CA pushes out SAN management software

Computer Associates International is shipping a management application that will centralise and simplify administering...

Computer Associates International is shipping a management application that will centralise and simplify administering heterogeneous storage area networks (SAN).

The BrightStor SAN Manager promises to remove some of the headache of managing and maintaining storage networks.

The product has an easy-to-use graphical interface that monitors systems performance and can serve up warnings in case of performance degradation or other events.

SAN Manager can also plug into a wide variety of hardware systems from assorted vendors, including EMC, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

Most SAN management applications require highly trained and highly paid professional administrators, said Eric Pitcher, vice-president of BrightStor brand management at CA.

SAN Manager automates the processes and reduces that complexity so that lower-level operational staff can manage a SAN with the same tools and policies and can even troubleshoot glitches.

"We produced an enterprise-level solution that simplifies it [the process] enough to give ownership of management to the operational staff that are already doing day-to-day administration," Pitcher said.

The manager can automatically discover various devices on the network, and the interface then presents both the physical topology of the SAN and the logical connections. It can even associate a given piece of hardware with the line of business or process it supports.

CA has a chance to become a leader in the rapidly growing SAN management field, which is expected to receive more attention from IT departments in the next year, according to a survey from consulting firm Aberdeen Group.

The topology mapping and self-discovery features that are in SAN Manager are especially appealing, said Aberdeen analyst David Hill.

"IT administrators need to understand clearly how everything ties together, and people get more information out of well-designed graphic displays than they do from raw textual information."

BrightStor SAN Manager costs $1,095 (£683) per Windows server and $1,495 (£933) per Unix server.

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