When it comes to guaranteeing the uptime and availability of data storage resources, or being able to allocate them dynamically, most IT departments perform poorly. Similarly, many overspend on storage, because existing resources are under-utilised.
Storage management software company Veritas argues that it can help its enterprise customers overcome these issues with an initiative it calls Quality of Storage Service (QoSS). Unveiled in 2001, the QoSS drive provides IT managers with four key ways for defining and measuring the storage requirements of individual applications or departments. These metrics comprise survivability of data, time-to-recovery, time-to-capacity, and application performance guarantees. "The QoSS vision," says Chris Boorman, marketing director for Veritas in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, "outlines how storage administrators can meet users' storage service needs."
But Veritas' QoSS is more than a best practice methodology, says Boorman. It also provides a technology roadmap for future product development in all four of Veritas' key product areas: clustering and replication; storage area networks (SANs); volume and file management; and back-up and recovery. The first fruits of this effort came with the launch of SANPoint Control 2.0 in March 2001, a tool that enables administrators to simplify and centralise the management of SANs according to the time-to-capacity metric. Likewise, the January 2002 acquisition of The Kernal Group (TKG), he says, enables Veritas to provide new data recovery capabilities for Unix environments that it had previously only offered for the Windows platform, enabling administrators to meet QoSS time-to-recovery demands.
"The movement of storage management from a server-centric to a storage area view will enable users to define metrics to both quantify services required by storage consumers, and to report how well those services are provided," comments Bob Passmore, an analyst at Gartner.