US network company Onaro will roll out the industry's first predictive change management technology for Sans on Monday.
Designed to help storage administrators increase their effectiveness, Sanscreen can help administrators to figure out the sometimes complex web of access paths and their relationships and interdependence with a San, the company said.
The product supplies the San infrastructure that supports utility computing, which Onaro believes is on its way to becoming a requirement for IT shops that aspire to be service organisations.
Frank Moss, the co-founder of Tivoli Systems and Bowstreet, who is serving as the chief advisor to Onaro, said the new technology addressed a major pain point in the technical lives of administrators, namely solid command over managing a complex San environment.
He said Sanscreen can help users move to a utility computing model. "I think the ability to predict where problems might occur is the wave of the future. It strikes me as perhaps the early appearance of what might be the next big systems management market -- utility computing management," Moss said.
Some early testers of the product appear to like what they see so far in terms of its reliability.
"Our primary concerns in changing and growing Sans have to do with stability and availability because our central business focus is on end-user service levels and the cost of support. These things are too varied and complex to achieve through manual means like spreadsheets. We needed an automated process that monitors the state of the San and can anticipate problems before they happen," said Robert Shinn, a principal at State Street Global Advisors.
The product employs analysis simulation capabilities to predict the impact of changes before they occur. It also uses root-cause analysis to both detect and advise how to fix errors before, during, and after San changes.
Onaro executives said Sanscreen also can double the amount of storage each administrator has to work with through improved operational efficiencies. It also offers an audit history and security for regulatory compliance, and enables Six Sigma and ITIL best practices.
Ed Scannell writes for Infoworld
This was first published in June 2004