IBM is set to release a new storage-software suite designed for managing heterogeneous storage environments. The company will combine previous offerings in the new product suite, called the IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center. The suite will offer a centralized software interface for managing hardware, maintaining storage networks, and analyzing performance. "Productivity Center fills a critical void left by competitive offerings. It not only centralizes but also automates storage infrastructure management--reducing the need for human intervention," said Brian Truskowski, general manager of storage software at IBM.
   According to the company, the Productivity Center will provide centralized management of multiple storage hardware systems, heterogeneous Storage Area Network (SAN) management, and Storage Resource Management (SRM), including monitoring, reporting, and real-time alerts. The product is part of a new family of products from IBM called the IBM TotalStorage Open Software Family, which includes IBM Tivoli storage software. The Productivity Center will be available in May; prices will start at $5000.