iWave Automates Cloud Storage Provisioning with Storage Director

By Thor Olavsrud

Seeking to automate the provisioning of storage in cloud-based storage services, iWave Software Tuesday unveiled iWave Storage Director 1.5.

"Automation is essential if we are to traverse the gap between IT staff and storage capabilities and the demands of data growth," said Brent Rhymes, chief executive officer of Frisco, Texas-based iWave, a privately held subsidiary of the Hall Financial Group. "Storage Director users bridge this storage automation gap and significantly increase productivity. Our solution gives storage administrators the ability to develop a fully automated storage services catalog based on best practices, making storage easy for users to consume and for administrators to manage."

Storage is growing at an incredibly fast pace. Rhymes said data volume is projected to grow 800 percent in the next five years, but IT budgets, especially for staffing, won't grow anywhere near that fast.

"Storage administrators are going to have to become more productive," he said.

iWave is known for its cloud orchestration platform, and it has specialized in providing high-end cloud service automation for very large companies. But Rhymes noted that, time after time, it would work with companies and establish sophisticated provisioning for everything until the project got to storage.

"We just were fascinated that every step of the process would be automated for provisioning and then we'd get to storage," Rhymes said. "There really wasn't anybody out there that was automating storage provisioning from soup to nuts. There were point solutions, but in general, their version of automation was a storage administrator with some scripts he'd written over time."

He added, "One of the reasons is that it's a horrendously complex problem. We decided starting late last year to really focus on developing a storage automation product that was built on our IT Orchestrator platform."

The result is iWave Storage Director 1.5, which automates the tasks associated with provisioning, reclamation and remediation for storage. Rhymes explained that storage users, including DBAs, software developers and systems administrators can access automated storage services through Storage Director's self-service portal and service catalog, with the services users can view and request determined by their role in the organization.

Storage administrators can use the Storage Director portal to configure policies on automated storage services, including: Specifying approvals that must be obtained before executing an automated storage service; specifying when automated services may be executed to comply with storage maintenance windows; enforcing naming conventions on device and volume names; and enforcing limits on how much storage can be requested on a per-user, per-device or per-service basis.

In addition, storage workflow developers can modify existing Storage Director services or create new services using the Storage Director design studio's drag and drop interface, in which services are represented as workflows within the design studio. Once a new automated storage service has been created or modified, a wizard guides the developer through the process of publishing that service to the Storage Director service catalog, where storage administrators can configure policies and publish the new service.

Storage Director is initially targeted at large enterprises, and Rhymes said iWave will initially leverage its well-developed OEM and reseller partnerships. However, the company does plan to add more direct sales into the mix with the release of Storage Director. Additionally, Rhymes said the iWave roadmap for the technology includes the packaging of specific use cases within storage that would be suitable for mid-market enterprises.

Rhymes said iWave Storage Director 1.5 will ship by the end of the year.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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This article was originally published on December 06, 2011