By Ann Silverthorn
—TeraCloud launched a free storage resource management (SRM) tool today called TSF Express. TSF Express, which will be available March 23, is a pared-down version of TeraCloud Storage Framework SRM software, which allows small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to see all the hosts in their environment that have storage attached to them and helps them see how much storage is on related volumes and drives.
"The mid-market, where we are focusing, has found itself priced out of tools such as EMC Control Center or IBM's TotalStorage Productivity Center," says Dallas Stewart, chief technology officer for TeraCloud. "Our free TSF software is an education opportunity that helps storage administrators realize there's a better way to manage storage than what they're currently doing."
What SMB storage administrators are doing, according to Stewart, is writing scripts to track storage at a very high level on their hosts. The scripts send notifications to administrators if a volume is filling up.
Instead, TSF Express offers granular reporting and lists the virtual layers. If customers use a logical volume manager (LVM), TSF Express reports on mirroring, extent pooling, and volume pooling. Administrators can go down to the file level and issue reports on how many MP3 files, for example, are on Linux and Solaris platforms.
Users can download the TSF Express software from TeraCloud's Website and use it for 90 days without registering. At the end of 90 days, if they feel TSF Express has value for them, they can return to the Website and register whereupon they'll receive a free license key for a year.
In addition to downloading the TSF Express version, customers can also upgrade to a licensed version of the software.
TSF Lite can also be downloaded from TeraCloud's Website. With TSF Lite, administrators can perform historical and trending analysis. "TSF Lite also has file-level capabilities so that while browsing though at the host level, administrators can delete or migrate individual files," says Stewart.
"We've removed the risk and cost associated with licensing," says Gary Tidd, TeraCloud's CEO. "Most people pay a lot for hardware, and the software that comes along with it can only be used with that specific hardware. Our software is agnostic to the back-end hardware.
"When they focus on the mid-market, most large vendors cut up their product or make it difficult to install with high license costs," adds Tidd. "Mid-market companies don't have enterprise-sized budgets, yet they're facing the same challenges [as larger enterprises]."
TSF Lite costs $395 per month for up to 20TB. TeraCloud also offers TSF Professional, which extends to distributed enterprises with more than 20TB. TSF Professional costs $795 per month for 20TB to 40TB.