Storage Management Tools Advance

CA to deliver portal and SAN applications; BMC readies policy-based storage automation.

Storage management tools now in development at Computer Associates International Inc., BMC Software Inc. and IBM could lead to greater choice and lower costs for enterprise customers down the road.

At its CA World conference in New Orleans next week, Computer Associates will announce a road map for its BrightStor portal application and will host the first live demonstration of its SAN Manager tool, said Russell Artzt, co-founder and executive vice president of the Islandia, N.Y., company.

The BrightStor portal went into beta March 18, and SAN Manager will go into beta next month. Both are due to ship in July, Artzt said.

Management tools are crucial when dealing with SANs (storage area networks), which are notoriously complex and noninteroperable.

Mario Soberal, chief technology officer of MBIA MuniServices Co., in Philadelphia, expressed interest in—and skepticism of—the SAN management plans outlined by CA. "If it does some forecasting, some projecting, gives me an idea of what my trends are, I might be interested," said Soberal, who runs 4 terabytes of data on CAs BrightStor Enterprise Backup and Network Appliance Inc.s F800-series hardware.

CA has ambitious storage plans for the rest of the year as well, Artzt said. The company plans to launch storage chargeback and asset management products, among others, this year, he said.

Meanwhile, BMC plans to launch policy-based storage automation in the third quarter, said Dan Hoffman, director of storage solutions, in Houston. Policy-based automation lets administrators focus on trouble-shooting instead of routine management. Details of the offerings will be released later this year.

In addition, IBMs Tivoli division later this year will come out with a storage resource management product that will be used to monitor the efficiency, health and utilization of the storage media.

The Austin, Texas, division last week upgraded Tivoli Storage Manager to Version 5.1, officials said. The new version features faster backup and restore speeds.

Users will benefit from these new and upgraded products, said Carolyn DiCenzo, an analyst with Gartner Inc., in San Jose, Calif. "Any increased focus on products can only help end users as vendors improve their product portfolios in order to be more competitive and bring increased value to the customer," DiCenzo said.