EMC Ties ControlCenter to ILM

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EMC has aligned its storage management software with its information lifecycle management strategy (ILM) by refreshing its ControlCenter suite to better manage storage resources across tiered environments.

The Hopkinton, Mass., information systems maker created ControlCenter 5.2 with new storage resource management (SRM) features that monitor, report and provision resources. SRM software helps increase operational efficiency and improve storage asset utilization.

With the enhancements, EMC has spruced up ControlCenter’s ability to gauge the health of environments with gear from several vendors, including more complete support for HP , IBM and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) storage systems, according to Dennis Hoffman, vice president of software marketing at EMC.

Hoffman, who joined the company in February after EMC quietly bought the assets of Storigen Systems, the SRM software company he co-founded, said ControlCenter also boasts tighter integration with systems management frameworks and open SNIA’s Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) standards support.

“It’s our strongly held belief that in order to enable customers to implement information lifecycle management, their infrastructure has to become information aware,” Hoffman told internetnews.com. “SRM delivers an operations management capability for ILM.”

For EMC, ILM includes content management, data movement, protection and recovery, tiered storage and information management, all with ControlCenter software as the cornerstone, Hoffman said. The executive maintained that many EMC customers start with a combination of SRM and tiered storage because it is a logical entry level to ILM.

Enterprise Storage Group Senior Analyst Tony Asaro, who has tested the software, pronounced 5.2 stable, noting that ControlCenter has evolved from a set of point products that managed purely EMC arrays to a unified software application that supports products from multiple vendors.

Specifically, EMC has enhanced ControlCenter’s monitoring and reporting for additional HDS, HP and IBM arrays and Linux hosts. The SRM planning and provisioning component has been revised to better help customers design, plan and provision multi-vendor tiered storage with SAN management support for HP, HDS, and Cisco products.

EMC also adjusted ControlCenter to work through the systems management interface. For example, customers using products such as BMC Software’s PATROL, CA Unicenter, HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli now can automatically provision ControlCenter applications, a sign of increased heterogeneity for EMC.

Hoffman also said ControlCenter 5.2 is EMC’s first software product that is compliant with SMI-S, thus paving the way for a unified window and access control into multiple vendors’ products.

ControlCenter 5.2, which comes nine months after the last upgrade, is free for existing customers under maintenance. The ControlCenter GUI and repository come free with the applications that comprise it. Each of those management software applications has its own tiered pricing.

The upgrades come a week after research firm IDC branded EMC the leader in storage software, including a healthy 51.2 percent share of the total SRM market. Moreover, SRM software grew at the most rapid clip in the first quarter of 2004, posting a 32.4 percent gain for the period.

At its meeting with financial analysts last week, EMC said it expects to grow its software revenues to $1.5 billion for 2004.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

Clint Boulton
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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