EMC Updates Data-Management Software

EMC announced the latest version of its ControlCenter storage-management software, a package designed to help users manage data according to its importance to an organization. Many IT departments use a tiered-storage strategy to help optimize data placement by establishing different classes of storage depending on cost, performance and availability tradeoffs.

EMC said the new version of ControlCenter, now in version 5.2, will extend its the ability to monitor, report, plan and provision resources across tiered-storage environments in support of a company’s information-management strategy.

EMC director of software marketing Barry Ader told CRM Buyer in an interview that ControlCenter has tighter integration with enterprise-management platforms like BMC Software PATROL, CA Unicenter, HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli. According to him, ControlCenter now can send alerts directly to their product interfaces so that they know when they have a failure or a disk is out of space.

New Version a Minor Upgrade

This update of ControlCenter also has the ability to identify an out-of-space condition and automatically provision more storage based upon a company’s storage policies, Ader explained.

“We also completed the second phase ControlCenter’s integration and BMC Software’s enterprise management solutions that provides customers with comprehensive, end-to-end management from a business perspective,” he said, adding that last July the two companies announced a global sales, marketing and technology partnership.

Michael Karp, senior analyst at Boulder, Colorado-based Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a technology analyst firm specializing in management software and services, told CRM Buyer that he sees this new version of ControlCenter as a minor upgrade.

“But the tighter linkages announced put EMC in a stronger position because they continue to bring control management to more players,” he said. “And the relationship with BMC is an interesting one because it helps link IT to business processes which can show its value that’s really the driver for IT management on a global scale and makes IT a more competitive business tool.”

An Important Step

Because data-lifecycle management is a new concept for business, Karp also sees EMC’s increasing compatibility with other products as an important step to make it easier for customers to move data where they want it — even onto non-EMC devices — regardless of their physical location.

“We now have multisight reporting so that a customer’s storage data can be seen at a high-level by the CIO,” said EMC’s Ader. In addition, ControlCenter can manage geographically distributed sites containing petabytes — the equivalent of one-million gigabytes — of data.

According to Ader, existing customers of ControlCenter with maintenance agreements receive the upgrade, while prices for new users vary on the basis of the size of their installation and the packages they want. The basic storage resource management (SRM) package begins at US$15,000.

Supporting New Standard

The new version also supports the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), Ader said, acknowledging that it is an emerging standard that EMC plans to be a leader in supporting.

For his part, EMA analyst Karp believes that EMC’s support of SMI-S is good move, especially for companies with datacenters around the world. “I remember when their attitude was ‘Let’s just not talk about that,'” he said. “Now they among the first supporting the standard.”

“By the second quarter of next year I expect that the SMI-S standard will be a requirement for many enterprise-sized sales,” Karp said.

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