Product snapshots: SRM software

SRM tools help administrators understand and control their evolving storage landscape, optimize utilization and performance, automate some of the most routine and error-prone management processes, and make informed decisions about future storage expenditures. SRM tools analyze the relationship between storage and the applications using that storage. Results are then reported to the storage administrator who can make informed choices about storage issues, like utilization and storage budgeting. The product snapshots in this chapter highlight key specifications for a cross section of popular SRM software products.

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Storage resource management (SRM) tools are available to help administrators understand and control their evolving storage landscape, optimize utilization and performance, automate some of the most routine and error-prone management processes, and make informed decisions about future storage expenditures. SRM tools analyze the relationship between storage and the applications using that storage. Analytical results are then reported to the storage administrator who can make informed choices about storage issues, like utilization and storage budgeting. The product snapshots in this chapter highlight key specifications for a cross section of popular SRM 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:

  • BakBone Software Inc.; NetVault Report Manager for Disk Space
  • CA Inc.; BrightStor Storage Resource Manager software
  • EMC Corp.; ControlCenter software
  • Hewlett-Packard Co.; HP Storage Essentials software
  • MonoSphere Inc.; Storage Horizon software
  • Northern Parklife AB; Northern Storage Suite SRM tool
  • Onaro Inc.; SANscreen software
  • Opsware Inc.; Opsware System 6 software
  • Sun Microsystems Inc.; StorageTek Operations Manager Software
  • Symantec Corp.; Veritas CommandCentral Storage software

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    Product Snapshot #1
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    Product: BakBone Software Inc.; NetVault Report Manager for Disk Space

    Storage System Support: Supports SAN and DAS and generally have to access NAS devices via shares from servers. We have a client for Snap Appliance and can report directly on Snap Appliance NAS devices.
    Data Analysis: Primarily provides file system analysis and reporting across Windows, Linux and Solaris. Version 3.5 also provides a module for exchange reporting. The product is focused on data rather than hardware, so does not provide any kind of support for storage or server hardware.
    Key Features: Software offers near real time disk capacity thresholds and monitoring; near real time disk I/O thresholds and monitoring; file system reporting; custom report builder; intelligent actions which can take files identified in reports and move, copy or delete; tape archive files to NetVault: Backup. Also reports on email traffic, reports on email users, reports on email and attachment disk/space consumption, and reports on exchange configuration details.
    Management Features: Reports can be configured and scheduled via an automated scheduler; reports can automatically be generated in PDF and mailed to distribution lists; alerts can be sent via email or on screen warnings when monitoring thresholds are broken.
    Scalability: We are able to deal with 10s of millions of files and still produce reports in a timely manner, in any single NRMD domain.
    Security: Standard password protection for the GUI
    Reporting: All reports can be pre-defined, scheduled and automatically e-mailed; reports can be produced in CSV or PDF; 25 canned reports available for use.
    Operating System: The server component installs on a Windows machine. Clients are installed on the machines where SRM reporting is required, and support Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Snap Guardian OS
    Standards Support: Currently not using a standard like CIM, but that is under active consideration for future releases.
    System Requirements: Refer to documentation at http://www.bakbone.com/docs/NetVault_Report_Manager_Datasheet_July_06.pdf
    Implementation: Not provided
    Interoperability: We are only reporting on data/logical, so we do not manage hardware, but we can work with absolutely any storage that can be seen as a volume.
    Vendor Comment: NRMD SRM software is a powerful yet simple data reporting and management tool. It is focused on enabling IT managers to understand and manage their data. It does not venture into other areas of SRM that revolve around storage infrastructure management.
    Availability: V3.0 is currently available; V3.5 will be available on Feb 13th 2007
    Base Cost: $475 per server
    Detailed Specs: http://www.bakbone.com/Product.aspx?id=1910
    Vendor URL: www.bakbone.com

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    Product Snapshot #2
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    Product: CA; BrightStor Storage Resource Manager software

