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Symantec charges rivals with more virtual CommandCentral

Storage management hits the big five (point)-o

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Symantec is rolling out its next generation of storage resource management software today, with Veritas CommandCentral 5.0. The company says the update is a key component of its Storage United initiative and vision of running storage as a service.

The Veritas CommandCentral 5.0 line includes CommandCentral Storage 5.0, CommandCentral Enterprise Reporter 5.0 and Veritas Process Automation Manager 5.0. If you aren't following the pattern, it's all 5.0.

The highlight of 5.0's updates is CommandCentral Storage's advanced support for VMware, HDS TagmaStore and IBM SAN Volume Controller. Previously, the software would see a virtual machine as a black box — unable to tell the user which applications were running on it or how they were consuming resources. Version 5.0 now allows customers to map their virtual environment just as it does for physical storage.

The new release also extends the software's ability to scale. While its previous incarnation could recognize a total of 1,000 servers, CommandCentral 5.0 can handle over 3,000 servers, 6 petabytes of storage and 12,000 switch ports with a single management server. Symantec's storage group veep Rob Soderbery claims this gives Symantec a 2-3x scale advantage over storage management rivals such as EMC's ControlCenter and HP's Storage Essentials.

The release adds support for 3PAR, Fujitsu, HP EVA, IBM DS4x00 and NetApp iSCSI storage systems. Symantec has also added support for local and remote replication managers; EMC Symmetrix Remote Data Facility, Clariion Snapshot, MirrorView and Snapview, NetApp SnapMirror and HDS Shadow Image replication software.

Veritas Enterprise Reporter offers business-level reporting capabilities that provide executive technopoops with customizable reports and insight into their data centers.

Process Automation Manger helps with the standardization of storage management processes by implementing and then automating consistent operational policies. Symantec says it will improve the efficiency of storage operations by reducing the time needed to provision storage and manage service levels with the product.

The Veritas CommandCentral line is licensed per server. Soderbery gave us the ballpark figure for CommandCentral Storage starting at $1,000 per managed server for a medium-sized configuration. CommandCentral Storage and Process Automation Manager are now generally available. ComandCentral Enterprise Reporter is expected to ship out in the next 60 days.

In addition to the software upgrade, Symantec has announced it is launching a Storage Assessment Program for data centers. Under the service, Symantec will spend about a week checking storage infrastructure top-to-bottom, and give customers an overall picture of how to improve storage optimization.

"Once you have a basic level of understanding, you can drive up utilization," said Soderbery. "We usually find with customers there is low-hanging fruit — obvious ways to greatly improve storage."

Symantec's storage assessment service will be offered for a fixed price of $25,000. ®

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