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Symantec aims for higher levels in auto management

More abstractions in SFHA and VOM

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Symantec has revved its Storage Foundation HA and Veritas Operations Manager software products to automate storage management tasks and help to banish the spectre of storage scripting.

Veritas Operations Manager (VOM) v3.1 introduces three grades of storage service: gold, silver, and bronze, which users set to specify things such as drive type, RAID protection level, and thin vs normal (fat) provisioning. These three abstractions or templates are what they use to apply storage facilities to applications and servers. Symantec says that devices are automatically identified to match the storage services, and users create and manage file systems and host volumes based on these services instead of complex scripting of the underlying variables.

It is debatable if just three service levels are enough. Perhaps force-fitting the vast complexity and granularity of SAN and NAS devices into just three abstraction levels is an over-simplification. The proof will be in how successfully VOM 3.1 service levels are used.

VOM also has improved reporting to identify under-used storage and reclaim it, if the underlying arrays support Symantec's Thin Reclamation API, meaning Compellent, EMC, Fujitsu, HP/3PAR, HDS, IBM and NetApp. VOM reporting can also reveal patch levels and licence compliance.

Veritas Storage Foundation High Availability (SFHA) v5.1 has three main improvements. It responds better to resource failures, according to Symantec, because it looks at O/S events instead of polling system resources. It also provides non-disruptive testing of high availability and disaster recovery configurations with both physical and virtual servers. Thirdly, it can provide a properly staged and sequenced business suite recovery startup, ensuring multiply tiered component apps are started at the right times and in the right order.

VOM 3.1 is available now. SFHA 5.1 should be available before the end of the year. Customers that buy it get VOM for free. ®

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