    Storage System Support: Supports DAS, NAS and SAN storage
    Data Analysis: Platform and volume manager support for Linux, Network Appliance Data ONTAP, NetWare, UNIX, Windows, z/OS, Sun Solstice DiskSuite and ZFS on Solaris; disk array support using SMI-S providers and/or vendor API to monitor and track storage consumption, availability, and allocation metrics; NAS support for NetApp, Windows Powered NSA or Linux-Based Filers; cluster server support for Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS); database support for Oracle, IBM DB2 UDB, Microsoft SQL Server, and Sybase; handles Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino, CA ARCserve Backup, EMC Networker, IBM TSM, and Symantec NetBackup; supplies port and switch-level statistics for Brocade, McData, CNT, QLogic, Cisco; captures file-level attributes.
    Key Features: Centralized management of storage from laptop to mainframe; granular file analysis and flexible data classification; centralized backup resource management and SRM-driven backup; extensive reporting capabilities; storage analytics on executive-oriented view
    Management Features: Detailed data analysis and classification; reporting (out of the box and customizable); threshold or event-triggered automated actions; capacity monitoring and quota management; performance analysis to satisfy service levels; automatic problem remediation and root cause analysis; forecasting, trending for improved budgeting
    Scalability: Does not have a fixed limit to the number of supported managed objects (disk arrays, applications, hosts, etc).
    Security: Encrypted authentication information; all user ids and passwords are stored encrypted; fully compliant with OS authentication; ensures IT security integrity; role based security; authentication for end user and administrator level roles; provides appropriate administration level as needed by person or role
    Reporting: "Out-of-the-box" comprehensive reporting includes capacity reporting, monitoring, management, planning and analysis capabilities containing in-depth information on every aspect of the storage environment, including domains, servers, volumes, files and owners.
    Operating System: Windows, NetWare, Linux, and UNIX environments
    Standards Support: SMI-S and vendor API
    System Requirements: Windows (2000, XP, 2003); Pentium 1.2 GHz; 512 MB RAM; 700 MB drive space (more free disk space is required in order to allow for growth of the BrightStor SRM database).
    Implementation: BrightStor SRM is quickly deployed within the enterprise via the BrightStor Remote Deployment utility. This is an enterprise software delivery capability at no additional cost that is built on the enterprise Software Delivery technology.
    Interoperability: We can successfully manage all storage systems, regardless of manufacturer, without requiring providing specific support
    Vendor Comment: BrightStor SRM solves the problem where IT staff often rely on reactive, after-the fact usage reports to manage escalating data growth, optimize and protect storage assets, and prevent abnormal task terminations. BrightStor SRM's centralized monitoring and policy-based automation helps reduce costs and administration by simplifying management of complex enterprise storage environments, maximizing use of existing storage resources and ensuring protection and high-availability of applications and business information.
    Availability: BrightStor SRM r 11.6 currently available
    Base Cost: Pricing starts at approximately $23,000 USD based on 2TB managed capacity.
    Detailed Specs: http://www3.ca.com/solutions/Product.aspx?ID=1541
    Vendor URL: www.ca.com/brightstor

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    Product Snapshot #3
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    Product: EMC Corp.; ControlCenter software

    Specifications are not currently available

    Detailed Specs: http://www.emc.com/products/storage_management/controlcenter.jsp
    Vendor URL: www.emc.com

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    Product Snapshot #4
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    Product: Hewlett-Packard Cp.; HP Storage Essentials software

    Storage System Support: Integrates management of SAN, NAS, DAS, tape and backup resources from multiple vendors in a single, Web-based console.
    Data Analysis: Plug-ins for Oracle, Exchange, SQL Server, Sybase and file servers correlate business application performance and availability with the health of underlying host servers, HBAs, fabric switches, and storage systems. These modules give you views of your storage environment from each application's perspective, so can perform faster root cause analysis and prevent unplanned downtime.
    Key Features: Discovery, topology, reports, security, events, policies, advisors and automators. Also works with the optional application and business modules to ensure that storage resource capacity, performance, and configuration are completely aligned with the business environment.
    Management Features: Provides path/dependency management, capacity management, performance monitoring, event/policy management, provisioning, chargeback and asset management.
    Scalability: Can scale to manage even large SANs with a single management server. The largest deployment to date has 15,000 ports being managed by a single management server.
    Security: Incorporates a customizable, easy to use, and robust role-based security capability that satisfies common read only, full access, and limited access requirements.
    Reporting: Provides more than 150 out-of-the-box reports with the ability to view and automatically e-mail any report in PDF, Excel, XML and HTML formats. Custom reports can be created through HP Storage Essentials Report Designer or any third-party reporting tool. With the optional Global Reporter Module, you can create roll-up reports that summarize key asset, configuration, capacity, performance, and utilization statistics from your distributed storage infrastructure.
    Operating System: Windows, Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, RedHat Linux, Suse Linux, Tru64, NetWare (via proxy), OpenVMS
    Standards Support: Designed on the Common Information Model (CIM) and Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), as well as Java, J2EE, SOAP, XML, and other Web services technologies.
    System Requirements: Windows Management Server: Dual Intel Xeon 2.0 GHz or higher, minimum 4GB memory, minimum 50GB disk space; Solaris Management Server: UltraSPARC III Cu Processor 2 at 1.2 GHz or greater, external cache per processor 8 MB, minimum 4GB memory (8 @ 256-MB DIMMS) + 4GB swap.
    Implementation: Phase 1 of the HP Storage Essentials Implementation Methodology is a non-invasive step that focuses on storage system and fabric switch discovery and management. Phase 2 implements HP Storage Essential's more advanced management capabilities for host servers and business applications by leveraging the installation of host agents (CIM extensions). Phase 3 customizes HP Storage Essentials for the user's environment through the design and integration of custom reports and scripts.
    Interoperability: OEM and joint development relationships with Bull, Engenio, HDS, Sun, and SGI mean best-in-class support for the storage systems, fabric switches, host bus adapters (HBAs), operating systems, volume managers, file systems, and management software offered by these vendors. In addition, HP has development alliances with Brocade, Cisco, CNT, EMC, Emulex, HP, IBM, JNI, Intel, McDATA, NetApp, QLogic, Xiotech, and 3PAR to ensure full solution interoperability.
    Vendor Comment: HP Storage Essentials delivers heterogeneous SAN management, storage resource management (SRM), and provisioning on a common, tightly integrated, modular platform. Unlike competitive solutions, which have been created by loosely packaging independent point products, HP Storage Essentials leverages a common database, a common schema built on the Common Information Model, a single lightweight agent, and a common graphical user interface for all features.
    Availability: Currently available
    Base Cost: The Storage Essentials base license starts at $30,000 USD. Pricing is based on a combination of Managed Access Points, Managed Application Licenses, Terabytes Managed and Users.
    Detailed Specs: http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/software/srmgt/index.html
    Vendor URL: www.hp.com

