CA Pumps Up Storage Management

This week, CA plans to release BrightStor 11.1, which consists of 13 integrated storage applications, said Jim Geronaitis, vice president of BrightStor product marketing at the Islandia, N.Y.-based software vendor. The company also is slated to unveil a new series of software bundles plus a new pricing scheme designed to give customers various software buying options, Geronaitis said.

In 2003, CA was No. 5 on the list of top storage management vendors, according to research firm Gartner Dataquest. Now it looks like CA is trying to offer more value by bundling its software, said Dave Hiechel, president and CEO of Eagle Software, a Salina, Kan.-based solution provider.

"That should help [CA] with market awareness of their software," Hiechel said. "ARCserve and BrightStor are thought of as adequate. But if bundled with things like [Storage Resource Manager], they look much better."

New to the BrightStor family is BrightStor Process Automation Manager, which helps automate the storage provisioning process, said Anders Lofgren, vice president of product management at CA. Unlike the manual provisioning capability in BrightStor SAN Manager, Process Automation Manager allows customers to set up templates that can be used to automatically provision new storage capacity. It works seamlessly with CA's SAN Manager and Storage Resource Manager applications, he said.

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CA also is integrating its SAN Manager and Storage Resource Manager applications for seamless operation, Lofgren said. That will allow a full-path visualization from the application all the way to the drive spindle, enabling IT administrators to see which devices, spindles and paths are associated with an application.

"For example, let's say I plan to replace a [SAN] switch. Now I can see what and who are affected by the change so I can schedule it when it's convenient," Lofgren said.

In addition, CA is integrating its Storage Resource Manager and ARCserve Backup applications to sharpen the efficiency of backups and reduce the need to buy new storage hardware, Lofgren said.

New enterprise backup features also have been added to the ARCserve product family, according to Lofgren. The features are incorporated in a new ARCserve Backup for Unix application, which joins other applications for Windows, Linux, Mainframe Linux, NetWare, and laptops and desktops. A new Enterprise Module for ARCserve is aimed at shops with enterprise-class Windows environments, he added.

CA's new software bundles include the Storage Management Suite (consisting of Storage Resource Manager, SAN Manager, SAN Designer and Process Automation Manager); the Data Availability Suite (all the ARCserve products plus Storage Resource Manager); and the Enterprise Suite (all of CA's distributed storage products), Geronaitis said.

And with the new bundles, CA is giving customers a choice of how they can purchase its software, he said. Currently, all CA products have a base server price plus a price for specific agents and options. With the bundles, customers can buy the software with the yearly cost based on their storage capacity at the time their contracts renew.

"Which is better? For large installations with heterogeneous platforms, the suite pricing is probably better," Geronaitis said. "For smaller Windows environments, product-based pricing is probably better."