Onaro Manager Software Heads Off SAN Troubles

By Brian Fonseca  |  Posted 2004-06-21 Print this article Print

To stop storage network problems before they occur, Onaro is introducing its predictive change management software to simplify administration and manage the growth of SANs.

To stop storage network problems before they occur, Onaro Inc. is introducing its predictive change management software to simplify administration and manage the growth of SANs.

SANScreen, which will be unveiled this week, performs root-cause analysis and storage area network simulations without using agents. Running on a stand-alone server, the software features APIs that plug into a variety of storage device and application configurations to capture event information, troubleshoot errors and analyze a SAN against a customers set policies, said officials at Boston-based Onaro.

The simulations let a SANScreen user see the impact of planned changes on a SAN and investigate potential repercussions on areas such as backup operations and administration rights. To gauge success, the software then monitors the execution of approved fixes and compares subsequent performance against the steps that were supposed to be carried out.

For many storage customers, SANs are becoming too complex and multithreaded to maintain consistent growth and stability when making necessary changes, said John Webster, an analyst at Data Mobility Group LLC, in Nashua, N.H.

Despite the current lack of Storage Management Interface Specification support in SANScreen, Webster called the Onaro software an attractive option for customers of large systems management vendors due to its modeling approach and preservation of the production environment during change management.

At the spring Network Storage 2004 conference, both vendors and SAN admins bemoaned interoperability issues. To read more about the issue, click here. Onaro customer Robert Shinn, principal at State Street Global Advisors, a unit of State Street Corp., said vendors providing hardware for his storage environment did not offer sufficient quality checkpoints for managing change.

"We like to have checks and balances within our environment that provide stability to our customers. With the amount of changes that happen, youre not capable of having a person to go through that whole piece and have base-line [findings]—that has to be automated," said Shinn in Boston. "We use Onaro SANScreen to make sure changes that we made in our environment [do] what we expected. That way, we spend less time doing fire calls and more time for advanced engineering."

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Brian Fonseca is a senior writer at eWEEK who covers database, data management and storage management software, as well as storage hardware. He works out of eWEEK's Woburn, Mass., office. Prior to joining eWEEK, Brian spent four years at InfoWorld as the publication's security reporter. He also covered services, and systems management. Before becoming an IT journalist, Brian worked as a beat reporter for The Herald News in Fall River, Mass., and cut his teeth in the news business as a sports and news producer for Channel 12-WPRI/Fox 64-WNAC in Providence, RI. Brian holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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