CA brings SANITI to storage networks
Computer Associates introduced a SAN management initiative and demonstrated some of the technology at its CA-World user conference last month in New Orleans. As part of its Storage Area Network Integrated Technology Initiative (SANITI), CA added SAN-enabling software to its Unicenter TNG network management suite and ARCServeIT backup products.
The new Unicenter TNG Framework upgrade modules will provide SAN management to devices from a host of storage hardware vendors, including ADIC, ATL, Clariion, Compaq, Dell, EMC, Exabyte, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, MTI, Network Appliance, nStor, Plasmon IDE, SGI, and StorageTek. Connectivity vendors pledging support for SANITI include Ancor, Brocade, Crossroads, Emulex, Gadzoox, Vixel, and Qlogic.
"Customers want to have end-to-end management of storage devices, the network, hubs, routers, switches and adapters," says Yogesh Gupta, senior vice president of product strategy at CA. "Our vision is to create a solution so that people don`t spend their time managing all that."
Similar to several other SAN initiatives introduced this year, CA`s SAN plan is a multi-step technology roadmap. At first, the Unicenter TNG Framework will discover and manage heterogeneous SAN components through functions such as network, device, and topology discovery and performance monitoring. These events can be coordinated and monitored through a single console.
The Unicenter TNG Framework upgrades are free and can be downloaded from CA`s Web site (www.cai.com). Analysts say the product`s low cost and affiliation with an established suite of management and backup products are unique aspects of the announcement.
"CA is in a strong position because Unicenter is fairly ubiquitous, and it`s a no-brainer to at least try out the new version," says Paul Mason, vice president of infrastructure software research at International Data Corp., a market research firm in Framingham, MA. "Since the new framework will support SAN hardware, and the upgrades are free, trying it out for basic mapping and alerting is an easy decision."
Subsequent phases of SANITI will continue to leverage SAN technology. For example, the predictive agents in CA`s Neugents network management technology are expected to be SAN-enabled next year. "Neugents will track historical information of SAN environments and conduct predictive analysis of upcoming network traffic, performance, and availability," Gupta explains.
While SAN-enabled Neugents technology shows promise for predictive analysis and automated management, vendors and analysts agree those capabilities are still years down the road. However, LAN-free backup is a more tangible application that is expected to be delivered as soon as next year.
CA isn`t the only big software vendor gearing up for SAN management. Veritas Software, for example, is focusing on its own SAN initiative, and is expected to announce a comprehensive SAN strategy late next month. IBM`s Tivoli subsidiary also announced a SAN strategy last month (see page 1).