EMC Bolsters Storage Network Software

In a time when tech firms find themselves challenged to make software that
will work on rivals’ computer systems, storage software leader EMC Wednesday refreshed its
ControlCenter family of intelligent
supervision software, which makes it easier for disparate machines to
communicate.


Heterogeneity among storage networks has long been a goal to help customers
manage systems with fewer employees, and major vendors such as EMC, IBM, HP
and Hitachi have
allied
at different times to exchange application programming interfaces
(APIs) to make this happen.


EMC’s news fits under its AutoIS strategy for
managing storage networks, where the key thrusts include allowing IT
managers to monitor infrastructure made up of multiple vendors.


Standing out among the slew of upgrades is EMC’s new Automated Resource
Manager — provisioning software that automates the manual process of adding
and reallocating storage resources — from the storage array through the
Storage Area Network (SAN) to the host computer. The software enables
organizations to bypass the manual process by applying storage
service-levels for specific application requirements and creating
heterogeneous storage pools. It currently supports EMC and non-EMC storage
devices, including EMC Symmetrix, EMC CLARiiON, and HP StorageWorks, with
additional third-party storage support in development.


Bill North, Storage Software Research Director for IDC, said EMC’s strategy
makes sense, as customers are relying on software makers to solve the
complex problems of managed network storage.


“As a result, they’re measuring vendors not just on their strategies, but on
their ability to deliver…” North said.


Some competitors, however, remained unconvinced about EMC’s approach and
were in full bashing mode Wednesday — a day when the latest storage systems
figures from IDC were released.


IBM told internetnews.com that EMC’s AutoIS initiative an “ongoing
attempt to derail industry standards – at the expense of the customer.”
IBM, of course, supports “Bluefin,” an industry-backed standard to provide
interoperability within a storage area network for multi-vendor products.


Brian Truskowski, CTO of the IBM Storage Systems
Group,: “The only surprise is that one year after making its initial foray
into the storage software space, EMC is still just taking baby steps where
IBM is in full gallop,” Truskowski said. “The bottom line is that customers
still
only will get a closed, EMC-controlled, proprietary system with only limited
support for non-EMC hardware. Open standards means the
customer, not the vendor, is in
control, and that is simply what the e-business transformation is all
about.”


Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC did not return calls seeking comment.


Additional EMC ControlCenter upgrades include:

  • SAN Manager — SAN Manager (formerly ESN Manager) now supports active
    management of HP StorageWorks arrays, in addition to prior active management
    support for EMC Symmetrix and EMC CLARiiON. SAN Manager also centrally
    manages network devices such as Brocade, McDATA, Qlogic and EMC Connectrix
    and enables zoning, discovery, and reporting for storage arrays from HDS, HP
    and SUN

  • StorageScope — StorageScope reporting software now covers virtually
    any storage device. New support announced today includes HDS, HP, SUN and
    IBM systems as well as “JBOD” non-intelligent storage, internal server
    storage and storage network devices

  • Common Array Manager — enables customers to automatically discover
    multi-vendor storage arrays and monitor the status of the array, its disks
    and other sub-components Previously supporting storage from HP, HDS, SUN,
    IBM, and StorageTek, the Common Array Manager device management software now
    also supports arrays from Network Appliance.

EMC Wednesday also rolled out EMCLink, which the company hosts, to provide
application-to-storage monitoring to simplify problem identification and
analysis. To fend off unnecessary downtime by delivering early warnings
about potential network problems, EMCLink offers tuning advice for Oracle
and SQL Server Databases, Windows, SUN Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX and Linux
Operating systems, and SAP R/3 and Microsoft Exchange applications.


Automated Resource Manager and SAN Manager, and enhancements to StorageScope
and Common Array Manager will be available within 60 days. Replication
Manager enhancements will be available in December. EMCLink and EDM
enhancements are available now.

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