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    Product Snapshot #5
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    Product: MonoSphere Inc.; Storage Horizon 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.
    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 not 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.
    Security: System login to keep unauthorized users from accessing the application; secure data collection; private data storage.
    Reporting: Storage Horizon provides 20 out-of-the-box analytics reports that administrators can utilize to understand the important aspects of their storage environment. Through pull-down menus, these out-of-the-box reports can be modified based on differing organizational needs. Storage administrators can easily develop their own storage analytics reports using pull-down menus, without programming or scripting.
    Operating System: Windows 2003 Server operating system
    Standards Support: Storage Horizon leverages 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: Storage Horizon installs in less than 15 minutes on a Windows server and does not use proprietary host or storage resident software agents. Rather, it leverages 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, IBM, and HP will be support in Q2 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: Storage Horizon 3.0 is available now.
    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 #6
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    Product: Northern Parklife AB; Northern Storage Suite SRM tool

    Storage System Support: Supports any CIFS-compliant NAS and any SAN that appears as a local resource to a Windows machine. A special version for NetApp OnTap is being released shortly.
    Data Analysis: The software supports data analysis for hosts, arrays, files and e-mail.
    Key Features: Disk-quotas, file blocking, drill-down and scheduled reporting, usage trending, storage automation, end-user information portal and storage chargeback and cost projection functionality.
    Management Features: Allows corporations to reclaim capacity, control user's data, plan for future data growth, charge-back for capacity consumed, and encourages the self-management of user data.
    Scalability: Unlimited
    Security: Delegated Permissions for management, log of actions and modifications, event history tracing, NTFS, user account reports, dormant mailboxes reports
    Reporting: Northern Storage Reporter offers a series of valuable pre-configured reports. More about these reports can be found here: http://www.northern.net/northernstoragesuite/info.asp?featuresId=2
    Operating System: Windows Server 2000 and higher for the managing server, any CIFS compliant NAS or SAN.
    Standards Support: Supports CIFS and uses CIM
    System Requirements: Windows Server 2000 and higher, Internet Explorer 5.1 or higher Microsoft SQL Server 2000 SP2 or higher.
    Implementation: Designate a license server and a Master server and then install the NSS services on the monitored servers. The storage devices (network storage) do not require an install.
    Interoperability: Supports any CIFS-compliant NAS and any SAN that appears as a local resource to a Windows machine. A special version for NetApp OnTap is being released shortly.
    Vendor Comment: Northern Storage Suite is a Storage Resource Management solution; a software solution that targets the costs and complexities of managing stored data. Now you can implement disk quotas, reporting, charge-back, automation and end-user interaction...plus, you can apply state-of-the-art SRM to NetApp NAS devices…all within one easy-to-administer, centralized framework.
    Availability: Currently available
    Base Cost: From $1,495 USD per host
    Detailed Specs: http://www.northern.net/northernstoragesuite
    Vendor URL: www.northern.net

