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EMC Airs Management Software for SMBs

Continuing the trend of making management software for small- and medium-sized businesses, storage systems provider EMC Monday unveiled new software tailored to help customers in the mid-tier storage market to automate their storage networks.

EMC VisualSRM and EMC VisualSAN improve capacity utilization in addition to making management tasks hands-free by automating them with the software, a function that many software makers have been writing into their code to free systems administrators from the chore of manual operation.

For Hopkinton, Mass.'s, EMC, addressing the SMB market is a sign that the company is looking to expand its breadth from the high-end storage arena, to smaller environs. EMC Executive Vice President of Open Software Operations and Chief Technology Officer Mark Lewis said that while SMBs have similar storage requirements to large businesses, they often lack the knowledge to implement them. Accordingly, EMC has made ease-of-use the core of the VisualSRM and VisualSAN applications.

Specifically, VisualSRM improves on the way storage capacity is used by offering file-level reporting and centralized storage resource management across a business' storage and server platforms. It supports Microsoft Exchange, Oracle, Sybase and SQL Server databases and integrates with other storage management applications from such rival vendors as IBM, Veritas, HP, CA, and BMC.

VisualSRM also set policies for moving, deleting, compressing and archiving files based on how old the data is and how much time elapsed since the file was last accessed. VisualSRM informs administrators with weekly reports that offer a snapshot of what their storage world looks like volume-by-volume.

Meanwhile, in keeping with users' requests for "dashboard" views of infrastructure status, VisualSAN provides administrators with a single view of all devices across their storage networks. It's composed of three components -- the VisualSAN Network Manager for monitoring independent SAN devices; the VisualSAN Configuration Manager to help administrators capture the state of a SAN configuration at one point in time; and the VisualSAN Performance Manager, which provides live and historical analysis of link statistics across a SAN.

VisualSAN supports EMC's CLARiiON systems and will support for other mid-tier storage platforms when the Storage Management Initiative - Specification (SMI-S) is completed and ratified.

Enterprise Storage Group Senior Analyst Nancy Marrone-Hurley said EMC now has a cost-effective advantage over competitors because it offers similar products, but at a lower price point. Pricing for VisualSRM starts at $2,000 while pricing for VisualSAN starts at $6,000.

EMC counts industrial lighting fixture manufacturer Acuity Brands as one of its first VisualSAN customers. That company employs the application to take a snapshot of its SAN to identify and analyze any changes that have been made and compare them to a proven configuration.