Off the top, the way Symantec describes an upgrade to its front-line Veritas storage management software sounds plainly ironic. Symantec, which is big on selling storage capacity, promises to help its customers "stop buying storage" by using some new software.
Upon closer observance, however, these new enhancements to Symantec's Veritas storage optimization suite CommandCentral are designed to help organizations make better use of their current storage capacity, therefore reducing operational costs over time.
RAID-type enterprise storage systems typically use only 15 to 25 percent of their storage capacity. Symantec claims the CommandCentral suite helps IT shops improve storage utilization by as much as 40 percent and can cut overall IT spending by about 10 percent.
Companies will always have to buy storage-the creation of data is not going to slow down and/or stop, ever-but new, improved storage networking software such as this can slow the purchase cycle quite a bit.
"Also, the notion of spending a bunch of money up front to recover over time is no longer valid," Soderbery said. "People are saying, 'You've got to save this quarter.' So instead of ROI, it's more like ROQ [return on the quarter]."
CommandCentral 5.1 is designed specifically for that purpose-to help save storage costs in the short term, Soderbery said.
CommandCentral gives organizations an alternative to disparate traditional tools, such as element managers, point products and spreadsheets, by providing centralized visibility and control over their storage environment.
By gaining this insight, customers often can stop purchasing storage for a year or more by utilizing existing storage assets while continuing to meet application service levels, Soderbery said.
The package includes enhancements to existing base product features, plus a new module called Storage ChangeManager. With this, CommandCentral becomes the first storage optimization suite to integrate traditional storage resource management with storage change management, Soderbery said.
CommandCentral, compliant with the industry-standard SMI-S specification, is hardware-agnostic, Soderbery said, and integrates exactly with heterogeneous physical/virtual server and storage environments, including VMware ESX virtualization layers.
"Symantec is arming customers with tools that can be rapidly deployed to combat the major challenges inherent in dynamic, high-growth data centers," said Bob Laliberte, storage analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
"IT organizations can look to solutions like CommandCentral to proactively track and manage storage changes and provide insight into their physical and virtual environments so they can quickly reduce operational costs, maintain high levels of availability and eliminate unnecessary storage hardware purchases."
Pricing/availability: Veritas CommandCentral 5.1 is available now, with pricing starting at $20,000.