AutoVirt 3: Storage management control

In the wake of T-Mobile's virtual storage meltdown for Sidekick users, it would be wise for organizations to re-examine their virtual storage solutions. AutoVirt 3 might be a useful addition for mid market companies.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

In the wake of the massive T-Mobile Sidekick storage-in-the-clouds failure (see what my fellow ZDnet blogger, Jason Perlow, has to say in the post In the aftermath of the T-Mobile Chernobyl), it would be wise for organizations to re-examine their approaches to virtual storage. AutoVirt has chosen this moment to lauch a new version of their product. While it is not at all likely that they expected their product launch to arrive on the coattials of the T-Mobile a storage meltdown, it is clear that AutoVirt is trying to prevent similar disasters for their customers.

Here's what AutoVert has to say about AutoVert 3

AutoVirt is a software platform for Windows that provides storage management control from a web-based console.

Use AutoVirt to automate and expedite:

  • Data Measurement
  • Copying
  • Migration
  • Replication
  • Archiving

  • A solution for managing unstructured Windows file data
  • A way to extend the native functionality of inexpensive, commodity Windows hardware
  • Integration with mainframe NAS devices, including NetApp and EMC Celerra
  • Out-of-band runtime operations, with no client agents
  • An intelligent client referral service with perpetual support for client UNC names and embedded links

Using AutoVirt

By ensuring that users have a consistent point of access to their data, AutoVirt allows IT administrators to automate the movement of data within their Windows storage environments.  As administrators move data to where they need it to be – business-critical data to a new device, a replica to a secondary location, last year’s share to Tier 2 storage – clients are automatically redirected to the new location of their data.

By eliminating impact on end-users, AutoVirt removes a number of logistical barriers to project execution and frees IT to approach storage management more dynamically.

With AutoVirt, IT administrators can design policies to automate data measurement, copying, migration, replication, and archiving.  A policy is a series of logical and validation commands defined using a GUI-based wizard.  Policies are schedulable and include configurable e-mail alerts and exception handling.

How it works

AutoVirt inserts a global namespace to organize networked shares and shield end-users from the back-end logistics of storage management.   The namespace eliminates the manual work involved in maintaining client access to networked data: it is the single authority on networked files, and automatically resolves client shortcuts to the new location.

With AutoVirt’s global namespace registering all changes to data location, it is possible to automate many storage management tasks – including those that affect data location.  The AutoVirt policy engine is responsible for automating data measurement, copying, migration, replication, and archiving.

AutoVirt’s namespace and policy engine interact with both clients and networked file servers using the Common Internet File System (CIFS) protocol.

Snapshot analysis

AutoVirt is just one of many suppliers offering virtual strorage solutions. Some, such as EMC, HP, IBM, NetApp, focus on larger, more complex environments containing a mix of system types. AutoVirt has focused solely on small to medium size orgaizations having Windows-based environments and has tried to make its products easy to use, perform well and offer a level of automatic protection for those having neither the staff nor the expertise to use more sophisticated, powerful tools.

AutoVirt's capability to support automatic backup, tagging, and support of tiered storage could be of great help to mid-market companies.

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