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Veritas enhances storage management offering

Veritas Software Corp., has announced a set of storage management tools geared toward giving businesses that are experiencing rapid data growth and minimal management resources, more bang for the buck.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based, Veritas, says its Volume Manager Version 3.1 is an enhanced version of its storage management software with mirrored copying and data tracking and monitoring capabilities, along with a new, multi-faceted Graphical User Interface (GUI) and storage virtualization options.

According to Mark Nicolett, research director for the Gartner Group, Stamford, Conn., the key feature to the Volume Manager is that it is software-based rather than hardware based. "Volume Manager runs on the application host rather than running on a component of the SAN (Storage Area Network)," he said. "Because Volume Manager is working at a different level or layer in the architecture, it provides more opportunities for virtualizing the storage."

While people have been using Volume Manager for some time to split or mirror data replicas, Version 3.1 offers more embedded support for SAN environments, allowing for users to take advantage of burgeoning SAN technology, according to Nicolett. "In the past, if you wanted to create a point-in-time replica and use that replica for a period of time, at some point, you'd want to refresh that replica. In the old days, that process meant you would essentially have to move every block and file. Volume Manager just moves the changed or modified data," he said.

"More and more organizations are finding it difficult to manage their storage with fewer and fewer resources," said Andrew Antal, senior marketing manager for Veritas, "Its key strength is that it's array independent. You could use it with a mix of storage devices."

FastResync, a Version 3.1 option, creates and manipulates mirrored copies of databases and other critical application data online.

FastResync simplifies management of large data sets by enabling rapid creation and manipulation of mirrored copies of databases and critical application data. Veritas said that this new capability is targeted for decision support environments, data replication, batch processing, data warehousing or other applications that are typically performed off-line. FastResync streamlines mirror resynchronization by continually tracking changes made when the mirror copy is offline, and reapplies only those updates to a mirror copy when the mirror is reattached to the original data volume.

Volume Manager 3.1 packs a new multi-host GUI interface that provides management for SAN, clustering, replication, and traditional backup environments.

An improved hot relocation feature within Volume Manager 3.1 utilizes "hot" storage pools online. When an I/O failure rears its digital head, Volume Manager's hot relocation feature moves the trouble spot on the disk to another location where data can remain available to users. After replacing the faulty disk, users can return the data configuration back to its original state, using a new "unrelocate" feature while the system remains online.

Administrators using the Volume Manager can manage multiple host systems from a single console, centralizing management. A new feature called Object View, provides a hierarchical view of disk group configuration that allows administrators to drag and drop sub-disk objects, simplifying configuration tasks. A read-only mode on the GUI acts as a security measure against human error.

Antal said that Veritas expects many of its customers will use the new features of the Volume Manager in their decision-making and capacity planning processes. "The Volume Manager offers storage virtualization across multiple platforms. We are working with all the key providers. We're the middle layer for managing storage across platforms," said Antal. He also said that Veritas will be releasing products on the Linux platform later this year.

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