Computer Associates is set to announce general availability of BrightStor r11.5, the second release of the company's bundle of integrated intelligent storage management applications. The new version of the bundle provides support for additional devices and applications along with streamlining disk and tape backups.

"We've really enhanced and extended the entire suite," said Stephen Widen, director of BrightStor product marketing at CA. "We're continuing to expand the breadth and depth of the BrightStor brand."

In September of last year, CA launched its BrightStor r11.1 bundle, the first time the company had tightly integrated the various members of its BrightStor storage management product family. The move was designed to help CA compete more effectively against the likes of EMC and Veritas Software, the latter now part of Symantec.

The products continue to be available individually or together as pieces of the BrightStor bundle.

The BrightStor r11.1 bundle was also part of a new CA strategy to highlight intelligent storage management, according to Widen. CA defines intelligent storage management as a four-step process of identifying storage assets, classifying the information stored in terms of its importance and value to the corporation, defining and structuring the information in terms of its value, and finally automating the defined policies and procedures governing the storage of that data.

BrightStor r11.5 provides additional support for midrange disk arrays from companies like EMC, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems to help customers looking to adopt tiered storage, the assignment of different types of data to different storage media or hardware. The software bundle also adds in support for 64-bit platforms.

Another new feature contained in BrightStor r11.5 is a simplification of the setup and management of both disk-to-disk and disk-to-disk-to-tape backup. "It had taken multiple steps to do [backups in BrightStor r11.1]," Widen said. "We've streamlined the process so it's very easy to set up."

With the previous version, BrightStor r11.1, CA offered support for operating systems and databases, Widen said. BrightStor r11.5 will feature the software's first true support for enterprise applications, with the support of SAP AG applications. The new release also adds in support for Sybase's databases and IBM's Lotus Notes/Domino groupware and messaging software, he added.

Within BrightStor r11.5 are three product suites targeting storage management, data availability and mainframe storage, according to Widen. One new component of the storage management suite won't be immediately available, the BrightStor Storage Command Center, he said.

The command center will probably appear within the next 60 days, Widen said. "It offers a high-level dashboard view of storage," he added. The software turns the business analytics generated by BrightStor software into a format managers can use to monitor their storage systems in the areas of inventory, capacity, health and protection.

Another new member of the bundle, BrightStor HSM (hierarchical storage management), is likely to appear by the end of October, according to Widen. CA announced in July that it had licensed CaminoSoft's Managed Server HSM for Windows and that it would rebrand the software BrightStor HSM.

BrightStor r11.5 is available on a pricing model based on terabyte capacity. CA had initially set the capacity licensing bar at a minimum of 15TB, but lowered it to 10TB last September. With BrightStor r11.5, CA is lowering the capacity licensing minimum even more dramatically to two terabytes, a move designed to particularly appeal to midrange users, Widen said.

CA doesn't currently offer capacity-based pricing for its BrightStor mainframe software, according to Widen. However, the company is looking into whether moving that way would likely hold more appeal for customers than its present MIPS-based pricing, he said. "We'll probably open up [our BrightStor mainframe software] to capacity-based pricing," Widen added.

The company is continuing work to integrate BrightStor with its Unicenter systems management software and its eTrust security management products, according to Widen.

Making sure its storage management software is secure is also a continuing process for CA, he said. Vulnerabilities in BrightStor have already been flagged three times this year by security companies, the latest and most serious flaw appearing earlier this month.

"It'll be ongoing," Widen said. "We'll look to correct and rectify [matters] as soon as we can. It's continually upon us to readdress security."