MonoSphere Unveils Capacity Management for EMC Arrays

The new package automates data collection, forecasting, analysis, and storage capacity management, enabling storage administrators to proactively plan capacity in a timely manner.

ORLANDO, Fla.—Storage capacity management software maker MonoSphere on May 21 introduced a new package customized for best-selling storage arrays made by EMC, the worlds largest data storage company.

The announcement was made at EMC World 2007, which is being held at the Orange County Convention Center here through May 24.

MonoSpheres Storage Horizon 3.2, designed for managing many terabytes of storage, is enterprise-class software that provides Global 3000 companies with a unified view of current and projected storage capacity usage, giving companies the insight to develop effective storage capacity plans and maximize utilization of existing and future storage assets.

The result, over time, can be a substantial decrease in storage capital expenditures—often as much as 50 percent—and a reduction in operational expenditures such as power, cooling and floor space, MonoSphere CEO Ray Villaneuve told eWEEK in Redwood City, Calif.

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Storage Horizon automates data collection, forecasting, analysis and storage capacity management, enabling storage administrators to proactively plan capacity in a timely, cost effective manner, thereby enabling users to achieve much higher utilization levels—typically greater than 75 percent, MonoSphere marketing Vice President Frank Kettenstock told eWEEK.

"While storage arrays report storage allocation, they do not provide actual application usage information, which results in enterprises using only 36 percent of their total storage capacity, on average," Kettenstock said.

"MonoSphere customers are seeing multi-million dollar savings on storage capital expenditures annually because Storage Horizon delivers unprecedented visibility into actual capacity usage and growth within storage assets."

New in this version of Storage Horizon is support for EMCs CLARiiON product family and EMCs industry-leading Symmetrix replication solutions—BCV (Business Continuance Volumes) and SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility).

Storage Horizon is the industrys only solution for capacity planning environments that use BCVs and SRDFs to store multiple copies of data. This version deciphers the complex associations between host volumes and their RAID levels, storage array logical devices and their RAID levels, and replication levels supported by EMC BCVs and SRDFs. Through these associations, current and forecasted usage of arrays is determined, a company spokesperson said.

Aligning Resources with Usage a Challenge

"For storage administrators, aligning storage resources with actual usage has been a challenge that can result in over-purchasing hardware or out-of-storage emergencies," said Brad ONeill, senior analyst at the Taneja Group.

"Using Storage Horizon, enterprises can map storage usage from application hosts down to storage subsystems, allowing users to make well-informed purchasing decisions and reduce unnecessary hardware spending."

Before Storage Horizon, capacity planning for networked storage was complex, error-prone and manually intensive, Villaneuve said. As a result, most companies rarely implemented a planning process, causing overall storage utilization to be at unacceptable levels—36 percent on average, he said.

With this release, MonoSpheres Storage Horizon becomes the only storage capacity planning package that determines actual and forecasted usage (i.e., storage with data written to it) for EMCs Symmetrix and CLARiiON series arrays. From this information, Storage Horizon automatically develops optimized capacity plans and analyzes large, heterogeneous storage infrastructures to determine areas of over-provisioning, under-provisioning and unused storage.

As with previous versions, Storage Horizon does not require installation of software agents on application servers, so the system deploys in hours and immediately collects storage usage data, Kettenstock said.

Storage Horizon 3.2 pricing is determined by the number of terabytes managed. See the MonoSphere Web site for details.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...