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Always one to keep pace with its partners, Veritas has rolled out a new version of StorageCentral that includes support for Microsoft's latest storage operating system along with new quota and file management tools.

StorageCentral 5.2 is a revamped version of the storage resource management (SRM) product Veritas acquired in its buy earlier this year of Precise. The latest version of the software will support both Windows Storage Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003. Staying in sync with Microsoft is key for StrorageCentral's main audience among small and medium-sized businesses.

Beyond new OS support, Veritas has fine tuned some of the StorageCentral tools to give administrators more leeway with file management.

StorageCentral already shipped with some storage quota functions that allowed an admin to set capacity thresholds for a department or business unit. With the latest version of the software, admins can now drive down to user level limits. The software will send out an alert when user reaches his or her threshold and can also automatically free up more space for the user, if desired.

Veritas has also refined the file-blocking powers of StorageCentral. In the past, the software would simply look at file extensions and block, for example, unwanted MP3s or viruses. Now, StorageCentral will also check at the content itself so that even if the extension of an MP3 is changed, the software will catch it.

Beyond those new tools, StorageCentral still handles all of its basic functions such as showing admins what types of files they have on their network and what departments are using the most storage. The software ships with a host of reporting tools meant to give companies a good picture of their storage resources.

"On average customers have said they will free up 30 percent of their storage capacity after using our product," said Marty Ward, Veritas’s director of product marketing. "They find old files, duplicate files and things like MP3s that they want to check out."

A "light" version of StorageCentral is built into Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2003 that includes basic file blocking and management tools. Any advanced file management functions and reporting will require a license from Veritas.

Veritas is also working to make StorageCentral work better with NetworkAppliance filers. NetApp customers will now receive the same user-level quota management and the ability to manage an entire file directory.

With the Precise acquisition well under its belt, Veritas has decided to start selling StorageCentral through standard channel partners. Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Synnex Information Technologies are among a broad list of new resellers.

StorageCentral fits into a broad line of Veritas SRM products for Windows and Unix systems. The product is priced at $1,395 per server. ®

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