NetApp Partners Ready Data Management Tools

Customers of Network Appliance are due to get more data management options from two NetApp partners.

Customers of Network Appliance Inc. will soon have more options for data management with upgrades from two of NetApps software partners.

The new tools will be included in NuView Inc.s StorageX, which NetApp resells as VFM (Virtual File Manager), and in Precise Software Solutions Ltd.s Precise SRM (storage resource management) product, said officials of those companies.

Enhancements in StorageX 3.0 include Linux and Solaris support, versus only Windows support in Version 2.2. Other improvements include automatic failover, versus manual failover in 2.2, and new policy-based management of data migration, recovery and namespaces, said Rahul Mehta, CEO, founder and president of Houston-based NuView. A 3.1 upgrade in the spring will add support for Volume Shadow Copy Service, the new snapshot feature in the upcoming Windows Server 2003.

NuView will announce and ship StorageX 3.0 this week, Mehta said. NetApp will update its VFM version next week, a spokeswoman said. Both will cost about $2,000 per server, according to officials.

NetApp tweaks StorageX/ VFM for file system options but doesnt change the softwares functionality, said Suresh Vasudevan, senior director of software for NetApp, in Sunnyvale, Calif. The software is licensed because, unlike NetApps larger partners, NuView doesnt have a large support organization, Vasudevan said.

Meanwhile, Precise SRM 5.1—focused on supporting NetApp products—will be announced this week and will ship March 3, said Najaf Husain, president and general manager of Precise, in Westwood, Mass.

Monitoring and enforcing storage usage policies, trending, chargeback and cleanup reports are the versions main new features. Precise SRM 5.1 includes improvements not specific to NetApp, such as multiple storage policies per object, a trouble-shooting utility for inconsistent file permissions and an optimized quota database, officials said.


Upcoming SRM features:
  • Automated failover and migration
  • Managed by user and application policies
  • Support for Windows Server 2003 snapshots
  • Quality-of-service monitoring
  • Chargeback options for departments
Future versions of Precises software will expand support for Microsoft Corp.s SAK (Server Appliance Kit), Husain said. SAK is a Windows NAS (network-attached storage) platform sold by vendors such as Dell Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. Support for select NAS products of EMC Corp. and Snap Appliance Inc. are also on Precises agenda, Husain said.

Husain declined to comment on how that agenda could change, given Precises recent, not-yet-completed $537 million acquisition by Veritas Software Corp.

Some users arent convinced.

"With the price of disks and how that is continually dropping, we really havent worried about all the new products that are out," said Mark Spicer, IT manager at Newfield Exploration Co., in Houston. Even from larger companies like Precise, "its a little bit more hype," he said.

Spicer said he runs 6 terabytes of NetApp storage and plans to add 3 terabytes this year.