Onaro Puts Data Center Automation into Network Storage

New additions to the product suite add higher visibility into storage provisioning.

Storage service management provider Onaro Sept. 4 launched a new version of its software that provides network storage with automated features that had been limited only to data centers in the past.

The combination of Onaro's new SANscreen Capacity Manager 1.0, SANscreen Provisioning Manager 1.0 and updates to SANscreen Service Assurance products now enables enterprises to obtain a much clearer view of networked storage and provisioning, marketing vice president Brian Semple told eWEEK.

"The goal here is to accelerate application delivery and uptime while reducing operating costs and trimming capital spending on storage by as much as 20 percent," Semple said.

The Onaro SANscreen product suite includes the four original components-Service Insight, Service Assurance, Application Insight, and Replication Assurance-to go with the new Capacity Manager 1.0 and Provisioning Manager 1.0.

SANscreen offers real-time, service-level views of the storage environment, Semple said, and its service-level information is usable by both storage teams and non-technical storage users.

Determining available storage resources to provision new applications is a complex and time-consuming process for large enterprises, Semple said. Delays are often caused by the search for appropriate storage, the requirement to run all requests through a senior storage manager and lack of transparency into resource reservations for future projects.

In addition, most organizations maintain storage resource buffers of 30 percent to 40 percent to compensate for poor visibility into immediate storage demands, Semple said.


Click here to read about why Network Appliance is supporting Onaro's storage management software.

According to Onaro's own ROI studies, each 1 percent of unused capacity in a typical large enterprise data center (800 TB in size with 2,000 switch ports) represents approximately $100,000 of non-performing capital assets.

"Storage management in general lags behind the completeness of functionality and ubiquity of deployment compared to other IT domains, like network management and systems management," David Russell, vice president of IT researcher Gartner Group told eWEEK.

"There is a real need for better storage instrumentation and tools; this issue is exasperated by server-virtualized environments like VMware, which add another level of indirection between applications and storage assets."

Storage management must become integrated into mainstream data center operations for organizations to get to the next level of efficiencies and cost reduction, Russell said.

"There is significant low-hanging fruit that can be captured around cost reduction, operational efficiencies and service-quality improvements for IT groups that can successfully integrate these two parts of the data center," Russell said.

Application Dashboard provides application management teams with visibility into the service levels delivered by the storage environment. SANscreen Capacity Manager 1.0 offers real-time global allocation information by data center, by tier and by business unit to improve forecasting by the capacity planning team.

Finally, Provisioning Manager 1.0 enables application owners such as database administrators to reserve new storage space directly, creates an accurate service tier reservation forecast based on actual demand and implements a repeatable, simplified process for creating provisioning plans, Semple said.

Onaro has stolen a march from the rest of the market in storage virtualization, said analyst Jasmine Noel of Ptak, Noel & Associates in New York.

"Onaro goes beyond simply providing the ability to virtualize storage and provides the means to link storage management into larger business service management solutions," Noel said.

"Business service management is the future of data centers, and storage has been one of the last infrastructure silos to get on the business service management train. Solutions such as Onaro's give storage managers their train ticket," Noel said.

SANscreen is currently in production in 20 percent of Fortune 50 companies, Semple said, including the world's largest retailer (Wal-Mart), entertainment company (Disney), commercial bank and health insurer.

Onaro's customers have successfully scaled SANscreen to support environments from 500 to more than 70,000 ports, Semple said.

Capacity Manager 1.0, Provisioning Manager 1.0 and Service Assurance 4.0 are available now. Capacity Manager 1.0 and Provisioning Manager 1.0 are priced starting at $250 per terabyte. Service Assurance 4.0 pricing starts at $185 per port.


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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...