by September 16, 2003 0 comments

This software from IBM provides a set of automated tools for managing storage capacity, availability, events, performance and assets in an enterprise. It can do resource management for DAS, NAS and SAN in a heterogeneous network. The storage resource manager supports multiple operating systems, which includes Windows NT/2000/9x/Me, Aix, Solaris, HP-UX, RedHat Linux, and Novell NetWare. It doesn’t however, support WinXP and 2003 Server yet, which should become available in future releases of the product. The complete product can be divided into three parts, the server, agents and the client. 

The server is the central repository, which monitors all storage on the network. It also requires a database server to store all gathered information. The agents are installed on all nodes that have to be monitored and managed. They connect to the server and provide the local system’s storage state to it. The server and agents can be installed on any of the above operating systems and the communication between clients and the server is done over TCP/IP. The third part, the client, is the user interface of the storage manager and like the agent and server can be installed on any OS. The client also connects to the server via TCP/IP and can be installed independently of the agent and server. What all this means is that you can have a single setup for the entire network having various operating systems and can monitor it from anywhere on any OS. Since the front end is in java, it looks the same from everywhere.

We tried the product on a server running Windows 2000 and the agents were set up on Windows and Linux machines. The installation was simple and fast and just required the location of database server for the server install. The reporting tool gives a chart view of the total storage available on the network systems. There are also various kinds of reporting features, which are crucial. It gives information about any disk defects, files at risk of loss of data, obsolete files, wasted space and user usage of space, etc. Batch reporting can also be done with the report saved as an HTML or CSV file.

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Price : Express Edition Desktop Rs 3,230. Per processor license fee Rs 34,675
Warranty : 1-year maintenance warranty
Meant for : Large enterprises with huge storage requirements
Pros : Support for multiple OSs, a single management interface irrespective of the OS used
Contact : IBM India, Bangalore
Tel : 2063216
E-mail : 

One good feature is the user quota and constraint management. Using this you can have a centralized quota management set up wherein you can set up the space allocated to users on your network and also other constraints like disallowing certain types of files to be stored on the network, e.g. mp3 or mpeg files. The system can also be configured to send e-mails to the administrator and users whenever any user violation occurs. This is a pretty good thing to control user storage usage on the network.

The chargeback tool lets administrator generate invoices and charge for storage usage. It provides information on a group, department or user level, making them accountable for their data usage. This distributes the storage cost appropriately across the organization.

Overall the product easies the storage management task of the IT staff, providing for the efficient utilization of storage on the network and eliminates one problem found in many storage management software. While the software provides a lot of information about your storage, it may not be able to take any action on it. For that Tivoli Storage Resource Manager lets you set scripts, which can take corrective actions based on the policy you’ve set in them. 

Anoop Mangla

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