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Symantec Scales Up SRM

Symantec is the latest vendor to tout its wares as a way for users to tie server and storage virtualization together. (See Symantec Intros CommandCentral 5.0, Storage Virtualization Edges On, Virtual HBAs Hitch Servers & Storage, Virtual Iron Dangles iSCSI Savings, and XenSource Reveals Upgrade.)

The vendor unveiled the latest piece of its grandiose "Storage United" strategy on Wednesday with CommandCentral 5.0. This is a storage resource management (SRM) software package Symantec claims will boost the ability of users to control virtualized applications. (See Symantec Launches Storage United, Symantec Unveils NetBackup 6.5, and Symantec Bolsters Backup.)

The vendor has enhanced its support for VMware's server virtualization offerings and for storage virtualization products such as IBM's SanVolumeController and Tagmastore from HDS. (See How to Shop for a SAN, IBM Upgrades SVC, and HDS: Users Pick TagmaStore.) "Before, we could not tell you what resources each virtual machine was using," says Robert Soderbery, senior vice president of Symantec's data center management group.

With the software upgrade, Symantec claims that users can now see how their storage resources work with virtualized applications. Example: How many Gbytes have been allocated to a specific application and how much storage has been allocated to a specific port.

At least one analyst believes this plugs a crucial gap in users' SRM armories. "Virtualization is pretty difficult for SRM tools to see accurately -- it kind of creates a weird situation where you have multiple servers seeing the same LUN," says Andrew Reichman of Forrester Research. "It's tricky to do, so it's important that Symantec is putting energy into making it work."

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