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Reduce Storage Costs and Risk in the Enterprise Now

January 20, 2009

Summary

This article shows how Veritas CommandCentral can help enterprises reduce storage capital costs by increasing storage utilization and managing change to remove risk in the data center.
In the face of a challenging economy, IT organizations are under unprecedented pressure to cut costs -- now. At the same time, they are tasked with the smooth operation of the data center, which is becoming more complex all the time as a result of continual consolidation, changes, escalating virtualization, and exploding data volumes
What if there was a way to do both?
This article examines how enterprises can reduce storage capital costs by increasing storage utilization and managing change to remove risk in the data center.

Align IT operations with business objectives

To help enterprises address the twin goals of reducing capital costs and risk, Symantec offers Veritas CommandCentral, an integrated storage resource management (SRM) and change management solution. CommandCentral provides capacity planning, enabling a global view of storage assets, and business insight about inventory and utilization, allowing users to reclaim wasted storage and reduce capital and operational costs.
By providing dynamic mapping from the application to the physical spindle, CommandCentral enables IT organizations to optimize resources and operations. Additionally, CommandCentral provides enterprise-wide insight into storage infrastructure changes in the data center and their impact on the business, enabling continuous health monitoring for optimized performance and data availability. Together, these elements ensure alignment of IT operations with the objectives of the business.
By mapping storage consumption to business applications, CommandCentral enables organizations to increase storage utilization and reduce capital costs. Symantec believes that, armed with this critical insight, organizations can typically stop purchasing storage for one year or more by utilizing existing storage assets while continuing to meet application service levels. According to Symantec estimates, customers deploying CommandCentral have shaved their IT capital budgets by as much as 10% while improving storage utilization levels.
One Symantec customer, a Swiss bank, increased its storage utilization from 13% to 40% with CommandCentral and implemented a charge-back system to let application owners know the storage costs their applications were consuming. As a result, the bank was able to defer storage purchases for a year, putting off buying 9 petabytes of capacity at a cost of $30,000 per terabyte.

Manage infrastructure changes

It’s a familiar refrain: again and again, customers tell Symantec that they lack an end-to-end view of their rapidly growing data centers. In particular, they lack a centralized solution for tracking storage infrastructure changes, managing the impact of changes, and enforcing policies and best practices for storage connectivity, configuration, and compliance.
Symantec believes that managing a change means managing the impact. As long as everything is going along smoothly, you don’t notice the change. It’s only when there is an impact that you will feel the change. According to Gartner Inc., 60% to 80% of downtime is caused by unplanned changes.
Recently, Symantec introduced Veritas CommandCentral Storage Change Manager, a new addition to the CommandCentral family. CommandCentral Storage Change Manager is an agent-less solution that proactively manages change that can negatively impact application availability.
Specifically, CommandCentral Storage Change Manager enables organizations to monitor and detect changes by:
  • Providing a centralized, policy-driven approach to managing storage changes and configuration drifts
  • Minimizing application downtime by measuring the impact of infrastructure changes, and decreasing the time required to resolve problems
  • Benchmarking an organization’s environment against industry best practices to identify hidden risks
  • Enabling collaboration between storage and server teams to troubleshoot issues.
In addition, IT managers today need to keep the data center up and running without additional headcount. That means they need automated tools to replace burdensome manual tasks. CommandCentral Storage Change Manager provides an alternative to using traditional point products and less efficient tools such as spreadsheets.
By teaming with Symantec consultants, your IT staff can expedite and enhance its mastery of the difficult balance between the competing goals of increasing complexity and lower total cost of storage through the implementation of effective architectures, automated processes, increased protection, and optimal tuning of storage devices.
Symantec storage management specialists leverage that expertise as well as broad industry experience to help organizations develop efficient storage solutions.

Conclusion

CommandCentral’s ability to provide a holistic view of the data center environment (including physical, logical, and virtual assets) means that prudent capacity planning strategies can be implemented to avoid unnecessary hardware purchases. Additionally, the integrated CommandCentral Storage Change Manager module identifies, analyzes, and reports on any changes that may impact application availability to help IT organizations reduce risk and maintain service levels to the business. All of this is accomplished through a single, integrated user interface. The Enterprise Strategy Group recently likened this view of the entire environment to “a single pane of glass.”
Ultimately, the expanded CommandCentral family can help speed time-to-value. Or as Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of Symantec’s Storage and Availability Management Group, put it recently: “In today’s economic climate, IT organizations must find new ways to save costs this quarter, as opposed to waiting for 12 to 24 months.”

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