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DataCore launches free interactive SAN tools

DataCore Software Corp., a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based developer of storage virtualization software, has debuted a set of interactive tools to help companies evaluate the Return on Investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) of storage networking alternatives from different suppliers.

According to DataCore the new tools were designed with the aide of independent consultants to be platform independent, and are not out there to push DataCore's SANsymphony virtualization software. "Our Professional Services team has fallen into a lot of situations where people need advice like what direction should I go? How do I go about investing, implementing, deploying, and managing a SAN," said Ken Horner, Datacore's vice president of marketing.

The trio of tools includes the DataCore SAN Assessment, the SAN ROI/TCO Calculator, and the SANsymphony Configurator and Quoting Tool.

SAN assessment tools can help managers plan more effectively because they query the existing storage infrastructure, SAN, NAS and direct-attached, and return a rich diagram of installed devices, firmware, connection type, and capacity used.

William Hurley, program manager for the Boston-based analyst firm the Yankee Group said these new tools could return immediate benefit to a data manager as they can provide a more granular understanding of capacity management, a difficult in a heterogeneous SAN environment.

"HighGround Systems, now part of Sun Microsystems, had been the leader with this functionality. HighGround had offered a low cost evaluation tool to SAN system integrators as a consulting and planning tool," said Hurley. "I would be surprised to see this product remain a no-charge item over time."

"DataCore is attempting to make the business decision of moving to networked storage easier for the end user," said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst for the Enterprise Storage Group. "We understand that the payback is huge, but many end users continue to move cautiously."

Duplessie added that DataCore, through its free offering, is attempting to let users plug their own real world data into a TCO/ROI model that makes justifying the cost of a SAN easy. "It's a great idea that attempts to simplify the business decision based on complex technology."

The SAN Assessment tool is available to users on DataCore's website.

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor

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