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CA makes next storage management move

CA makes next storage management move

Computer Associates International (CA) is expected to announce general availability of BrightStor r11.5, the second release of the company's bundle of integrated intelligent storage management applications, this week. The new version of the bundle provides support for additional devices and applications along with streamlining disk and tape backups, according to a company executive.

"We've really enhanced and extended the entire suite," director of BrightStor product marketing at CA, Stephen Widen, said. "We are continuing to expand the breadth and depth of the BrightStor brand."

In September, CA debuted its BrightStor r11.1 bundle, the first time the company had tightly integrated the various members of its BrightStor storage management product family. The move was designed to help CA compete more effectively against the likes of EMC and Veritas Software, the latter now part of Symantec.

The products continue to be available individually or together as pieces of the BrightStor bundle.

The BrightStor r11.1 bundle was also part of a new CA strategy to highlight intelligent storage management, according to Widen. CA defines intelligent storage management as a four-step process of identifying storage assets, classifying the information stored in terms of its importance and value to the corporation, defining and structuring the information in terms of its value, and finally automating the defined policies and procedures governing the storage of that data.

BrightStor r11.5 provides additional support for midrange disk arrays from companies like EMC, HP and Sun Microsystems to help customers looking to adopt tiered storage, the assignment of different types of data to different storage media or hardware. The software bundle also adds in support for 64-bit platforms.

Another new feature contained in BrightStor r11.5 is a simplification of the setup and management of both disk-to-disk and disk-to-disk-to-tape backup. "It had taken multiple steps to do [backups in BrightStor r11.1]," Widen said. "We've streamlined the process so it's very easy to set up."

With the previous version, BrightStor r11.1, CA offered support for operating systems and databases, Widen said. BrightStor r11.5 will feature the software's first true support for enterprise applications, with the support of SAP applications.

The new release also added support for Sybase's databases and IBM's Lotus Notes/Domino groupware and messaging software, he said.

Within BrightStor r11.5 are three product suites targeting storage management, data availability and mainframe storage, according to Widen.

One new component of the storage management suite wouldn't be immediately available, the BrightStor Storage Command Centre, he said.

The command centre would probably appear within the next 60 days, Widen said.

"It offers a high-level dashboard view of storage," he said.

The software turned the business analytics generated by BrightStor software into a format managers could use to monitor their storage systems in the areas of inventory, capacity, health and protection, Widen said.

Another new member of the bundle, BrightStor hierarchical storage management (HSM), is likely to appear by the end of October, according to Widen. CA announced in July that it had licensed CaminoSoft's Managed Server HSM for Windows and that it would rebrand the software BrightStor HSM.

BrightStor r11.5 is available under CA's FlexSelect licensing program and the company's BrightStor Managed Capacity Pricing, a licensing model based on terabyte capacity.

CA had initially set the capacity licensing bar at a minimum of 15TB, but lowered it to 10TB last September, Widen said. With BrightStor r11.5, CA was lowering the capacity licensing minimum even more dramatically to 2TB, a move designed to particularly appeal to midrange users, he said.

CA didn't currently offer capacity-based pricing for its BrightStor mainframe software, Widen said. However, the company was looking into whether moving that way would likely hold more appeal for customers than its present MIPS-based pricing, he said.

"We'll probably open up [our BrightStor mainframe software] to capacity-based pricing," he said.

The company was continuing work to integrate BrightStor with its Unicenter systems management software and its eTrust security management products, Widen said.

Making sure its storage management software was secure was also a continuing process for CA, he said.

Vulnerabilities in BrightStor have already been flagged three times this year by security companies, the latest and most serious flaw appearing earlier this month.

"It'll be ongoing," Widen said. "We'll look to correct and rectify [matters] as soon as we can. It's continually upon us to readdress security."

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