CA to manage storage resources with portal

Computer Associates International Inc. at its annual user show Monday unveiled storage software aimed at helping users save time when managing CA and third-party storage resources.

BrightStor Portal, the latest software release from the company’s year-old storage product portfolio, can automate some storage provisioning and management, CA executive vice-president Russell Artzt said. The portal, based on CA’s CleverPath Portal, also gives storage administrators a single interface from which to manage all their storage resources.

BrightStor Portal works by displaying on one screen how much storage is being used across different storage devices and will alert administrators when a new device is added to the network, for example. Artzt demonstrated the tool’s automation by walking through how the software processed storage events and the likelihood of what happened through a library, and then delivered the final results to the Unicenter network management software.

Jack Norton, senior systems analyst with engineering company Parker Hannifan, also commented on the automation features of BrightStor Portal. He said in the past year, the storage needs at his company grew and his time to manage those needs did not.

“I told CA not only do I need storage products, I need something that can manage itself,” Norton said. He looked into products from CA, as well as competitors Legato Systems Inc. and Veritas Software Corp., but he found the latter offerings “just didn’t fit the bill.”

The built-in automation of the CA products worked best for Norton. “I just didn’t have time to become an expert in another technology,” he said. As a beta user of the product since January, Norton reported that the time it took him to resolve storage issues on his network dropped from 20 hours per week, to less than one hour per week.

“In 2001, I found storage nearly impossible for me to manage,” Norton said. “[BrightStor Portal] helps me find prompt resolutions to storage problems.”

Using XML to talk with storage devices and other storage software, the portal software displays storage data from multiple sources, such as database and applications, on the administrator’s desktop. From there, a storage manager can view alerts and take actions. BrightStor Portal also includes business process views that Artzt said lets the product “act as a catalyst to integrating storage across the network, while also letting users take data from many sources.”

According to CA, in an effort to manage across heterogeneous networks, BrightStor Portal integrates with products from Network Appliance, a CA partner, as well as storage offerings from competitors Legato and Veritas. BrightStor Portal is available now.

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