SAN Advisor, intended for use mainly as a module for EMC ControlCenter (ECC), is designed to monitor a SAN and help users plan, test, and implement changes in storage devices. Industry analysts, surveys, and the early success of startup Onaro Inc. suggest these features are becoming necessary as SANs grow (see Onaro Eyes Data Centers).
A Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) user survey last year found growth, manageability, interoperability, and complexity among the top 10 SAN pain points. John Webster, an analyst at Data Mobility Group, says change management could help users deal with these issues.
Your SAN doesnt remain static, Webster says. You want to minimize the manual tinkering you have to do to monitor your SAN and make changes.
Here's how EMC takes on change management: SAN Advisor taps into EMCs E-Lab device compatibility database, and uses that to determine whether devices such as disk arrays, HBAs, and switches will work together. It provides a list of all devices and connections on the SAN, monitors them for interoperability issues, helps users plan changes they want to make, and allows them to test the changes before implementing them. The product will become available in early May.