BY LISA COLEMAN
In May, Microsoft released its Server Appliance Kit (SAK) 2.0, which includes W. Quinn Associates' Storage CeNTral Storage Resource Management (SRM) technology. The SAK allows vendors to develop and test Windows-based appliances for network-attached storage (NAS) and Web servers (see InfoStor, May 2001, p.1).
Microsoft and W. Quinn entered into a strategic alliance in March when Microsoft agreed to license StorageCeNTral for SAK 2.0. Microsoft wanted SRM technology to meet customer demands for storage management. "[StorageCeNTral] was the best value and the best product we found," says Zane Adam, lead product manager in Microsoft's embedded and appliance platforms group.
According to Adam, customers are demanding tools for managing terabytes of storage. "There's a lot of demand for that because you want to use your drive space as efficiently as possible so that you don't have to keep buying more storage," he says.
Microsoft is using a stripped-down version of the StorageCeNTral suite for its SAK 2.0. Included in the SAK are real-time quotas on directories only, using W. Quinn's TruStor quota monitoring and enforcement technology. In addition, a "Best Practices" report set includes duplicate files, file type summary, files not being backed up, large files, and most-commonly-used file reports. Finally, a screening tool blocks any file type such as MP3 or graphic files, VBS viruses, and executables from writing to server appliances. Similar files are grouped together in "screening groups."
W. Quinn's StorageCeNTral suite includes considerably more than what Microsoft included in its SAK. Com prising three products-Quota Advisor, DiskAdvisor, and FileScreen-the suite will be integrated into one product this fall. QuotaAdvisor allows up to five thresholds for real-time monitoring and enforcing of disk space allocation; DiskAdvisor contains 35 standard storage reports for identifying files that can be removed from servers; and File Screen lets administrators set policies about which file types are allowed to be written to storage devices.
SRM is a category of specific storage management functions such as capacity planning and space management, which helps reduce storage management complexity. (For more information on SRM, see the Special Report in the June 2001 issue of InfoStor, p. 23.) SRM software helps companies take better control of how much storage is being used, what it's being used for, and what can and cannot be stored on servers.