Aptare SRM targets virtual servers

By Kevin Komiega

-- Storage resource management (SRM) software maker Aptare is now selling a new version of its StorageConsole software with new functionality for better control of storage resources within VMware virtual server and NetApp replication environments.

The Aptare StorageConsole 7.0 suite features two new products – StorageConsole Virtualization Manager and Replication Manager.

Virtualization Manger is designed to optimize storage use across VMware deployments and complements VMware's vCenter, according to Rick Clark, Aptare's CEO. The software tracks storage resource utilization and constraints, and identifies oversubscription and underutilization of storage resources.

StorageConsole Virtualization Manager initially supports VMware ESX environments, version 3.0 or higher, with future support planned for Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer. It integrates with the other StorageConsole products, including Backup Manager, Capacity Manager and Replication Manager, and is priced at $1,495 per physical virtual machine server.

Clark says existing management tools lack the ability to identify storage efficiency problems that can arise as these virtual environments grow more complex.

"The strength of virtual server technology is spinning up hosts with CPU and just-in-time resources on the back end, but that leaves a lot of clean up to do," says Clark. "The server folks can spin-up servers, but the storage folks need to know information about capacity requirements and growth patterns."

Clark says StorageConsole provides that information by tracking storage capacity consumption from the LUN through the host to individual applications.

The other new product, StorageConsole Replication Manager, measures compliance, optimizes storage resources, and improves the overall performance of NetApp replication environments.

The software's reporting capabilities allow users to confirm that replication policies and service level agreements (SLAs) are being met, and examines the stability of mirrored data on replication volumes. It also locates wasted capacity for snapshots and mirrored volumes.

Replication Manager currently supports NetApp's SnapMirror, SnapVault and FlexClone, and will support other vendors' replication products in the future. Pricing starts at $9,995 per array.

Aptare's StorageConsole Backup Manager and Capacity Manager products have been upgraded as well, with deeper support for heterogeneous backup and storage systems. StorageConsole Backup Manager now supports VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) to complement the release of Virtualization Manager. StorageConsole Capacity Manager now supports additional disk arrays, including IBM's DS3000, DS4000, DS5000, DS6000 and DS8000 series and storage systems from LSI.

The StorageConsole 7.0 product suite is available from Aptare and its network of reseller and managed storage services provider partners, including Datalink, FusionStorm and Orchesys.

The software can also be purchased through Aptare partners as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, which is a significant source of growth for the company.

"SaaS is the fastest growing segment of our business. I expect that 60% to70% of our revenues will come from SaaS or subscription-based revenues in three years," says Clark. "The industry is really starting to embrace the SaaS model."

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This article was originally published on April 01, 2009