By Henry Baltazar  |  Posted 2003-10-13 Print this article Print

Like its SAN management stablemate, EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9 is an innovative storage management system and one that will probably be most beneficial for small and midsize businesses.

EMCs lower-end SRM (storage resource management) package, VisualSRM 1.5.9, offers a nice set of easy-to-use tools that can be implemented without a lot of complications.

EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9, which starts at $2,000, enables organizations to get a better idea of how their storage space is being used, the rate at which demand is growing and who is responsible for consumption.

EMCs VisualSRM 1.5.9 is less proactive than competing solutions, such as Fujitsu Softecs $25,000 Storage Manager, because it does not have file-blocking capabilities, quota management or auto-storage provisioning features.

EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9
EMCs entry-level SRM software package gets the job done for small and midsize businesses. The dashboard interface of EMC VisualSRM is easy to navigate, and it presents information well. VisualSRM is priced starting at an affordable $2,000.
  • PRO: Simple management interface; works with a variety of popular databases and with Exchange.

  • CON: No quota management or file-screening capabilities.
    Veritas StorageCentral Fujitsu Softecs Storage Manager
    However, for low-end and midrange shops that need basic reporting and dont have a lot of storage systems or capacity to manage, EMCs solution does the job.

    EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9 works with Novell Inc. NetWare, Unix and Windows platforms and can communicate with Oracle Corp.s Oracle8i and 9i, Microsoft Corp.s SQL Server 2000 and Exchange, and Sybase Inc.s Sybase 12.5 to assess their storage needs. In future revisions, we hope to see support for other widely used applications, including IBMs Lotus Notes.

    For its database back end, EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9 can use Oracle 8i, Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Desktop Engine.

    In tests, EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9s new dashboard-style, browser-based interface proved easy to use, featuring above-average customization capabilities. For example, we could add a calendar interface to help schedule management activities and add other useful information to our dashboard.

    Using the dashboard interface, it was easy to check the status of running processes and quickly find key information, such as which volumes have the highest usage levels. To get this information, agents must be installed on file and application servers. EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9 includes a new utility that ably pushes agents out to servers.

    Automation capabilities in EMC VisualSAN allow IT managers to set scripts to run when certain events occur. For example, if a file system gets close to being filled, administrators can configure EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9 to move the data to an alternative location.

    EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9s move-and-compress option is another useful tool that can be used for automatically moving infrequently used Windows, Unix and Linux files and log files. (Compression is not supported on NetWare. Still, the fact that VisualSRM has a NetWare agent at all is a plus.)

    We like the fact that we could make some policies interactive, meaning that a policy wouldnt automatically run unless an administrator specifically approved it.

    EMC VisualSRM 1.5.9s reporting options were relatively easy to use and capably generated basic reports, including media files found, storage consumption by owner and duplicate files.

    Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at henry_ baltazar@ziffdavis.com.


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