Veritas Upgrades SAN Management Tool

New version supports Oracle databases and Microsoft's Exchange servers.

Veritas Software Corp. on Wednesday will announce SANPoint Control 3.5, which will expand the catalog of applications and hardware the storage resource management product can manage.

SRM tools discover, manage and provision the actual disks, volumes, switches and others components in a storage-area network. Some analysts have said that SRM is Veritas weakest product line, though few others vendors have found success with it, either.

The new version of SANPoint Control, an upgrade from the 15-month-old 2.0, will support Oracle Corp. databases and Microsoft Corp.s Exchange servers. It also will control direct-attached storage; less than half of enterprise users have moved to a SAN, said Kevin Coughlin, senior product manager for Veritas.

The new version is shipping now and starts at about $20,000 for a 16-port system, plus the cost of application agents, starting at $745 each. It has 100 new pre-configured reporting wizards. Older versions only had 40, said Coughlin, in Boston.

He also said the company plans on another release in the middle of next year. Veritas may shed the SANPoint Control name because the 4.0 editions will also manage NAS (network-attached storage) and iSCSI hardware. Itll also have file system management and policy-based provisioning, and will use the evolving Common Information Model to interoperate with other vendors products, Coughlin said. Agents for IBMs DB2, Lotus Notes and Informix will be added, plus agents for the Sybase Inc. and Microsoft databases, he said.

"Applications above databases" will also be supported in 4.0, he said, declining to elaborate.

"[SRM] is an area they needed to definitely work on, so obviously theyve recognized that," said Anders Lofgren, an analyst with Giga Information Group Inc., in Cambridge, Mass. "I think generally theyre going in the right direction."

However, Veritas has not said how many SANPoint Control customers there are, and the SRM route is being taken not just by Veritas, but also by vendors like EMC Corp., IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co., he said.

Also in mid-2003, Veritas will launch its next-generation interface for managing all Veritas products at once, code-named Global Operations Manager, or GOM.

"The first delivery will be reporting and some eventing ... and then well start getting into some change control," Coughlin said. "All the products from Veritas tap into this console and then well feed in other products as well."

Examples of the future support are management of service-level agreements and chargeback, so GOM can manage the storage considerations from a business line perspective, not just from an IT perspective, he said.

Veritas has most of what it needs to build that. "Theres still areas we will invest in," Coughlin said, referring to probable acquisitions of start-ups.

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