Overland Debuts Storage Software Suite

Storage hardware provider Overland Data unveiled its first line of storage management software today.

Storage hardware provider Overland Data Inc. launched its first foray into storage-management software today with a suite of multivendor tools aimed at mid-tier companies.

The San Diego, Calif., company, which will soon be known as Overland Storage Inc., developed its new suite with the help of third-party developers. The suite, which includes the Overland Storage Resource Manager, Storage Planner and Storage Area Network Manager, was designed to deploy faster than framework-based tools provided by Enterprise System Management vendors while providing flexibility to allow channel partners to customize the tools for specific customer requirements.

"Enterprise software available in the market was too costly, complex and took too long to install. Six-to-nine-month deployments were too long. People are now getting 90-day projects approved," said John Cloyd, vice president and general manager of Overlands software management business unit in San Diego.

Although Overland is not the first to market with a multivendor management tool for SANs, it is unique in its focus on the mid-tier market, which it defines as companies generating between $100 million and $1 billion in annual revenues. "EMC is well along with multivendor management, as is Veritas, Computer Associates and BMC (Software), but they are all going after the cosmic, worldwide enterprise opportunity," said Bill North, director of storage software research at International Data Corp. in Mountain View, Calif. "Overland is more modest in going after the mid-market, where they can leverage their own installed base."

Overland Storage Resource Manager can be deployed in a day, Cloyd said. It provides usage monitoring of storage resources, generates alerts when storage devices near peak capacity, generates usage reports and allows users to create and enforce policies. Users can also analyze storage trends, take corrective action to head off outages and optimize storage resources. The software, which is available now, works across servers running on Windows NT/2000, Novell Netware, Solaris, HP-UX and Linux operating systems. IBM AIX support is planned for a later release.

The Overland SAN Manager, due out in August, provides automated discovery and visualization of storage assets linked on a high-speed fibre channel connection. It automatically creates a topology map and provides monitoring of tracked resources. Users can set thresholds, generate alarms, perform trending analysis and track the SAN in real-time. It can be configured to page operators once problems are detected. It runs on the same platforms as the Storage Resource Manager.

The Overland Storage Planner, due by November, is aimed at Overlands VAR channel as a consulting tool to help customers analyze their storage usage and growth patterns. "We gather data on how they use their storage, whats available, how fast things are growing, and then use that to design new storage environments," described Cloyd.