Northern Storage Suite Integrates New Chargeback Module

Northern Storage Chargeback provides efficient means of segmenting, auditing and "invoicing" disk space usage

TAMPA, FL - February 9, 2004 - Northern Storage Chargeback is based on a simple, time-honored principle: make people pay for the storage resources they use and users will immediately take an active role in the efficient management of their data and allotted space. NORTHERN, global providers of flexible, easy to administer, Windows-based storage resource management software solutions, today announces that its new Northern Storage Chargeback module is now shipping. A key component of the Northern Storage Suite, Northern Storage Chargeback provides a complete, 360-degree perspective on costs and usage trends. The application assigns a price to increments of storage, making users (departments, individuals, etc) accountable for the space they consume. Northern Storage Chargeback facilitates internal and external billing -enabling organizations to 'charge back' the cost of storage to end-users. This approach exacts a price on users who inefficiently manage their allotted space, and provides powerful incentive for economical and intelligent use of available resources.

Thomas Vernersson, Northern President, said, "Most users view storage as an endlessly available free commodity. As any IT administrator knows, it is hardly that. But the perception is perpetuated because so few organizations provide users with incentives to conserve space, resulting in an unchecked expansion of data. This inevitably places great strain on IT staff, IT budgets and overall productivity. Northern Storage Chargeback puts ownership and responsibility back in the hands of the user population, and provides every incentive for economical self- management of storage resources."

Northern Storage Chargeback Key Features

  • Creates chargeback jobs that automatically measure storage usage and consumption. (Data can be collected from scans, quotas or MS Exchange). Northern Storage Chargeback then calculates costs for storage use and then generates invoices to charge-back these costs to end customers.

  • Assigns different Chargeback accounts to different departments or organizational units, and create different billing plans dependent upon on each department's storage usage and service levels.

  • Costs can be calculated based on UserID, NT-group membership, OU, individual shares or folders, by project folders, etc.

  • Classifies your storage resources based on their respective costs. Label a regular Windows 2000 Server as "standard", and a high availability cluster server as "premium", and let the chargeback jobs calculate different costs depending on where the data is located.

  • Chargeback Job Wizard helps define chargeback schemes that mirror your actual costs. For instance, create a charge-back job that: "allows each user 400 megabytes for free, but which charges 5 dollars per month for each additional 100 megabytes".

  • Can create Template Chargeback jobs to save time. %%Use Northern Storage Chargeback to keep track of internal costs for storage, which can then be integrated into your accounting software. All chargeback jobs can be exported to HTML, CSV or Excel.

  • All Chargeback jobs are available for fast and easy print out.

  • Schedule Chargeback jobs to run at different intervals or at you convenience.

  • Create cost projections and cost trend reports.

Northern Storage Chargeback is available as a standalone application or integrated with Northern Storage Suite, a complete SRM package that provides a unique solution to a widely shared problem: managing storage resources efficiently, reliably, cost-effectively. The Northern Storage Suite contains five core modules (including Northern Storage Chargeback), which can make up a complete storage management backbone or be implemented separately to extend the functionality - and increase the value - of existing SRM components.

  • Quota Server: system administrators can set storage quotas on disk objects such as directories, file, and individual user and/or group accounts. In addition, administrators can apply file-blocking quotas to remove entire file types from their systems. Quota Server supports Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange Quotas, and includes a wizard-based means of developing and implementing storage policies, a new central database for more flexibility and control over resources, and more.

  • Storage Reporter: allows system admins to gather data and identify storage usage patterns, access file use, identify unwanted data, locate wasted space, recover storage costs and more. Storage Reporter enables admins to drill down to specific host groups, volume, user and mailboxes, and generate customized reports.

  • Storage Portal: introduces the "self-service" model to storage management. Through a web interface, the Northern Storage Portal keeps users informed of their storage use and provides them with the knowledge and tools needed to manage their allotted storage space. The Storage Portal enables system admins to keep informed of individual data trends, status of their storage resources, and quotas.

  • Storage Assistant*: specific jobs are triggered by defined events, thresholds and settings. Jobs include: fragmentation analysis and defrag jobs, find and move jobs, search and destroy jobs, find and notify jobs. Out-of-the-box jobs include: alert admin when volumes reach XX% full, alert admin when number of user sessions are above critical level, alert when swap-files are used excessively, etc.

*Northern Storage Assistant is scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2004.

ABOUT NORTHERN

Northern is an international software company specializing in the development of reliable, flexible and easy to use solutions for Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 storage administration. The company serves a global market through its two bases of operations, Tampa [FL] and Stockholm [Sweden]. Over 25,000 organizations, in 52 different countries are using Northern software solutions.

The Northern Storage Suite, as well as the company's full complement of network administration utilities, is available through resellers worldwide (spanning 86 countries), authorized distributors and from Northern directly. Pricing for Northern Storage Chargeback starts at US $1,095; volume discounts are available.

Customers in North America should contact Northern [US Operations] at 1.800.881.4950 or sales@northern.net. Customer's in other parts of the world should visit Northern's Reseller page on http://www.northern.net to find their local Northern software supplier, or contact Northern [European Operations] at +46 8 457 50 00.