IT administrators face labor-intensive challenges when it comes to backup, recovery, and change management. Not only do they typically move by hand data on disks and tape drives, but they must grapple with components and software from multiple vendors.
Storage Technology Corp. will introduce a service later this month to help. Under its Managed Storage Services, StorageTek will oversee storage infrastructures from a center in Southborough, Mass. The vendor will adjust customers' storage requirements as business or applications change, manage volume to make sure the right amount of capacity is deployed each day, and backup and restore data. StorageTek consultants will deploy modules on customers' hardware, disk and tape storage, servers, and software. And they'll work with any vendor's system.
StorageTek offers as much storage hardware as market leader EMC Corp., but it won't butt heads with the large vendors over new services. "I don't think any one vendor can dictate the market anymore," says StorageTek CEO Pat Martin. "Customers are in control now, and nobody is just going to throw resources at a situation."
First Data Corp., a $7-billion-a-year financial-processing firm, just finished its first month of using StorageTek's tools to transfer data among three primary data centers and partner sites. "Before, we'd have to physically transfer tape drives between locations," says Todd Cushing, First Data's VP of data center outsourcing services. First Data now uses StorageTek's EXPR monitoring software that works with replication tools from Hitachi Data Systems so he can replicate data from site to site. That has helped First Data bolster its network to prepare for processing new forms of payments.