PowerQuest rolls out Win NT/2000 software

Storage utility company PowerQuest Corp. this month is expected to launch software for midsize Windows NT companies that helps network professionals monitor, manage and reconfigure storage resources.

PowerQuest’s PowerManage Suite lets customers monitor, manage and configure their storage and respond to growth of storage in a planned, proactive manner. PowerManage Suite consists of three components: a volume manager, a capacity manager and a usage monitor. Each is managed from a Web-based console.

The volume manager software, called PowerQuest VolumeManager 2.0, lets users change the size of storage volumes or reassign that storage to other servers when storage is needed elsewhere. Volumes can be copied to make them more available for users or deleted when no longer needed. VolumeManager lets net managers merge volumes and resize RAID 5 configurations.

The capacity manager, PowerExpert ST, helps control storage capacity, letting the network manager know when more storage is needed. From a Web-based console, the network manager can monitor storage, viewing when volumes are filling up or when they are not being utilized efficiently. The PowerExpert ST component includes capacity trending and tracking capabilities, which give the administrator an up-to-date picture of storage. Reports can be generated in database, text or HTML/HML formats.

The usage monitor, ControlCenter ST for StorageMonitor, is also viewed from a Web-based console and lets the net manager monitor storage usage. It sends alerts to pagers or e-mail when user-configured storage thresholds are exceeded. With ControlCenter, administrators can identify all the NT, Windows 2000 or 2000 Advanced Servers in the network, monitor their uptime and view how well each server manages the storage assigned to them.

Irving McCartney, a network administrator with Georgia Pacific in Cedar Springs, Ga., has beta-tested PowerQuest PowerManage. “As of today, we would use the remote agent to make a copy of the partition from one server to another. We’ll also use it to warn us when we are getting out of disk space – right now the only warning system we have is users telling us they are out of disk space,” McCartney said. He is responsible for 10 NT servers.

Carolyn DiCenzo, an analyst for the Gartner Group, said there are about 375,000 midsize NT companies – only half of which have IT departments – that need software of this type. “These companies are in desperate need of tools to manage disk usage, tools that aren’t so complex that they need to hire special people to use them,” DiCenzo said.

Microsoft supplies little else besides some rudimentary quota and volume management, DiCenzo said. Win 2000 includes the capability to monitor and set disk quotas for users. NT lets network managers change storage volume sizes. Microsoft operating system products have always relied on third-party utilities to provide full storage management capability.

Gartner estimates that the market for NT and Win 2000 RAID storage will boom and make storage management tools such as PowerQuest’s a necessity. By 2004, this market will show a compound annual growth of 37.6 per cent, while in 2000 it was a US$9.3 million market, Gartner said.

PowerQuest’s PowerManage Suite will be available this month for US$1,600 per server.