NTP Software has expanded its storage management software to allow sysadmins to charge individual departments for their use of resources.

The Storage Billing System module - part of the company's Modeling & Analysis (M&A) package - runs on a Windows server and provides an analysis with projections, risk analysis and file-level detail of all storage resources.

Sysadmins can also see what percentage of a network is consumed by duplicate, unnecessary, abandoned or illegal files. "Chargeback has been used in the mainframe world for a long time," says Randy Kerns, an independent storage analyst. "Many IT managers want to be able to use it for open systems as well and are starting to, at least in some fashion. The problems have been that the storage management software is still maturing, and the ability to get the information from different storage systems has been a struggle. It's getting better now and will improve as more vendors support the Storage Management Interface Specification."

NTP says it will add the ability to charge back for storage usage by tiered storage devices in future versions of the system. It is also looking at the ability to charge back for consumption of physical storage resources, such as the attachment of servers to storage arrays.

The system supports Network Appliance and Windows file servers and a variety of storage-area network and direct-attached storage arrays. There is an introductory $1095 per-server license price.