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    Product Snapshot #7
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    Product: Onaro Inc.; SANscreen software

    Storage System Support: SAN
    Data Analysis: The SANscreen product family does not do file level analysis.
    Key Features: Real time monitoring - provide visibility into the services delivered in real time; service quality monitoring - compare the services delivered with the services requested by the applications; service violation reporting - alert users to situations where services delivered don't match services requested; planning for migrations and consolidations - simulate changes to the environment; root cause analysis - by understanding how changes have impacted the environment, provides for rapid root cause analysis; capacity planning - tracking allocation trending provides means for capacity planning; recoverability reporting - maintains RPO reporting; provide service centric nformation to other groups outside of storage to support the IT service delivery chain.
    Management Features: Not provided
    Scalability: 10,000 switch ports per server. We have a 70,000 port installation running. At one customer of about 18,000 ports, they had 70 SRM servers from a competitor. We ran the same environment on 2 servers.
    Security: All changes to SANscreen are recorded in an audit trail. SANscreen can be used to track to make sure rouge hosts do not connect with unauthorized volumes.
    Reporting: Inventory information about devices,configurations; allocation trending; service level trending; capacity reporting; violation reports; RPO dashboard
    Operating System: Not provided
    Standards Support: CIM, SMI-S, SNMP, CLI
    System Requirements: For every 10,000 ports, a single windows server, dual CPU, and several GBs of memory.
    Implementation: A single server can manage 10,000 switch ports. SANscreen can be deployed in about 24 hours for every 8,000 ports. Deployment can be remote. Onaro recently finished deploying 44,000 ports across 52 datacenters in three weeks all accomplished remotely.
    Interoperability: HP, HDS, 3PAR, EMC, IBM, Brocade, McData, Cisco
    Vendor Comment: SANscreen provides immediate, measurable value to our customers. That why SANscreen has consistently penetrated accounts that used to be exclusive EMC, or HP , or IBM accounts.
    Availability: Currently available
    Base Cost: Starts at $185 per port
    Detailed Specs: http://www.onaro.com/products_ssover.html
    Vendor URL: www.onaro.com

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    Product Snapshot #8
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    Product: Opsware Inc.; Opsware System 6 software

    Storage System Support: Supports SAN, NAS and DAS
    Data Analysis: Supports data analysis for: databases, hosts, arrays, fibre-switches, filesystems, volumes/volume managers, etc.
    Key Features: Operational Insight including discovery (database, host, storage array [SAN/NAS], and fibre switch), inventory, search and reporting, discover and navigate storage supply chain; shell-based navigation and scripting of devices and dependencies; Application-level storage analysis such as discover application dependencies and report on storage utilization by application; Troubleshooting such as visualization and dependency analysis; capacity and utilization planning and analysis including trend analysis and future projections, charge-Backs and utilization by department/business unit; and compliance such as policies, standards and best practices, hosts and storage device compliance.
    Management Features: Automated host discovery and agent deployment; multimaster distributed architecture; unlimited scalability through addition of hardware; centralized agent management console; overlapping IP network support
    Scalability: Unlimited
    Security: Secure agent communications via encrypted Opsware gateway; robust role-based AAA system controlling user access to specific devices and capabilities
    Reporting: Inventory reports; capacity and utilization reports; capacity and utilization timeseries reports; dependency & troubleshooting reports; topology, supply chain and dependency graphs; ad-hoc tabular reports via search paradigm; extensible report definition
    Operating System: Sun Microsystems Solaris 8 Sun SPARC; Sun Microsystems Solaris 9 Sun SPARC; Sun Microsystems Solaris 10 Sun SPARC 4u/4v; Red Hat RHEL AS 3 i386
    Standards Support: SMI-S
    System Requirements: Oracle 10g (10.2.0.2) Enterprise, Standard, SE One
    Implementation: ASAS is an add-on to our existing Server Automation System (SAS). It requires a simple install on top of SAS. It leverages the same host agents as SAS. It will use SAS automation capabilities to deploy storage agents in an automated fashion. Once storage agents are deployed, storage infrastructure devices (switches, arrays) will be automatically discovered, and correlated with the host data to provide the end-to-end storage supply chain.
    Interoperability: EMC Clariion, DMX, Symmetrix; Network Appliance ONTAP; Hitachi Data Systems Thunder, Lightning; Engenio and OEM variants (IBM, NCR, etc.); Sun StorEdge; Brocade; McData
    Vendor Comment: The Opsware Application Storage Automation System (ASAS) goes beyond multi-vendor storage management to deliver storage automation across SAN, NAS and DAS architectures. Opsware ASAS immediately addresses critical IT issues by decreasing storage complexity and improving visibility from an application point of view.
    Availability: Q3 2007
    Base Cost: Pricing will be released in Q3 2007
    Detailed Specs: www.opsware.com
    Vendor URL: www.opsware.com

