Symantec touts storage as a service

update The security software maker addresses enterprise storage challenges by helping Asian businesses unite their storage environments and deliver storage as a service.

update SINGAPORE--Symantec is the latest to jump on the bandwagon to help businesses consolidate their data center environments and prevent over-provisioning of storage.

The new initiative, dubbed Storage United, is a software approach to standardize the different storage technologies and platforms in a data center environment.

Speaking at a media briefing Tuesday, Yeong Chee Wai, Symantec's regional director of product marketing and management for Asia-Pacific, told ZDNet Asia that the growing cost and complexity of storage environments can be addressed by storage as a service, which is akin to a communication tool that bridges the business and IT areas of an enterprise.

Without this bridge, business demands could lead to the over provisioning of storage, he added.

The Storage United product lineup comprises the Veritas CommandCentral Storage 5.0, a storage resource management solution, as well as the Veritas NetBackup 6.5, a platform to unite data protection technologies like tape, virtual tape libraries, disk backup, data deduplication, continuous data protection, snapshots and replication.

Symantec's announcement follows an earlier move by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) which introduced a similar software-as-a-service strategy dubbed Services Oriented Storage Solutions.

According to both HDS and Symantec, this services-oriented approach not only enables better provisioning of storage according to business needs, but it also enables the IT department to charge costs back to the business unit based on the resources consumed.

HDS Chief Technology Officer Hubert Yoshida told ZDNet Asia that this services-oriented architecture (SOA) approach helps simplify development and management.

Yoshida noted that with a "single management interface", storage resources can now be better utilized, allowing users to reallocate and reuse the storage capacity for any requirement. This, in turn, results in lower operational costs and more efficient use of power, he added.

Highlighting the growing enterprise storage challenges, Laura DuBois, research director at IDC, said in a statement: "Storage continues to grow at an alarming rate while available floor space, power and cooling, budget and skilled staff are becoming troublingly scarce.

"Enterprises need a practical path for getting a handle on these increasingly difficult storage environments while also controlling costs and improving service levels."