StorageNetworks bolsters customer portal

WALTHAM, MASS. -- Customers of storage service provider StorageNetworks can now better assess, monitor and manage their data with the help of a free software upgrade.

The Virtual Storage Portal 3.0 (VSP), announced today, is Web-based software featuring:

  • Physical mapping and graphical representations of storage-area networks (SAN).
  • Improved trouble-ticketing capability.
  • Support for StorageNetworks' streaming media and network-attached storage services.

Besides physically mapping and displaying the components of SANs, VSP 3.0 also produces graphical representations of the volumes of data on the SAN and offers additional performance metrics and reporting of storage jobs and saved data.

"With the topology tools, you get a graphic representation of the status of your storage system," says Brian Lenane, vice president of service and support for Enmed, a Burlington, Mass., application service provider of automated clinical trial software. "You can look and see if there's a trouble alert or caution on one of the devices. Right from there you can issue a trouble ticket to get it fixed."

VSP's trouble-ticketing capability has been enhanced to more completely track the troubles a customer has reported and looks for trouble tickets that StorageNetworks has not yet resolved.

Adam Couture, an analyst for Dataquest in Lowell, Mass., says the trouble-ticketing feature is the most significant addition in VSP 3.0. "It lets customers manage the trouble tickets they have placed and view how well StorageNetworks is delivering against its service-level agreements. It gives you a snapshot of your functionality across time, your serviceability and detailed information, such as the servers that have only 92% availability."

The software now also supports StorageNetworks' streaming media service, STORwidth, and its network-attached storage environment, NetPACs. It also includes a more complete charge-back utility, which lets companies charge for the storage allocated to different business units.

The VSP software combines both physical and logical storage networking and service management in the same application, letting IT shops manage their storage from a single point. StorageNetworks provides data as a service based on Compaq, Dell, Network Appliance, Sun and EMC storage subsystems and storage appliances.

"StorageNetworks' VSP gives a customer far more capacity and availability than anybody would ever need. It far exceeds the software its competitors offer," says Dataquest's Couture.

Forrester Research of Cambridge, Mass., predicts that companies will increase their average online storage capacities by a factor of 10 over the next five years, which means that storage and associated administration will grow from 5% of current computing systems budgets to 17% in 2003.

The VSP 3.0 is available immediately at no cost to StorageNetworks customers.

This story, "StorageNetworks bolsters customer portal" was originally published by Network World.

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