New remote support options for enterprise storage promise better control of complex systems, but the technologies must overcome user concerns about effectiveness and security.
Veritas Software Corp. next year will become the first vendor to offer remote aid as part of its support services, launching a per-incident service by April and an always-on edition in August, said Michael Wentz, senior vice president of technical services for Veritas, in Mountain View, Calif.
“In many ways, this will eliminate the need for a support person to go on-site,” Wentz said.
Veritas is making remote support possible by licensing and customizing Motive Communications Inc.s Enterprise Service Solution for Storage Networks technology.
Potential customers say that despite the inherent value of such services, they remain concerned about security, as well as how well the services will integrate with existing storage hardware, networks and software.
“The security issue to me far outweighs any support we might need,” said Veritas customer David Curry, network administrator for the Seattle Mariners parent company, The Baseball Club of Seattle L.P. “Weve got our network buttoned down. With all of the outside threats right now, weve taken a managing stance against outside connections. Its not Veritas; its opening up the hole in your firewall, which people can hack through.”
Veritas Wentz said he acknowledges those concerns and said theyre being addressed. Regarding his solutions effectiveness, it will integrate based on SNMP and on Veritas APIs, Wentz said. As for the security, it will send data only with case-by-case customer approval.
UNDER THE HOOD
Keys to Motives enterprise service for storage networks:
Veritas isnt alone in its quest. BMC Software Inc., of Houston, has held discussions with Motive but does not yet have plans, a spokesman said. However, Peregrine Systems Inc.s Remedy division, acquired by BMC this fall for $355 million, had its own deal with Motive, of Austin, Texas, and is now working to rebuild that as a BMC division, said a Remedy spokeswoman, in San Diego.
IBMs Tivoli group offers remote support through IBM Global Services. IBM in the first half of next year is planning support enhancements across its software divisions. The changes will cover response times, dedicated contacts and more tiers, said Bill Kribbs, vice president of support services, also in Austin. There are no plans to bring the remote option to mainstream users, Kribbs said.
Softek, a unit of Fujitsu Software Technology Corp., of Sunnyvale, Calif., sells Enview for remote application monitoring, which is used mainly by large customers such as British Airways plc. or DaimlerChrysler AG, said Mike Kay, director of architecture and product management at Softek. Next year, Softek plans to put some of its functionality directly into other Softek products. That would give customers policy-based scheduling and previewing of what data gets sent to Softek for diagnostics.