Symantec Corp. recently announced Storage United, a new business initiative designed to help enterprise storage professionals address the root causes behind the growing cost and complexity of their storage environments. Symantec's Storage United strategy provides a software-oriented approach to enable even the largest, most heterogeneous data center environments to unite their diverse storage platforms, to unite their isolated islands of storage administration, and to unite storage operations with the business by delivering storage as a service.
The Storage Problem
Enterprises of all sizes and across all industry segments continue to face daunting storage challenges. Symantec estimates that data volumes are doubling every two years, yet industry-average storage utilization rates remain at 30-35%. Enormous amounts of duplicate data are unnecessarily filling up expensive storage systems and IT organizations are increasingly aware that storage plays a significant role in creating the space, power and cooling problems that have pushed many data centers to their breaking points. If enterprises are to effectively address these storage challenges, they must attack the root causes: the platform problem, the administration problem, and the business problem.
Uniting the Platforms
The platform problem stems from the reality that today's data centers rely on multiple operating systems, virtual machine environments, storage hardware platforms and storage networking technologies. Because each hardware vendor typically offers tools designed to work only on their particular platform, enterprises are forced to manage a vast number of point tools to operate their heterogeneous data centers. As the complexity in a data center worsens, the ability for IT to meet aggressive service levels within severely constrained IT budgets becomes almost impossible.
A core element of Symantec's Storage United initiative is to provide a comprehensive layer of data protection, storage management and archiving software that supports every major server and storage system in the data center. Because Symantec has no hardware agenda, customers have enormous choice, flexibility and control over their storage and server architectures and hardware purchases. And because Symantec is the industry leader in each of these storage markets, enterprises have the ability to create a more standardized operating environment in their data centers while at the same time leveraging best-in-class features and capabilities.
The administration problem arises when enterprises create isolated storage 'islands' or 'silos' as a quick fix solution to manage the growing complexity of their storage environments. Soon the number of islands proliferates and the size of each island grows, worsening the problem. As a result, many enterprises simply don't know what they have in their complex, heterogeneous storage environments, which leads to inefficient storage management and poor storage utilization. Symantec offers tools that not only provide visibility across the entire data center - across all server, storage and data protection devices, and from the server to the SAN - but also deliver the capability to actively manage and control the storage environment, rather than just to passively monitor it. Storage United also entails a significant internal effort to take the integration and technology sharing that already takes place among many of Symantec's storage products to the next level. Symantec will continue to announce new product releases and offerings that leverage common infrastructure and technologies in areas such as product installation, security, graphical user interfaces, web services, data sharing, consolidated agents, workflow and tightly integrated joint product solutions.
"Storage continues to grow at an alarming rate while available floor space, power and cooling, budget and skilled staff are becoming troublingly scarce," said Laura DuBois, research director at IDC. "Enterprises need a practical path for getting a handle on these increasingly difficult storage environments while also controlling costs and improving service levels. With its broad range of highly-respected and market-leading Veritas data center products, Symantec offers a convincing argument for uniting and integrating data center storage with business requirements and is positioned to take a strategic seat at the enterprise storage table."
Uniting Storage with the Business
The business problem for storage lies in the dramatic gap in awareness and understanding between business owners and the storage team. A key tenet of Storage United is Symantec's commitment to help enterprises get on the path to delivering storage as a service. By enabling organizations to gain visibility across their entire storage environment, to implement storage utilization improvement processes, to create a storage operations practice, and to align storage service delivery to business requirements, Symantec provides the foundation for truly delivering storage as a service. In addition to a broad set of technology and process best practices to support storage service management, Symantec also provides advanced business reporting capabilities that empower enterprise storage teams to manage storage as a business, and to communicate with their business colleagues on the basis of costs and service levels - rather than technology.
"Symantec is uniquely positioned to help enterprises address their severe and growing storage challenges" said Kris Hagerman, group president, Data Center Management, Symantec. "Through our comprehensive, cross-platform storage software offerings, Symantec enables IT organizations to unite their disparate storage hardware environments, unite their isolated islands of storage, and unite storage operations with the business by delivering storage as a service."
Symantec Global Services Help Enterprises Deliver Storage Service Management Symantec Global Services provide expertise and resources to help customers manage IT risk and cost while improving the performance of their enterprise storage environments. Symantec consultants offer customers unparalleled product expertise and strategies to help organizations unite their storage environments, reducing the complexity and cost of managing non-standard storage configurations and disparate, multi-platform toolsets. Symantec data protection and operational residency services also deliver cost-effective outsourcing and staff augmentation services. Also, Symantec Education Services provide training to help customers to maximize their investment in storage technologies that address data center complexity through improved storage utilization, increased storage availability, reduced costs and simplified storage management.
Symantec is a global leader in infrastructure software, enabling businesses and consumers to have confidence in a connected world. The company helps customers protect their infrastructure, information and interactions by delivering software and services that address risks to security, availability, compliance and performance. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in 40 countries. More information is available at www.symantec.com.