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6/13/2005
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AppIQ Fleshes Out Multivendor Management

StorageAuthority Suite's new version centralizes management of distributed filers from NetApp; integrates reporting and fault analysis for Veritas; and handles mutiple tasks for IBM TotalStorage ESS.

AppIQ Inc. on Monday introduced the latest version of multi-vendor management software for storage area networks.

StorageAuthority Suite R4.0 unifies storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS) management with centralized management of distributed filers from Network Appliance; handles integrated backup reporting and fault analysis for Veritas NetBackup; and offers a full range of management capabilities for IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) disk systems.

IT professionals are looking for technologies that can address their full hierarchy of needs, starting with data protection, and continuing with SAN management, storage resource management (SRM), provisioning, and other disciplines, said Raymond Paquet, an analyst with Gartner Inc. "Multi-vendor backup reporting is a natural extension, since they can offer it as part of an integrated suite rather than a separate point tool, and they can leverage their knowledge of physical SAN infrastructure to identify the root causes of backup problems," Paquet added, in a statement.

The StorageAuthority module for NetApp integrates with the Data ONTAP operating system to extend management capabilities to all NetApp primary, nearline, and gateway network storage. IT managers can use the module to visualize distributed NetApp filer topology and centrally manage capacity, performance, health and dependencies. Built-in links to NetApp FilerView enable administrators to configure and provision individual filers from AppIQ's Web-based console. The module can also be implemented by itself for customers that just want to manage their NetApp environments. The Protection Manager module for Veritas NetBackup extends StorageAuthority to include fully integrated backup resource management, reporting, and SAN correlation capabilities. By automatically collecting, organizing, analyzing and presenting information on backups, service levels, media utilization and performance, the module improves IT's ability to meet service level agreements, comply with regulations, and minimize backup costs, AppIQ said.

The Boston Stock Exchange has been working with the Veritas module of StorageAuthority in beta for a few months now, with good results. "Integration with Veritas NetBackup is a layer that's very useful to us, because it's the same platform and look-and-feel that extends over to backup environment," said Chris Pringle, assistant vice president of infrastructure engineering for the Boston Stock Exchange. "We get a map of our SAN and backup environment and we can drill into clients and look at tape or disk environment. It works nicely for doing reporting and for tape use and consumption. it also flags issues for backups that need remediation."

The StorageAuthority module for Microsoft SQL Server automatically discovers Microsoft SQL Server instances, databases, database files, and tables and leverages AppIQ's Application Explorer to graphically depict the dependencies of these SQL Server elements on the supporting SAN. The module also depicts the path that each SQL Server application takes through host mount points, as well as host servers; volume management software; host bus adapters (HBAs) and HBA ports; fabric switches and switch ports; and storage systems and disks are all represented in a single, integrated view.

StorageAuthority Suite R4.0 also includes support for IBM TotalStorage ESS disk systems, including auto-discovery, path management, reporting, provisioning (volume concatenation, logical unit number mapping, LUN security), capacity management, performance analysis, and fault monitoring capabilities. The new version also will handle managed host support for SuSe Linux Enterprise Server, AppIQ said.

AppIQ StorageAuthority Suite R4.0 will be available sometime in the third quarter. Pricing for Protection Manager for NetBackup starts at $15,000 and is based on the number of terabytes backed up; the NetApp module starts at $20,000 and is based on Tbytes of NetApp storage that are managed; and the SQL Server module starts at $5,000 and is based on number of SQL Server instances managed.

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