By Kevin Komiega
October 25, 2007—IBM this week struck a deal to acquire storage services specialist Novus Consulting Group (NovusCG) for an undisclosed sum.
Once the acquisition is finalized, NovusCG's software and its stable of enterprise storage architects and consultants will become part of the Storage and Data Services business unit in IBM Global Technology Services.
The goal, according to Val Rahmani, general manager, Infrastructure Management Services, IBM Global Technology Services, is to merge IBM's Storage and Data Services with NovusCG's services to give clients better access to data, enable stronger regulatory and corporate compliance, and improve storage utilization.
"Combining the capabilities of NovusCG with our storage and data services will provide our clients with improved access to their business information and boost their overall business technology performance," says Rahmani. "We will be able to bring our clients the ability to align their IT and business strategies and give them an informed view of their business environment."
Rahmani says IBM will combine NovusCG's software, methods, techniques, and tools with IBM's storage technology and expertise to deliver asset-based services. In the IBM-Novus equation, assets are defined as software, tools, and methodologies for designing storage architectures.
NovusCG's bread and butter has been the development of a standardized, repeatable approach for assessing and optimizing storage in multi-vendor environments. At the core of the approach is the company's Storage Enterprise Resource Planner (SERP) software, which provides a view of storage utilization by line of business, identifying unnecessary duplicate storage and enabling accurate chargeback and capacity planning.
The SERP 4.1software extracts data from existing sources in IT environments, including storage resource management (SRM) and asset management systems. SERP supports an array of major SRM platforms, including EMC ControlCenter, HP Storage Essentials, HDS HiCommand Storage Services Manager (HSSM), HDS HiCommand Device Manager (HDvM), and Network Appliance Operations Manager. SERP collates data from the SRM tools and other sources in the data center to aid users with tasks such as capacity planning, configuration management, reclamation of unused or underutilized storage, storage tiering, topology mapping, and chargeback.
NovusCG also has a software tool aimed at the backup process. The company's Enterprise Standardization Program (ESP) is a Wiki-based software tool for delivering storage and backup best practices. ESP 3.0 houses best practices in a cross-referenced Wiki portal with pre-defined but customizable workflows to direct staff through each of the steps needed to execute storage and backup operations.
ESP combines 28 backup management processes and 22 storage management processes with specific best practices, guidelines, and step-by-step instructions for design, implementation, and operations developed by NovusCG. The company also offers ESP services to tailor the software to customers' environments.
IBM is no stranger to NovusCG; the two companies have worked together on services engagements since 2003. NovusCG is an IBM Premier Business Partner, and IBM is a top NovusCG global strategic partner. In addition to IBM, NovusCG also brings with it a network of business partners, including CA, Cisco, EDS, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, Oracle, Sun, Symantec, and Unisys, among others.
The NovusCG technology and services-delivery model will also be integrated with IBM's Total Productivity Center, Tivoli Storage Manager, Tivoli Storage Process Manager, SAN Volume Controller (SVC), and the entire IBM System Storage portfolio.