Microsoft Calls on EMC Smarts

Redmond will use EMC's software to add networking input to Operations Manager

March 28, 2007

2 Min Read
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EMC and Microsoft have hatched a deal whereby EMC's Smarts network management software will be integrated with the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, Redmond's systems management console. (See EMC, Microsoft Team Up.)

Like any integration between management software makers, this one's as much roadmap as reality. Starting in May, Operations Manager customers will have the option to purchase a bidirectional adapter package from Microsoft called the EMC Smarts Connector for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007. It will cost $20,000.

The adapter will let Operations Manager users view Smarts topology and root-cause reports using their own interfaces. Smarts will also be able to suck in data from Operations Manager -- but that's not the point.

"The whole idea with the adapter is to allow those with Operations Manager as their primary console to drill down," says Chris Gahagan, SVP of resource management at EMC. He says Microsoft customers have been clamoring for network information and support in Operations Manager, and this is the way forward.

Microsoft customers who opt for the Smarts adapter now will be in line for discounts and "investment protection" for two upcoming product advances sometime before the second half of 2008. First, Operations Manager will be equipped by Smarts with the ability to automatically discovery network devices. Second, the root-cause analysis capabilities of Smarts will be built into the Microsoft console, enabling managers to pinpoint the fundamental cause of multi-alarm problems in the server and desktop environments.It's the latest effort by EMC to advance its grand scheme of managing the general IT infrastructure, using storage as an "in," while leveraging technology from a range of acquisitions, including the $260 million purchase of Smarts in 2004. (See EMC Acquires Smarts.)

A key part of EMC's plan is an overarching software system for its own customers, dubbed Infoscape, which was unveiled last year. (See EMC Vows More for Infoscape.)

But Infoscape is only part of the vision. The other part is to peddle Smarts as an OEM technology. And since Microsoft has similar enterprise ambitions, but does not compete with EMC on the hardware side (as do HP and IBM), the strategy appears to make sense.

Gahagan says there is no exclusivity clause in the agreement, so both vendors can make similar arrangements elsewhere.

At press time, no customers or analysts briefed on the deal could be reached for comment. Stay tuned.Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • EMC Smarts

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Microsoft Corp.

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