EMC Tackles Control Issues

New hooks into VMware, custom reporting features score well with customers

May 16, 2007

2 Min Read
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EMC's release of ControlCenter 6.0, the latest iteration of its storage management system, is a milestone, the vendor says.

"This is probably the biggest ControlCenter announcement we've had in several years," says Jon Siegal, senior product marketing manager at EMC.

What emerges as he describes the product is good news indeed for the 7,000 existing EMC customers using ControlCenter. For the first time, support of VMware is built into the management system, instead of having to be manually configured. EMC has enhanced this integral capability with a full menu of storage-to-virtual machine management functions.

"I'm very excited to see what they are doing," says Lori A. Motzko, Windows system manager at SHPS Inc., a healthcare services company. While she's only seen a demo so far, she plans to adopt the latest ControlCenter software in order to manage VMware machines. "Adding a VMware agent makes a huge difference," she says. If EMC can't control the storage underlying VMware ESX, reports on overall storage are off, she says.

ControlCenter 6.0 also features a unified interface for at least two reporting tools that previously worked as separate entities. These are EMC ControlCenter StorageScope, which monitors and reports on multivendor SANs, NAS, CAS, and switches; and StorageScope File Level Reporter, which did a similar job of reporting on files. Now, just one StorageScope does it all.The pice de résistance, though, might be the new StorageScope repository, which is now open to users via an out-of-the-box querying tool as well as programming-level access. EMC has opened the code to end users, giving them access to the guts of the management system.

"Before, if you wanted a custom report, you had to call EMC professional services," Motzko says. "Now, anyone who knows standard SQL syntax can create a custom report."

Poke around a bit and you'll find some hitches. ControlCenter 6.0 can handle LUN masking and zoning for EMC and other vendors' wares. But it can't set up ports or manage specific devices. For that, you'll need other products, such as Symmetrix Manager.

SNIA's SMI-S 1.1 is supported, but only for IBM and LSI's Engenio products right now -- since other vendors haven't yet certified their wares with SNIA. This is true even though ControlCenter 6.0 manages wares from LSI's Engenio, HDS, HP, IBM, Network Appliance, and Sun.

And businesses that don't have the SQL expertise to handle EMC's new repository may still have to phone the vendor for report customization.ControlCenter 6.0 ships in June for free to existing EMC maintenance customers. New customers will pay about $39,000 for a system with monitoring and reporting for about 10 Tbytes of storage.

— Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • LSI Corp. (NYSE: LSI)

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)

  • VMware Inc.

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