Symantec Wants to Save Storage Users Money

Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) has fashioned a marketing message for the times: use our products and you’ll save money.

Whether it’s saving on management costs with automation or on storage capacity with its latest offering, the company seems to be returning to a familiar message in recent months.

This week, the company announced enhancements to its Veritas CommandCentral storage optimization suite that help users “stop buying storage and reduce operational costs.”

Sean Derrington, Symantec’s director of storage management and availability, said the new capabilities can boost storage capacity utilization by 40 percent, saving users as much as 10 percent of their IT capital budgets. The company is also offering agentless support for VMware (NYSE: VMW).

Yogesh Agrawal, senior director of product management for the CommandCentral Storage product line, said users “don’t need to buy more storage. We can help them.”

Symantec says the new features also control demand by mapping storage consumption to business applications. “By gaining this critical insight, customers can typically stop purchasing storage for a year or more by utilizing existing storage assets while continuing to meet application service levels,” the company said.

Symantec bills CommandCentral as “the first complete storage optimization suite that integrates traditional storage resource management with storage change management functionality.” SMI-S-compliant and integrated through vendor APIs, CommandCentral “has no hardware agenda,” the company claims.

The new agentless features help with storage capacity planning, change tracking and management, and reporting in physical and virtualized environments, including application to storage spindle visibility in VMware environments.

Symantec says its new Storage Change Manager offers a centralized solution for tracking storage infrastructure changes that could affect application availability and enforcing policies and best practices for storage connectivity, configuration and compliance.

The solution offers “an easier way to manage storage area networks, identify storage configuration drifts, meet service level agreements and collaborate between storage and server teams,” the company says.

Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO group, said new storage software technologies like data de-duplication and thin provisioning are shifting focus from hardware to software sales, even though software has traditionally been viewed as the more profitable market as hardware becomes a commodity.

“Near-term, Symantec benefits if they can get IT organizations to shift their dollars from the hardware side of the budget to the software side,” said Schulz, but he noted that “Symantec still relies upon the existence of hardware and hardware growth. We keep hearing that hardware is cheap and the vendors make no money on hardware, that software is where the money and margins are, so if that is the case, care to guess where smart IT shoppers are going to look to reduce their data and IT costs next?

“Now if Symantec can come up with a way to reduce the footprint of competitors’ software impact, including licensing and associated management costs in addition to acquisition costs, wow, would they have a killer app and value prop,” he said.

Also this week, GlassHouse Technologies got into the storage optimization game with its Storage Capacity Reporting Service, powered by Aptare StorageConsole, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model that monitors storage capacity information using Web-based, end-to-end reporting from hosts to storage arrays and identifies future storage needs and suggests alternate storage practices to help alleviate waste.

Pricing for Symantec’s Veritas CommandCentral 5.1 starts at $20,000.

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Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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