EMC Unveils Tool to Prevent SAN Outages

EMC (NYSE: EMC) is rolling out the final piece of its IT compliance and configuration management software lineup, Storage Configuration Advisor (SCA).

The data storage giant says the automated management software helps prevent SAN configuration errors, “the most frequent cause of service-affecting events.”

Along with EMC’s IT Compliance Analyzer — Application Edition, VoyenceControl for network management and Server Configuration Manager, Kevin Gray of EMC’s Resource Management Software Group said SCA “completes our offering in this space.”

SCA uses an agentless approach to monitor changes to the storage infrastructure for compliance to company configuration policies, vendor guidelines and industry best practices. It also provides an audit trail of SAN changes and rule violations and can identify problems before they occur.

Gray said the offering boosts storage network performance and uptime while saving on management costs.

EMC is one of a few vendors — including NetApp’s (NASDAQ: NTAP) Onaro division and Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) — aiming to make life easier for data center managers by automating processes like change management that can disrupt IT operations if not done properly.

Gray said that 80 percent of quality of service problems (QoS) are caused by configuration and change management issues, and half of all SAN outages are due to human error. SCA identifies problems such as missing storage or host ports in zones and flags them as “warnings” or “critical” problems.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Bob Laliberte called Storage Configuration Advisor “a nice addition to the EMC portfolio of management software. Trying to provide a comprehensive view of the data center is not an easy task. It requires collecting all the pieces of the puzzle, through either internal development, partnering or acquisition, and then getting them to fit together so that the entire stack can be managed though a single pane of glass. This announcement is another step towards completing that vision.”

Laliberte said the offering “covers the complete storage stack from host-based multi-pathing to array microcode,” and the agentless approach makes installation and maintenance easier.

Policy templates can be customized to fit specific companies or configurations, he said, and the product also offers a “high level of reporting and analytics.”

“With today’s dynamic data centers, change is inevitable,” Laliberte said. “Some of that will be planned, some not. What is important is having the ability to identify that change, analyze it to determine compliance, and either validate it or notify personnel of a violation so it can be quickly rectified and brought back into compliance.”

Storage Configuration Advisor will be available in June. Pricing for the hardware appliance and software for 10TB is $38,480.

For more information on EMC’s resource management portfolio, visit www.emcitmanagement.com.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.
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