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GridApp offers DBAs a little Clarity

New software from GridApp Systems promises to make it easier for DBAs to manage multiple database platforms.

GridApp Systems Inc. has unveiled new software designed to give DBAs a centralized view of multiple vendors' databases.

The New York-based database automation company claims its new GridApp Clarity software is the first to focus on automating database operations -- such as configuration and patch management, auditing/compliance, replication and encryption -- while offering a single view of various database platforms.

GridApp CEO Rob Gardos explained that what differentiates Clarity from competing automated database monitoring tools from companies like BMC Software Inc., Embarcadero Technologies Inc. and Quest Software Inc. is its focus on heterogeneous deployments.

Clarity enables DBAs to discover and inventory database versions and patch levels; track database configuration; provision database resources to meet business service level agreements; clone databases for product testing; repair faults in databases; and deploy patches.

Additionally, the software allows DBAs to obtain evidence of compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Basel II, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and other regulations, Gardos said.

Clarity supports any combination of Oracle, DB2, SQL Server and Sybase.

More on database automation:

DBAs differ on Oracle's automation efforts

Database 10g update to feature more automation

Virtualization to increase demand for centralized management

Despite what leading database vendors like Oracle claim about being able to manage third-party databases, most DBAs today manage different platforms from different places, said William Fellows, principal analyst with The 451 Group in New York.

"The idea of managing multiple databases at the moment is still fairly onerous," Fellows said. "In effect, [database vendors are] always going to manage their own software first, and everyone else's stuff on a second-class-citizen basis."

But as the adoption of Web services and virtualization technologies grow, so too should demand for products like Clarity, the analyst said.

"[When] users have the ability to move database instances and tasks around between resources, I think the need is clearly going to become greater for tools that can handle the management of multivendor databases," Fellows said.

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