CA Upgrades SRM for Mainframes, Distributed Systems

Storage management software offers support for virtualized servers and storage, a single control point for different storage environments

March 17, 2009

3 Min Read
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CA this week released upgrades to two storage resource management products to add support for virtualized servers and storage, while also offering simplified administration.

Release 11.7 of CA Storage Resource Management offers centralized management of Unix, Linux, NetWare, and Windows-based storage resources and now can provide detailed reports on large numbers of virtual servers and the storage capacity they use, which should make it easier to manage the growing number of data centers that are rolling out virtualized computing resources. It also is designed to improve storage utilization through simplified storage virtualization. CA also has added support for VMware, and IBM's SVC, Microsoft clusters and multi-path I/O.

"We are giving insight from the virtual layers through to the physical layers, from volume controllers and nodes and disks to being able to see the virtual LUNs mapped to physical LUNs," says Todd Michels, senior product manager for CA SRM. "This is more than just reporting. We are trying to give people a clear understanding of what is being utilized and how it is being utilized."

The new release of mainframe storage resource management software, CA Vantage SRM release 12, SP2, automates a variety of operations for IBM z/OS storage capacity such as monitoring and analysis. It also is designed to help with compliance and regulatory requirements by identifying data that isn't being backed up according to set policies. It also can alert managers to a variety of potential problems through a real-time internal status monitor, prompting them to archive data from systems that are reaching capacity.

"The tools for the mainframe market are more mature, but the issues are the same. There is no slowdown in the growth of data and everybody is looking for better utilization," says Stefan Kochishan, director of mainframe product marketing. One difference between the mainframe and distributed computing markets is that systems automation is more accepted among those who manage mainframes. "The mainframe community has accepted automation and is willing to let systems take corrective action based on policies. On the distributed side, they may not fully trust automation. They are more inclined to want a report and decide for themselves what action to take."CA has consolidated the management console so both SRM products can be managed from a single point, using the same clicks and commands. That is one reason CA released both products at the same time. "We are slowly but surely giving all of our products a unified look and feel and a single dashboard," Kochishan says.

Not only does that make storage management easier, but it can help with the growing shortage of IT personnel with mainframe skills, says Bob Laliberte, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, a research firm. "It is good to provide a unified view across the mainframe and distributed systems. It is even more interesting when you consider the skill and staffing shortage on the mainframe side," he says. "It is hard to replace mainframe people. But the mainframe isn't going away. So people who are working on CA systems on the distributed side can transfer those skills to help out on the mainframe side."

Laliberte notes that CA isn't among the first to offer support for virtualized systems but says it is one of the first to provide insight into server and storage virtualization. Improved reporting for regulatory and compliance requirements also is a plus. "Nobody wants to be an SRM expert," he says. "They just want to get information from those tools to help them make intelligent decisions. This should be well received."

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