MonoSphere adds capacity planning

Posted on May 19, 2006


By Ann Silverthorn

—MonoSphere has added a capacity-planning module to the new version of its Storage Horizon storage-management software. The Storage Planner module calculates when additional storage will be needed, how much will be required, where it will be needed, and where the capacity will come from.

"Medium to large enterprises have thousands of application servers, each with 10 to 20 volumes, databases, and file systems running on them," say Ray Villeneuve, MonoSphere's chairman, president, and CEO. "These companies may have more than 10,000 logical storage elements, each at different utilization. These storage elements grow at different rates, and some might represent an 'out-of-storage' disaster waiting to happen in two or three weeks, while others may have enough capacity to last one or two years."

Villeneuve says that storage is often over-provisioned because administrators don't have an automated way to keep track of all the volumes in the infrastructure. Administrators don't want an "out-of-storage" emergency that would take down applications, cause the company to make an emergency purchase, or necessitate emergency provisioning of new capacity. Villeneuve estimates that companies use only 30% to 40% of their total storage capacity because of over-provisioning and claims that Storage Planner can help them save as much as 20% of their storage capital expenditure (CapEx) budget.

The Storage Planner module takes the information provided by the forecasting results of the Storage Horizon 2.2 software and creates a plan for each storage array. Users can define a threshold for the amount of capacity on each array (usually 75%) and a purchase lead time (e.g., 75 days), so that there is an adequate amount of time to procure, deploy, and provision the new capacity.

In addition to Storage Planner, MonoSphere upgraded Storage Horizon with role-based user accounts, forecasting and analysis user guidelines, and extended support of host operating systems and applications. Role-based user accounts allow companies to assign three levels of access to the Storage Horizon application. The forecasting and analysis guidelines show the logical validity of the forecast in cases of volatile data or an insufficient number of data-collection points.

Storage Horizon 2.2 has added support for HP-UX and Linux to its existing support for Windows, Solaris, AIX, and Data ONTAP. MonoSphere also added support for Sybase to its application support of Oracle, and Microsoft SQL and Exchange.

Pricing is based on the number of terabytes under management. A typical installation costs $50,000 to $70,000 for a 50TB to 100TB environment. The software scales down from $1,500 per terabyte to $500 per terabyte with a volume discount.

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