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Marrone is a strong advocate of Enterprise Storage Automation (ESA) as a means of streamlining storage management. One such ESA approach that may solve many of the above issues is the storage portal.
"What has been missing is a storage management layer that sits above existing applications and systems," says Phil Triede, a storage management executive at Islandia, NY-based Computer Associates (CA). "A well designed storage portal can integrate and access disparate systems and allow control of all of them automatically from a single console."
While CA's BrightStor Portal is probably the most advanced storage portal currently available, other vendors aren't too far behind. HP offers the Compaq Storage Management Portal, and AlphaNet recently announced their Managed Enterprise Storage Portal (which also utilizes BrightStor technology).
These tools, in greater or lesser degree, provide the following elements:
- Broad platform support
- Comprehensive application host and storage device discovery
- Enterprise-wide reporting
- Interaction with current management tools
- Open standards
- Vendor neutrality
- Web-based single point of management