CA Overhauls Storage Product Line

Company announces new versions of its BrightStor storage products; the venerable Enterprise Backup product is discontinued

Computer Associates International Inc. last week announced a new version 11.1 release of its BrightStor storage line, featuring a new offering, BrightStor Process Automation Manager and BrightStor SAN Designer.

CA also did some fall housecleaning of its BrightStor line, eliminating its Enterprise Backup brand and consolidating technology from this offering into ARCServe line of products. The upshot for customers, the software giant claims, is less confusion as a result of more straightforward licensing.

CA’s BrightStor line features 13 components, including storage resource management (SRM), SAN management, backup and recovery, and high-availability offerings. At one time, CA positioned BrightStor Enterprise Backup product as its high-end offering, and ARCServe Backup—which CA acquired from the former Cheyenne many years ago—as its department-level solution. In this respect, CA’s stratification was similar to the way Veritas Corp. positions its NetBackup and Backup Exec product offerings.

But the former BrightStor Enterprise Backup is no more, says Anders Lofgren, vice-president of BrightStor product management. Instead, CA has taken operating system-specific capabilities from the Enterprise Backup product and dropped them into their respective counterparts in the ARCServe line.

“We have versions of ARCServe backup for Windows, Unix, Linux, and mainframe Linux,” Lofgren explains. “So BrightStor Enterprise Backup as a name goes away, and the Unix functionality that was in that product has now been put into ARCServe backup for Unix, or the Windows [capabilities] into ARCServe backup for Windows.”

Lofgren says CA plans to maintain similar licensing terms for existing Enterprise Backup customers. “All we’ve done is changed the name. There’s no change in our direction [or] in the markets we serve,” he asserts.

But could new customers pay more, on balance, to license specific versions of ARCServe backup for their Windows, Unix, and Linux systems? Lofgren demurs, confirming that existing customers won’t get the short end of the stick: “We didn’t release any specific pricing with our announcement, but customers aren’t going to be charged anything additional for this change. If you’re an Enterprise Backup customer today, you can upgrade at no extra cost.”

At the same time, he stresses, CA has made several pricing changes that will almost certainly appeal to current and prospective customers alike. “We’ve simplified our agents and modules into [fewer] tiers rather than more tiers. We’ve introduced the idea of suites, so there’s a suite for storage management and a suite for availability. If you’re a new customer, these products will be made available to you based on your capacity.”

The new suite offerings are Data Availability Suite (ARCServe Backup for both servers and desktop/mobile clients, BrightStor High Availability, and BrightStor SRM) and Storage Management Suite (BrightStor SRM, SAN Manager, Process Automation Manager). Lofgren says CA will charge $3,500 per terabyte of storage capacity for both suites—starting with a minimum of 15 TB.

Among the new offerings, Lofgren says Process Automation Manager does what its name implies—automates processes. “It will work in conjunction with our other products like SRM and SAN Manager, and automate processes in an environment,” he explains. “It has a workflow engine so you can automate workflow. We provide templates, and customers can actually write their own templates if they want to automate processes for their specific environments.”

One example, suggests Lofgren, is storage provisioning, which typically has a defined—and idiosyncratic—workflow associated with it.

Elsewhere, CA has revamped the BrightStor product line with improved integration between products. “We are integrating SRM and SAN manager to give customers the ability to go all the way from the SRM application down to the spindle, formally, we called this full path automation. Now I can have that complete view,” he comments.

In BrightStor 11.1, CA has ratcheted up integration between its mainframe SRM offering—CA Vantage—and its BrightStor SRM products for distributed systems. “With the integration between BrightStor Vantage SRM and BrightStor SRM, you’re able through a single interface to see z/OS, Solaris, and Windows consoles, for example,” Lofgren explains.

Also on the mainframe front, Lofgren says what CA charges for its BrightStor ARCServe backup and restore product for mainframe Linux hews more closely to pricing structures in the Linux market than the inflationary mainframe space: “The pricing is much more toward the Linux side than the mainframe side, because they are trying to achieve some economies when moving to Linux on the mainframe side.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.