, LUN configuration and mapping, and performance statistics for the array, controller, LUN, and disk. Key reports for servers include: volume usage trending and forecasting, volume change over time, and file classification by user, type and age. 
    Simulations: Provides sophisticated forecasting and trending for load balancing and capacity management. Data is gathered, and stored, and then analyzed historically for trending and predictive management. 
    Operating System: Profiler server runs on Windows, Linux, or Solaris. Profiler agents can monitor all major OSs. 
    Standards Support: Profiler supports SMI-S, SNMP, HTTP, HTTPS 
    System Requirements: Profiler server requires 1 GB of memory, 1 GB of disk space, and runs on Windows, Solaris, or Linux. The Profiler agent requires 64-256 MB of memory, 150 MB of disk space, and utilizes 1-3% of CPU. 
    Implementation: Profiler has a server-agent architecture, so it requires a location to install the Profiler server (Windows, Solaris, Linux) and then agents can be deployed onto the desired servers (Windows, Solaris, Linux, AIX, HPUX, Tru64 and Netware). The agents will monitor the server and also serve as a platform to monitor other devices (arrays, switches, etc.), and applications (backups, E-mail, databases, DNS, etc.) without requiring an agent install on that device. 
    Interoperability: Refer to the online compatibility matrix for detailed information 
    Vendor Comment: Not provided 
    Availability: Currently available 
    Base Cost: An entry-level package would likely run $10,000-$15,000 
    Detailed Specs: http://www.tek-tools.com/jsp/storage.jsp 
    Vendor URL: www.tek-tools.com 

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This was first published in April 2007

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