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    Product Snapshot #9
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    Product: Sun Microsystems; StorageTek Operations Manager Software

    Specifications are not currently available

    Detailed Specs: http://www.sun.com/storagetek/management_software/resource_management/operations_manager/
    Vendor URL: www.sun.com

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    Product Snapshot #10
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    Product: Symantec Corp.; Veritas CommandCentral Storage software

    Storage System Support: Supports SAN, NAS or DAS storage arrays
    Data Analysis: Will discover, report, monitor and manage databases, hosts, arrays and files. Oracle, Sybase, DB2 and MS-SQL are supported. Reports on host information such as file system, applications, volume mangers, shares, storage consumption, etc. Supports arrays, regardless of architecture (SAN, NAS, DAS) or vendor and monitors all of the elements along the data path. Policies may be implemented to alert administrators based on pre-defined thresholds allowing for proactive action to rectify problems resulting in improved application availability. Will also scan hosts or NAS devices and provide file level reports such as file type and aging summaries (date created, accessed or modified) enabling tiered storage.
    Key Features: Storage capacity planning; end-to-end visibility; centralized health monitoring; heterogeneous storage provisioning
    Management Features: Host editor, zone builder, zone set builder, hub editor, LUN query tool, LUN builder, port bundle tool; RAID group builder, enclosure editor, zone alias builder, virtual fabric builder, group builder, storage provisioning tool, snapshot editor
    Scalability: A single CommandCentral Storage management server instance scales to: 2K – 3K hosts; 4PB – 5PB of storage; 8K – 10K switch ports; 150K – 200K LUNs; 900K – 1.2M objects
    Security: Supports roles based access including administrator, read-only user, storage administrator or storage operator providing various levels of control and operations within the product. Supports SSL and SSH so all data that is viewed by a user is encrypted. Can also be configured to leverage existing directory services such as LDAP, Active Directory, NIS or NIS+.
    Reporting: Reports include: total on-line storage capacity (i.e. physical storage, logical storage, claimed storage, consumed storage, etc.); distribution of storage attachment (i.e. SCSI, fibre channel); total storage by array vendor; total storage by RAID level; total storage by classification (i.e. SAN, NAS, DAS); file level reports (described above); physical inventory (i.e. host, HBA, switch, array); performance (i.e. host, switch, array); historic reports (i.e. alerts, change history, audit history). The database schema is published and open allowing users to write their own SQL queries to generate customized reports.
    Operating System: Supported on Windows or Solaris -- the agent will run on Windows, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX or Linux (RedHat).
    Standards Support: SMI-S 1.1
    System Requirements: Solaris: dual CPU, 2 GB memory, 700 MB disk space, 1.4 GB of temp space. Windows: dual CPU, 2 GB memory, 600 MB disk space, 600 MB temp space
    Implementation: The CommandCentral Storage Management Server is installed on either a Windows or Solaris host. The Management Server discovers switches, HBA's and Arrays. For customers that require host based SRM information, there is an additional agent that can optionally be deployed on each server that provides monitoring and reporting as well as mapping from the host to the underlying storage infrastructure. The agent is not platform or application specific, which allows for ease of deployment, manageability and maintenance. CommandCentral Storage includes an Agent Push Install Utility, allowing for centralized installation and management of the agent on managed hosts. The Agent Push Install Utility allows for agent code to be updated in a centralized manner as well.
    Interoperability: EMC, IBM, HDS, Network Appliance, HP, LSI, Brocade, Cisco, McData, QLogic
    Vendor Comment: Veritas CommandCentral Storage is a leading storage resource management solution that provides centralized visibility and control across heterogeneous storage environments. With solutions for capacity management, centralized monitoring, application to spindle mapping, and active management of storage components, CommandCentral Storage increases data availability, optimizes resources and reduces capital and operational costs.
    Availability: CommandCentral Storage 5.0 is currently available
    Base Cost: The base cost for license elements is $25,000 USD. The price scales with the number of servers to be managed and monitored by CommandCentral Storage.
    Detailed Specs: http://www.symantec.com/enterprise/products/overview.jsp?pcid=1020&pvid=19_1
    Vendor URL: www.symantec.com

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  • This was first published in April 2007

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