By Kevin Komiega
—Symantec today announced the next generation of its Veritas CommandCentral storage resource management (SRM) software, with added support for both physical and virtual environments, advanced process automation and reporting features, and increased scalability.
Version 5.0 of Veritas CommandCentral enables administrators to peer into physical and virtual server and storage environments and manage storage capacity at an application level due to added support for VMware, Hitachi Data Systems' TagmaStore, and IBM's SAN Volume Controller (SVC) virtualization platforms. The software analyzes storage consumption in the physical and virtual worlds to identify capacity that can be reclaimed in order to boost utilization rates.
The suite includes CommandCentral Storage 5.0, CommandCentral Enterprise Reporter 5.0, and Veritas Process Automation Manager 5.0. The combination of CommandCentral Storage and Enterprise Reporter delivers business-level reporting capabilities and a global view of storage with the ability to roll up information from multiple data centers into a single view, organized by lines of business, geography or other customized views.
Veritas Process Automation Manager 5.0 is an IT process automation platform that enables standardization of storage management processes and operational policies, which can ultimately help users automate complex setup and provisioning tasks. With Process Automation Manager, organizations can improve efficiency of storage operations, reduce storage provisioning time, and manage service levels, according to Rob Soderbery, senior vice president in Symantec's Storage Foundation Group.
Soderbery says CommandCentral has evolved from a tool that provides a historical view of SAN management into an operational tool that can improve overall system performance and deliver storage as a service. "Enabling storage as a service is about understanding which business owners and which applications are consuming storage resources, what that costs, and the service levels that need to be met," says Soderbery.
In terms of scalability, Symantec claims that CommandCentral can handle up to 3,000 servers, 6PB of storage capacity, and 12,000 switch ports.
Symantec has also extended support for physical storage devices in a variety of ways, including compliance with the SMI-S 1.1 specification through a number of multi-vendor API agreements. Symantec has added support for disk arrays from 3PAR and Fujitsu, HP's Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) family, IBM's DS4000 arrays, and Network Appliance's iSCSI systems. Software support now includes EMC's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF); Clariion SnapShot, MirrorView and SnapView; NetApp's Snap Mirror; and Hitachi's Shadow Image replication software.
Veritas CommandCentral 5.0 is licensed on a per-server basis. CommandCentral Storage 5.0 and Process Automation Manager 5.0 are available now. Enterprise Reporter 5.0 is due in the next 60 days.
Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Bob Laliberte says CommandCentral 5.0's support for virtualized server and storage environments and the new enterprise-wide reporting capabilities are key additions to the software.
Laliberte notes that, while storage virtualization isn't getting the same exposure as server virtualization, it is still playing an important role in helping IT provide higher service levels. "The key part of this announcement is that CommandCentral can support both server and storage virtualization," says Laliberte. "The software will also provide HDS and IBM customers with an alternative solution for management, especially those looking to combine storage virtualization with server virtualization."
CommandCentral 5.0 represents the second leg of Symantec's Storage United initiative, which is a software-oriented approach to help IT managers deliver storage as a service by uniting disparate resources. The initiative was launched in June with the debut of NetBackup 6.5. The idea behind Storage United is to give users an integrated suite of data protection, storage management, and archiving software that supports all major server and storage systems.