EMC Offers Management Software Subscriptions

With the clamor for storage management software increasing, storage company EMC is aiming to meet customer demand with the addition of two new products to its ControlCenter line, the centerpiece of its AutoIS strategy to help IT staffs get more control of their storage systems.

The Hopkinton, Mass. firm has added EMC AutoAdvice, an intelligence engine that grants web-based access to performance analysis and resource utilization
across IT infrastructures, and SAN Architect, web-based software for the design, modeling, and validation of SANs. Both pieces of software are sold as
one-year subscriptions.

EMC Marketing Director of Open Software Pat Cassidy says customers will be able to use AutoAdvice, a new automated storage product, to isolate problems and ferret out potential trouble spots in a company’s infrastructure. It treats these issues with recommendations for fixes based on analyses of customer data about current and legacy application and infrastructure performance.

AutoAdvice aggregates the collected metrics, analyzes them against EMC’s ControlCenter repository, and pipes information to the customer that can be used in consolidation efforts, root cause analysis, and performance trending. It also warns about potential performance and capacity problems.

AutoAdvice has already met with approval from some industry analysts. Enterprise Storage Group Senior Analyst Steve Kenniston believes technologies such as AutoAdvice hint at the direction of the future of storage management services, a multi-billion market by some counts. In short, this is a dashboard, or
“single pane of glass” concept.

“End users want simple-to-use tools that can view as much of their environment as possible through a single pane of glass,” states Kenniston. “The fact that EMC does the heavy lifting for the customer — meaning IT shops don’t have to dedicate already-taxed people to make all this work — has to be considered a smart move.”

Enterprise Storage Group Analyst Nancy Marrone concurs.

“The interesting thing about this is that the solution has an intelligent inference engine, which means it basically keeps track of problems, what the
issues were that caused the problems, and then “learns” how to solve those problems,” says Marrone. “So when an alert goes to a customer site, the AutoAdvice solution also sends on suggestions as to how to address the problem. The key to this is that they actually correlate this information from all of the enterprises they are managing, so they have a very significant knowledge base. EMC can then offer customers a significant range of advice that would not be possible if the customer were just monitoring their own enterprise.

“So it’s a great proactive solution, which in and of itself is powerful, but the extensive knowledge base makes it a very attractive solution to any user with multiple applications or any user that might be turning up a new application.”

A Tool for Modeling and Validating SANs

SAN Architect provides storage architects and IT administrators guidance by modeling and validating SANs, including applications, hosts, host bus adapters, switches, and storage systems. Cassidy said the software cuts down on manual tasks and removes the guesswork from hypothetical scenarios. With it, IT staffs can discern which changes need to be affected, and make them using EMC SAN Manager software. SAN Architect is targeted to users who
are considering multiple server, switch, or array rollouts and consolidations, as well as those who require change validation without affecting
production.

The beauty of the software, Cassidy says, is that it provides customers with previously unavailable online access to EMC’s information management knowledge bank, bridging the gap between its repository and customers’ systems. SAN Architect and AutoAdvice can be used as standalone applications or as extensions to EMC’s ControlCenter applications.

AutoAdvice is available as a one-year subscription at $400 per CPU, scaling from one to 50,000 CPUs. SAN Architect costs $2,400 for an entry-level,
one-year subscription.

This story originally appeared on internetnews.com.

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Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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