One of the world’s biggest makers of BIOS for PCs and servers wants to become a big name in IT infrastructure analysis for storage capacity.

American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) has released a software tool called iDATA that gathers seven days worth of data on network performance and throughput from existing monitoring systems. The numbers are then emailed to AMI, where an engineer generates a recommendation on flash and spinning disk storage needs tailored for each organization.

The lure is that the software and the report are free for a limited time, said Justin Bagby, director of AMI’s StorTrends division, which makes hybrid flash and spinning disk arrays.

“This is a service we’re going to charge for in the future,” he said. Other companies have automated tools, some free, that do the same thing. But Bagby said iDATA’s report is customized.

AMI says IDATA installs quickly
AMI says IDATA installs quickly

He couldn’t say when the free offer will end – it depends on how busy AMI staff get doing analysis. Nor could he detail what the pricing will be. But he did emphasize that iDATA gives a personalized report. The staffer that creates it will explain details to the customer in a conference call.

The agent-less software doesn’t generate any I/O, Bagby said. The data collected includes utliziation of resources, IOPS utilizations, volumes for individual servers, application load information and network bandwidth,

The idea for iDATA came after the soft launch of the StorTrends 3500 iSAN hybrid/full flash arrays. Talking to customers the company discovered that IT and storage administrators know how much data they use, but few knew details like their IOPS or read-write performace, or how much of the data is active.

Answers to questions like these are needed to know how much flash storage the organization needs, said Babgy. “You need to have an educated understanding of what’s going on in your infrastrucutre to be able to take that next step and make an educated purchase.”

Having the understanding is necessary so organizations don’t buy too much – or too little – storage, he said.

The one-week data collection will give a good picture of a most organizations’ data usage, he said, although he acknowledged it wouldn’t suffice for those with seasonal swings like income tax firms.



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