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Symantec Says 'Stop Buying Storage'

Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) has come up with a clever slogan for its Veritas CommandCentral storage resource management (SRM) suite of software. The slogan, "Stop Buying Storage", echoes the "Stop Buying Software" marketing pitch put forth nearly a decade ago by when it launched its customer resource management software-as-a-service offering. Symantec can only hope CommandCentral becomes as successful as has been.

Veritas is the data center management product line of Symantec, mainly known for its security products. It enhanced CommandCentral this week with agentless capabilities to reduce deployment cost and complexity and added a change management function designed to help storage managers quickly identify and correct problems. The vendor claims its SRM suite can help companies improve storage utilization by up to 40 percent and, as a result, cut overall IT spending by up to 10 percent.

"Businesses need to save money now, and we can help them do that even though data growth has not slowed down," says Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of Symantec's Storage and Availability Management Group. "We have customers that were able to defer all purchases of new storage for up to a year by improving their usage of existing storage."

By analyzing how a company uses its existing storage, CommandCentral can identify unclaimed, unused, misused, and over-provisioned storage, he asserts. In a typical case involving 30 TB, only 5 TB is being used properly, with the rest being under-utilized or misused in some fashion, he says. "Different companies will have different kinds of problems, but we can provide them with the information to start developing and implement strategies to attack the problem." Those approaches include analyzing storage usage by application, business unit, or disk array, moving non-critical data off of expensive tier-one storage systems, more widely deploying thin provisioning, and implementing charge-backs to business units.

Soderbery says one customer, an unnamed Swiss bank, increased its storage utilization with CommandCentral from 13 percent to 40 percent and implemented a charge-back system to let application owners know the storage costs their apps were causing. As a result, it was able to defer storage purchases for a year, putting off buying 9 Petabytes of capacity at a cost of $30,000 per Terabyte.

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