Symantec said it has added "storage templates" or service levels that allow administrators to automate the type of storage -- based on performance and protection level -- allocated to applications.
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Symantec has defined three templates of storage: Gold, Silver, and Bronze, each of which is used to determine the type of disk, RAID level and whether storage is allocated through thin provisioning or through more typical common over-allocation methods.
For example, if an administrator sets a policy that all email that does not contain company sensitive financial information is to receive Bronze-level storage, it might be stored on serial ATA (SATA) drives on a network-attached storage (NAS) system with RAID 6 protection. The administrator could also set up a gold policy for all SQL databases that would automatically store any data generated on expensive, high-performance solid-state drive (SSD) arrays, with replication and RAID 10 protection.
Niraj Zaveri, a Symantec senior product marketing manager, said system administrators typically have to provision storage to a host application server, then map those servers back to application requirements in a database, then create a storage volume or file system for it on an storage area network (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS) system. The process, particularly in virtualized server environments, requires a lot of manual scripting.
"The point is that you can now just define the set of storage services available to your applications," he said. "This automates the identification of storage devices matching the storage services ... and automates the handling of the underlying SAN complexity."
In most data centers today, there are no policies for what data gets which storage, Zaveri said. It's mainly a ticket process where business units request a particular type of storage and capacity and administrators fill the ticket, often by over-allocating storage, which can waste capacity.
With Symantec's latest offering, server and storage administrators can decide on the importance of an application type and then set policies to handle that need each and every time.
"It's about using templates as much as possible," he said. "The new functionality in Veritas Operations Manager bridges the gap between server, database and storage administrators to increase storage utilization, scale operations, maintain compliance and ensure uptime and availability across Unix, Linux, Windows and VMware environments."
It also blurs the line between storage and server administrators.