Storage capacity management provider MonoSphere on Jan. 29 began shipping its newly architected software, which enables companies to devise storage capacity plans and make the most of existing storage assets.
Storage Horizon 3.0 provides Global 3000 companies with a unified view of current and projected storage capacity usage. Its new analytical tools automate the previously manual process of matching storage demand with physical storage inventory, helping enterprises to more fully leverage existing hardware assets, MonoSphere vice president of marketing Frank Kettenstock told eWEEK.
On average, the storage management capabilities of Storage Horizon 3.0 save companies nearly 40 percent on their annual storage-hardware capital expenditures, Kettenstock said.
Having a capacity management strategy in place invariably has a positive impact on an enterprises storage-server power and cooling costs, Kettestock said, since empty or low-use storage hardware is identified, accounted for within the system and scaled back accordingly.
The agent-less software proactively assesses an organizations data-storage assets and determines how much of the total available capacity is actually being used.
"Based on this data, the software can help storage administrators use any currently orphan, or unused, gigabytes or terabytes of space and better predict when and how much additional storage theyll need to buy," Kettenstock said.
This data helps companies avoid overprovisioning and reduce capital expenditures on storage, which a recent survey by Redwood City, Calif.-based MonoSphere illustrated was skyrocketing and causing other important IT initiatives to be delayed.
"Mapping storage usage from application hosts down to the storage array is critical functionality that is long overdue," said Arun Taneja, consulting analyst and founder of the Taneja Group.
"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."
Storage demand going nowhere but up
Fortune 1000 companies demand for storage capacity has increased from 44TB to 698TB on average within the past four years, according to New York firm TheInfoPros Wave 8 Report.
In MonoSpheres December 2006 survey of 140 storage professionals, 83 percent responded that despite declining unit costs, storage spending is increasing and at a rate faster than IT budget growth.
In fact, 62 percent responded that the increase in capital expenditures for storage causes delays in other important IT initiatives. This issue underscores the need for large enterprises to develop effective storage capacity plans and maximize utilization of existing storage assets.
For mid- to large-sized enterprises, savings within the first year of implementing MonoSpheres storage capacity management software can exceed millions of dollars, MonoSphere CEO and President Ray Villaneuve told eWEEK.
"IT organizations are trying to fully leverage their existing computing investments. One example of this is creating multiple virtual machines on your servers to increase CPU utilization. Another example is deploying a storage capacity management solution like Storage Horizon to increase the utilization of your expensive and fast growing storage environments," said Bob Laliberte, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
"Sooner or later, all efficient IT organizations are going to have to evaluate and deploy these types of solutions."
More automation in v3.0
New features in v3.0, as listed by the company, include:
- Data collection and reporting from storage arrays
- Automated supply-to-demand mapping of storage array logical devices to host volumes
- Automated association of usage and usage forecasts to storage arrays
- Automated, storage-array-based capacity plan generation
- Twenty template-based analytical reports, in addition to more than 500 custom reports
- Alerts for potential "trouble spots" and over-provisioned areas
"Today we see a trend in the industry where end users are moving away from single storage management frameworks that try to solve every problem to focused solutions that solve specific pain points," said Laura DuBois, research director of Storage Software at IDC, based in Framingham, Mass.
"These focused solutions tend to provide deeper capability and features around a specific storage management challenge and often provide a better return on investment. Storage Horizon is a great example of a focused solution for storage capacity management."
Storage Horizon 3.0 is available now. Pricing is handled on an individual basis; for further information, go here.